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Stripes, Dots, Hearts & Checks: we explore the colourful history of Alexander Girard
Born in 1907 in New York City, Alexander Girard was one of the most decisive figures of post-war American design.
He was raised and educated in Florence, Italy after his family decided to return to Europe shortly after he was born. He eventually made his way back to the US in the 1930s, and this is where his career in design really began to flourish.
Girard worked across a number of disciplines including interior design, architecture and product design – though it was for his textile creations that he became most widely known for.
His big break came in 1952 when he was offered the position of director of fabric and textiles at Herman Miller, a position he held until 1975.
Girard's style was notoriously bold, incorporating geometric patterns and folk-art imagery. He favoured abstract forms, typically put together in bright constellations of colour.
He was a keen collector of folk art and regularly picked up objects and artefacts on his travels all over the world. These pieces, which eventually reached over 100,000, were his main source for inspiration and ideas.
In 1993, the final year of his life, he bequeathed these artefacts to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also gave the contents of his studio (hundreds of drawings, prototypes and textile samples) to the Vitra Design Museum, allowing a new generation to explore and learn from his curated collections.
To find out more about Alexander Girard, please see our designer page.
Images via Girard Studio.