LI: Describe the role Wildflower Linen plays in the event industry!
Young: We are an innovative couture linen company, offering both rentals and sales. Wildflower is very trendy and designer-driven, so it’s not your ordinary white table linens.
LI: How did Wildflower Linen begin?
Young: Well, I was a clothing designer and senior instructor at the Parson School of Design, but I got burned out on the fashion design business—I didn’t want to deal with department stores anymore. So I retired! Shortly thereafter I got involved in a family wedding, and went looking for some inspiring linens for my niece, the bride. But what I was looking for simply was not there in the marketplace at the time, I kept finding old-fashioned satins instead of the high-quality silks I was used to. So I went out and made some chair covers for the wedding myself, out of dupioni silk. It wasn’t long before people were talking about me and I found myself being approached by planners and brides to design covers and other linens for their events. There was a lot of doubt, a lot of questions at first; “How are brides going to justify spending all this money just for linens? How are you going to wash them? How are you going to earn money from this kind of venture?” There was simply nothing else like Wildflower on the market when we began. But I used to be a teacher, and I wanted to educate people. I wanted them to know that they didn’t have to settle for horrible polyester fabrics for their grand event! After that there was no stopping me.
LI: So Wildflower’s couture fabric quality is what sets it apart from other linen brands?
Young: Yes, and I think as a former fashion designer I have a strong sense for future trends that will eventually hit the market and impact our designs. So we like to think that we are trendsetters here at Wildflower Linen!
LI: What is your favorite aspect of being a linen designer?
Young: I like everything about designing fabrics. I also really love being part of something that is so special to my clients, like their wedding day. It’s like when I furnish a client with a beautiful linen I’m helping them sculpt their event’s atmosphere, and shape a highly valuable memory for them.
LI: What goes into the process of designing a fabric for a client?
Young: We look for complimentary color combinations, thread counts, and which fibers we can combine to produce the tones, textures, and the kind of sheen that the client is seeking. Right now we’re working with some handpainted looks, samples of which you’ll see in this year’s spring issue of Your Wedding Day magazine, due out sometime in the next month.
LI: Do you have a dream event that you’d love to design the linens for?
Young: Oh, yes. The annual Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala in New York! I would like to collaborate with any of the designers involved to produce a truly amazing linen for that event. Someday!
LI: Have you worked on any exciting projects so far this year?
Young: Yes, we designed the linens for the Hurt Locker after-party following the Academy Awards this year…that was fun!
LI: What would be your professional advice to help guide clients in selecting or envisioning their linens?
Young: When people come to Wildflower, we listen to them. We want to know what their dream wedding is all about. It helps us understand what they mean when they describe what they’re looking for…for example, if they were to say they just want “simple” look, I may not be sure what that means until I listen to them fully describe the event, and then I may come to realize that when the bride says “simple,” she really means “no patterns.” One-word descriptions can be very powerful, but also very inaccurate. So we encourage the client to tell us everything, and we encourage other vendors to really listen to them. That’s the best way to truly produce the kind of event the client has in mind, and even go far beyond their expectations and imagination, as well!