Sartorial favorite turned home guru Gregory Parkinson introduces his vibrant next act.
Ensconced in his Downtown L.A. loft, Gregory Parkinson is worlds away from the pressures of his former career. “I started in this business when I was 17, and spent so many years catering to the demands of fashion. I really wanted this next stage of my life to be free of that stress,” says the designer, who recently pivoted to the shelter realm with a line called GP Surround, following a 25-year career that included a CFDA finalist nod for his densely layered romantic silhouettes beloved by industry insiders.
British-born Parkinson spent the past year as a modern nomad traveling between far-flung cities such as Santiago de Chuco, Peru, and Chandigarh, India. The experience not only allowed him to create a new visual vocabulary for a home line, but also to fall in love with textiles all over again: “I became enamored of how local artisans lived with their creations; the yarns and patterns are determined by geography, culture and history. Being immersed in this makes it impossible not to recognize the kindred spirit of their work.”
In addition to studying traditional knitting, crochet and weaving skills in England, Parkinson began to gather the raw materials abroad that would be the foundation of his inaugural decor collection, which includes pillows, napkins, runners and throws. Similar to his fashion designs, it’s all about textile, color and layering with bold patterns elevated by exquisite embroidery and rich fabric overlays.
The results resonate: Commune has already ordered exclusive napkin and runner sets; fellow designer Brigette Romanek had dibs on the first custom pillows even before the final trim was added.
A self-described “reluctant shopkeeper,” Parkinson also uses his studio as a showcase for the imported product and curios that he continually gathers. These found treasures include a jute-and-burlap wall hanging by Ella Krebs, antique eggcups (belonging to famed archaeologist Thor Heyerdahl) from a small mountain town in Peru and double ikats from the Indian city of Hyderabad. “This new direction allows me to celebrate the craftsmen I’ve met and offers them a new livelihood,” he says. “Every piece comes with a story—the story of a craft handed down through centuries or a journey to an exotic destination.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Written and edited by Andrea Stanford.
Photography by Nicole Lamotte.