Meet Textile Designer Sandy Chilewich

By admission a terrible student who hated schoolwork, Sandy Chilewich always preferred creating things, with a propensity to work in the third dimension. After her collages prompted a gallery owner to point out her aptitude for commercial art, Chilewich began crafting jewelry and ended up partnering with her studio neighbor Kathy Moskal to create colorful best-selling canvas shoes, as well as Hue tights and legwear.

Intrigued by unusual materials, Chilewich subsequently created mesh and metal RayBowls before discovering the opportunities presented by extruded yarns to produce timeless namesake products. “They never wear out,” she says. “You can hand them down to your great-great-grandchildren.”

Chilewich grew up in the Netherlands and New York and now resides in New York City and upstate New York with her business-partner husband, architect Joe Sultan

How do you like to decorate with flowers?
Never just one floral centerpiece in the middle of the table—I disperse flowers throughout the table to celebrate where everyone is sitting.

What was your inspiration for your RayBowls?
I knew the Butterfly chair, and at Hue we introduced tights with lycra. I’m attracted to stretchy material over a metal armature, and no one had done that before.

What’s your favorite museum?
London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, particularly the ceramics galleries and the porcelain courtyard.

What is your favorite new product?
I love Heddle, a substantial graphic weave in three great crazy color combinations. It’s so rich in texture, it’s hard to believe that it’s a textile.

What’s your favorite original Chilewich creation?
I think our OnEdge concept. Salvador Dali’s painting with dripping watches inspired the idea of the shapes coming off the edge of a table.

Which pattern do you prefer for spring entertaining?
Beam is ideal for spring celebrations: Its exploded plaid brings energy to any table.

What is your favorite collaboration with your husband, architect Joe Sultan?
He designed such a beautiful house for us upstate. It’s like a loft in the woods.

A version of this article appeared in the April 2019 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Sandy Chilewich.