When Schumacher—the historic New York and fabric and wallpaper firm that has worked with such fashion luminaries as Karl Lagerfeld and Elsa Schiaparelli—reached out to Victor Glemaud about a potential collaboration, he immediately had a hero print in mind. “I was reading this book Black Spartacus about the life of Toussaint Louverture and thought he would be the perfect subject for a toile de jouy,” recalls the Haitian American designer, referring to the blue and white printed fabric which takes its name from Jouy, the town in France where it was developed in the 18th century.
“What Toussaint did in terms of freeing the slave colony of Haiti changed the course of Black liberation,” says Gelmeaud. “I thought that representing his leadership through a traditional French fabric would be sort of subversive.” In place of the Euro-centric pastoral scenes typically depicted on toile du jouy, Glemaud’s Toussaint Toile features portraits of the Haitian Revolution leader, alongside drawings of the Caribbean island nation’s flowers, foliage, and landscapes. Available as a cotton-linen fabric or wallpaper, it comes in traditional blue-and-ivory as well as purple-and-ivory and black-and-ivory colorways (the fabric also includes pink-and-green option).
Each pattern in the collection has personal significance. They include the Julie resist-dyed shibori fabric, named for Glemaud’s mother and grandmother, and the Fabienne hand-painted hibiscus wallpaper, inspired by Haiti’s national flower. One of Glemaud’s favorites is the Jessie cut-velvet fabric, featuring an off-set chevron that takes cues from the sort of graphic patterns he favors in his fashion collections. “We did this incredible couch out of the navy colorway for the lookbook that my husband [Luxembourger diplomat Jacques Flies] is trying to buy for our Luxembourg apartment,” Glemaud says.
As a seasoned fashion designer who has held senior design roles at brands including Paco Rabanne and Tommy Hilfiger and launched his eponymous brand in 2006, Glemaud found there was a learning curve to designing interiors and loved the challenge. “I had to really think about it and be more intentional in terms of like, okay, it’s not a seasonal thing—it’s something that’s going to live in your home,” he says. “So in a way it has to be traditional and fit into classical interior schemes. But I still wanted it to have a pop.”