What’s the inspiration behind the new collection?
Simon Rowell: The collection has an unashamedly “marine” foundation. But as a starting point, we aimed for something a little less clichéd and a little more nuanced. We analyzed the unbelievably subtle and changing ombre light that one experiences when out at sea, perhaps early in the morning or late in the day, as the water calms and the sun is close to the sea and the horizontal light catches all sorts of particles in the air: petrol blues, dusty pinks, misty off-whites. In fact, the original working title for the collection was Horizon. It morphed into Oceana in homage to a 1980s Jon Bannenberg Oceanfast yacht. We’re lucky to have a limitlessly rich heritage on which to draw.
What was the starting point for this collection?
Rowell: We started with the horizon color range, undertook a similar exercise with texture (pleats and ripples) and graphics (marine movement, etchings and shadings), and worked with the Perennials team to develop a style/palette book, which evolved into an initial capsule collection. We wanted to accelerate the design period to align with our Sutherland Oceana furniture range, which is also about to launch.
How did the collaboration with Perennials come about?
Rowell: For Bannenberg & Rowell as a specialist yacht and home designer, this is a collaboration that has been in the pipeline for many years. We have placed Perennials and Sutherland products in our projects for as long as I can remember, and when at some point we finally met David and Ann Sutherland at a yacht show several years ago we were struck by their genuine passion and appreciation for design. They have always worked with great designers, resulting in real and successful collaboration, rather than, say, marketing- or licensing-driven partnerships. We conversed for many years, until both a textiles and a furniture range started to crystallize, hitting perhaps a sweet spot in the new range development cycle for Perennials. It was a very natural and organic process. From our side we were absolutely driven to make a buildable and appealing range, one that was commercial within the Perennials catalog but with a hint of the glamour and atmosphere of the yachting sphere. On the occasions when we meet David and Ann, I am still deeply impressed by their energy and drive, their commercial aspirations and creative ambition indistinguishable and complementary.
What piece are you most excited to unveil?
Rowell: Let’s see how and where the collection finds a home—that’s a new level of excitement for us. Designers are controlling by nature, but once a collection reaches the production stage, then the thrill is in what others do. Our world does tend to involve a particular niche (80 percent yachts with a sideline in private home design), so we look forward to being liberated from the specification process and seeing new environments where the Oceania range may find a home.
How does this collection push the brand forward?
Rowell: I hope that for Perennials it represents the ability for their extraordinarily diverse and practical yet luxurious textiles to be widely recognized in the demanding yacht arena. Yacht materials must achieve a perfect synergy refinement and durability. For the Bannenberg & Rowell brand, Oceana represents a long journey into a more commercial sector. We are lucky to have partnered with a business whose high standards of creativity and quality texpertly align with our own.
How does the collection build on or complement your other offerings?
Ann Sutherland: The colors and textures in this collection pair beautifully with our top sellers like Rough ’n Tumble, Ishi and more. Blues have always been a huge seller for us, so we love the inclusion of Bannenberg & Rowell’s palette of ocean hues.
What about the collection feels fresh and exciting?
Rowell: We love the thrill of yacht interiors and exteriors, where so much of the finished product is bespoke. But developing products for repeat manufacture is extremely rewarding too. It enables us to work with great partners such as Perennials who have wide technical experience, knowledge and a wonderfully positive approach to trying new things. We can really hone our designs and details. In fact, it’s essential.
Tell us about the materials in this collection. Are there certain materials used throughout, or one that is a highlight on a particular piece?
Sutherland: All Perennials fabrics and rugs are constructed using 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic yarns, making them incredibly durable yet soft to the touch.
How do you envision designers using this collection?
Rowell: I hope our collection might inject a little yachting romance into peoples’ homes and other environments, but really, we look forward to being surprised.
Can the collection be customized? What options are possible?
Sutherland: As with every Perennials rug, the Waves Tibetan knot design in the Oceana collection is completely customizable according to shape and color, with over 6,000 poms to choose from.