Friday, May 11, 2018

BIG Industry news (HUGE even)

A very interesting thing happened in the quilt world yesterday. For anyone not familiar with Cotton + Steel which is a division of RJR, here's a very interesting story of how that division got created and the quilting industry got pulled into the world of "modern" fabrics. It's a great story about five women who knew what they wanted and figured out how to get it! It's almost like a fairy tale.

Well, we all know what happens to fairy tales. This is an Instagram post from was on all feeds from the five designers yesterday.

This is the sentence that got cut off at the bottom of the snip above.

"You are the best, and we love you. 
If you know anything about us, you know we have plans. We’d love for you to follow along with us!

Five designers, signing out.

Whoa - what just happened here???

And to get the other side of the story, here's the post that was on Cotton + Steel newsfeed.

Spring Quilt Market is next week in Portland. Obviously, I won't be attending, but it sounds like there is yet another shakeup in this industry.

If you read between the lines of both posts - what do you think happened? The designers are sad, they are leaving their beloved brand behind. Yet those five designers WERE Cotton + Steel. Without them, there is no Cotton + Steel. To my knowledge, the five designers created all the fabrics for Cotton + Steel with the exception of guest designers including Rifle Paper Co. (and others). One of the five was the Creative Director which is the person that drives the look and feel of the collections offered by a fabric company.  So you lose your major designers and your Creative Director all at once and you're going to have new collections ready for Fall Market?  Those five designers would already have been working on the fall designs even though the Spring Market hasn't happened yet. It's an industry where everyone works way ahead.

Did you notice the other note in the statement from the designers - "we have plans"?  What does that mean?

Since the designers (and Cotton + Steel) will be showing the spring collections at Spring Market, you have to think that the breakup was amicable as the designers and RJR are willing to make a public appearance together so that's good. Or because a ton of resources had already been invested in the spring collections that it was easier to move ahead with the release? Did you notice how corporate Cotton + Steel's comments were?

Who initiated the split? My guess is that the designers did. They wanted to do more creative things (although they seemed to have free rein and basically changed the modern fabric world forever), RJR wouldn't let them. Negotiations took place, RJR said - you can leave (who knew what was in the contracts), but we get to keep the name. Collections/designs/copyrights were discussed and the five designers are onto making themselves a NEW company. (Remember - they said they have plans) I wouldn't be surprised if they resurface with their own company. When they started five years ago, they had no idea how to create fabric (or very little knowledge). With the resources of RJR behind them, they have learned the entire (making fabric) process and now it's time to move on.

So are they sad?  I doubt it. They're probably sad that they can't stay where they are, but they're probably excited that with their NEW (my speculation) company, they can do whatever they want. Here's my inspirational quote of the day which is perfect for this situation.

So this is going to be the big gossip at Spring Market this year and I won't be there. However with the wonders of the internet, one is always able to figure out what is going on. In this case? We don't know yet, but we will soon! (I bet!!!!)

Have a great day!!!!


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