Junichi Arai (1932 – 2017) was a Japanese textile designer and producer born in Kiryu, Gunma. As the sixth generation of a mill-owning family, Arai grew up with fabrics being woven for obis and kimonos. He held traditional weaving methods in high regard and the skills that only the human hand can have in the art of fabric making.
Zandra Rhodes studied lithography and printing at Medway College before going on to the Royal College of Art to study textiles, graduating in 1964 during the height of the pop movement. She made a paper wedding dress that cost less than two shillings, motivated by this trend and the work of painter Roy Lichtenstein in particular (about 7 new pence). In 1967, paper clothing was all the rage: it was the ultimate representation of disposable apparel.
She began teaching weaving at the Bauhaus in 1931. She worked at the Dresdener Deutsche Werkstatten in 1931, designing woven textiles, and was the head of the weaving department at the Berlin Modeschule from 1932 to 1936. She worked as the head designer for Gateshead, a British fabric manufacturer.
Judith Leiber (1921 – 2018) was a prolific designer whose fanciful minaudières had accessorised royalties, first ladies, and film stars, and entered the collections of art the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While her couture handbags—carried by celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Björk, and Barbara Walters—are widely regarded as works of art, Leiber preferred the word “artisan” to “artist.”
Laura Ashley was one of the first British designers to experiment with the concept of lifestyle marketing. Her romantic vision of nineteenth-century rural life, adapted to modern domestic realities, inspired a generation of middle-class Britons who returned to country life in the 1960s and 1970s.
Masakazu Kobayashi studied at the University of Arts, Kyoto, Japan. He manifested traditional textile techniques and aesthetics in his work. Between 1966 and 1975, he worked as a textile designer for Kawashima. His 1982 fabric evoked komon, a textile dyeing technique which uses paper patterns with small motifs.
Morton joined his family’s Morton Sundour Fabrics in 1931 and oversaw the company’s first screen-printed fabrics. He was the artistic director and principal designer of Edinburgh Weavers in Carlisle, which was established in 1928 as Morton Sundour’s creative design unit from 1932 to 1935. From the 1930s, he was a supporter of the Modern movement, commissioning works from well-known painters and artists.