Chilewich is a one of a kind textile design company that seamlessly blends high design with commercial functionality. Founded in 2000 by designer Sandy Chilewich, the company has won widespread and repeated acclaim and awards for its collection of original textiles, found at stores, hotels, restaurants and properties of distinction around the world. VSA Partners recently partnered with Chilewich to overhaul their website from an online catalog to a design destination.
When VSA began the redesign process, the team met with Chilewich in person and clicked immediately. “We walked away from our initial meeting with Sandy absolutely blown away and inspired. We agreed that whatever we did had to reflect her creative vision,” said Creative Director Wai Fong. “It couldn’t be a site focused solely on products, as there’s a much larger, greater story to tell: Sandy’s story.”
VSA carefully overlaid a more editorial look and feel over existing e-commerce functionality. Smaller product images were replaced with large, vivid ones, allowing visitors to see the detail and craftsmanship of the products. Lifestyle images were also added throughout the site to demonstrate how Chilewich products can serve as the centerpiece of users’ design projects. And there’s greatly improved access between divisions—the online store and trade sites for interior designers, contract specifiers, retail store wholesale and restaurants and hotels.
The site now provides interior design tips and inspiration from Chilewich (both the company and its founder) at every level, and new features show a thoughtfully curated experience: “What’s New” provides snapshots of the company’s spring and summer 2014 collection in unique ways, while the “Color Stories” section displays special seasonal collections for table and floor.
“VSA brought a wave of fresh air into everything that we had been doing, and this could not have happened without their deep understanding and respect for who we had been. Nothing about this process was superficial and rushed,” said Sandy Chilewich. She praised the VSA team’s thirst for knowledge about her ideals and education about the company and its style. The cumulative effect of these updates, noted Fong, resulted in an indirect evolution of the overall brand—Chilewich’s most recent print catalog borrowed many elements and design cues from the new site design.
VSA’s Dean Di Simone, Partner and Executive Director, New York, added, “It’s a rare opportunity to work with a design visionary who never wavered from a personal mission in the face of an ever-changing landscape. With Sandy Chilewich at the helm, VSA was presented with a collaborative context that allowed us to do our best work, and create a truly Chilewich experience—one that allows customers and fans an intimate, considered dialogue with her brand and aesthetic.”
Shop the revamped Chilewich online store for the new spring/summer 2014 collection of products. Follow Chilewich on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter and learn more about the company’s history at their “Our Story” page. And make sure to check back often to the site for added features and products as they become available.