Inspired by the global travels of collector, designer and museum benefactor Alexander Girard, Mayer Fabrics is proud to unveil a new collection of fabric for the commercial market, Wonderlust. Created in collaboration with the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and Sunbrella®, Wonderlust brings the warmth and color of global folk art to commercial spaces along with the trusted performance of Sunbrella Contract fabrics.
Through his travels, Girard observed that folk art is the common thread connecting all humanity and was known to have said, “Tutto il mondo è paese,” or “The whole world is hometown.” Over the course of his life, Girard amassed a collection of over 100,000 masks, dolls, ceramics, toys, fine art, textiles and ceremonial objects that he later donated to the Museum of International Folk Art. In 1978, with the opening of his eponymous wing, Girard shared with Santa Fe his folk-art-collecting obsession, transformed into an exuberant tour of the world’s cultures, their craft and their distinct world views.
Honoring Girard’s global journey of discovery, the collection name ‘Wonderlust’ connotes a focused desire to understand the context in which an object or place comes to express its identity. Girard was acutely aware of how the singular identity of the maker is embedded in an object, adding complex dimensions of emotion and cultural reference.
Mayer Fabrics' designer, Kimberle Frost, worked with Sunbrella to give shape to this idea by creating seven vibrant and engaging patterns drawn from the iconic folk art that Girard loved and collected. The Wonderlust fabrics are modern yet timeless, bringing joyful energy to public spaces while exceeding the toughest industry standards. Pamela Kelly, Vice President of Licensing for the Museum of New Mexico, says of the collection, “We are thrilled to see such a joyful and thoughtful interpretation of the folk art and textiles from our museums.”
Frost and Sunbrella designer Tracy Greene extracted elements from each source object to translate its essential expression into fun, whimsical and personable patterns and textures. Says Frost, “The goal was not to reproduce the actual design, but to evolve it—to find the essential element of the object, tell the story of its journey, and give it new life through pattern and color.” Certain motifs capture the spirit of a distinct time and place within each fabric—the crosshatching on the pottery from Acoma Pueblo, in New Mexico, the “eye” of protective Milagro charms, the geometry of 18th century Netherlandish sewing samplers.
Wonderlust comes in 44 rich colorways, from lively, saturated tones to soothing neutrals. Visually arresting, the patterns incorporate special yarns and weaving techniques to evoke textures like hand embroidery and wool. With their distinct look and feel, these fabrics make a strong statement on their own, but Sunbrella’s careful color control process ensures that they also beautifully complement any other Sunbrella Contract fabric by Mayer Fabrics.