If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, or if you’re a longtime fan, you might already be acquainted with Petunia Pickle Bottom Founder & Designer, DeNai Jones. All of us here at PPB think of DeNai as the heart of the company—the kind creative with gorgeous blonde hair, impeccable style and an unrivaled knack for crafting. But above all else, DeNai is the creative force behind the iconic prints and fabrics that grace PPB bags, baby clothes and accessories.
We are often asked how Petunia Pickle Bottom prints are designed. So, to celebrate the new 2013 Spring Collection, we thought it would be fun to share the story of our prints and fabrics with you. Click through for pictures of the talented design team’s process as well as a video interview with DeNai.
Every season, DeNai and the design team take a day trip to a handful of vintage shops in Los Angeles in search of inspiration. In addition to being inspired by the fashions and silhouettes of eras past, the designers look for inspiring color combinations and unique patterns, which are always found in vintage fabrics. While they aren’t interested in replicating the patterns that they see, everything they take in during this vintage shopping excursion serves as an inspiration springboard for the design process.
DeNai and the designers then let inspiration from vintage textiles, exotic travel, architecture, tiles, and high fashion editorials percolate for a bit in their minds as they prepare to do some sketching of raw ideas. A lifelong artist, DeNai will next sit down and do some drawing before the team comes together to collaborate on ideas. She’ll often start with one element—like the flower found in the new Sunlit Stockholm print—before she and the designers repeat it and layer it with some sort of geometric design.
All designs are initially done in black and white or shades of gray before DeNai brings them to life with color. Each print is done in one to thirty colorways, from which the design team will then select those that feel the strongest.
Fabric is, of course, another big element of the signature PPB bag, and the designers often have to design for certain fabrics because of the variations in the different textiles. Certain prints will naturally lend themselves to specific fabrics. Each fabric—glazed, embossed, brocade and chenille—has its own personality, so the prints that are designed for those fabrics have to be a perfect fit.
The design process at Petunia Pickle Bottom is really collaborative within the design department and throughout the company. As DeNai puts it: “It’s a rare gift that nobody here has an ego—we all just want what’s best for the product.”
We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes at PPB. What’s your all-time favorite print from Petunia Pickle Bottom? We’d also love to hear what inspires your own creativity in the passions you choose to pursue! Let us know in the comments below!