x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 February 2018

Dubai artist turns her paintings into luxury scarves

One of Kate Toledo's four-piece scarf line. Courtesy Kate Toledo
One of Kate Toledo's four-piece scarf line. Courtesy Kate Toledo

The Dubai-based British artist Kate Toledo talks about producing a line of silk scarves inspired by her 2012 painting exhibition Reflections of Islamic Splendour:

What sets the scarves apart?

“Printed in European factories on the finest silk twill and finished with a hand-rolled boarder, the scarves are presented in a red box as a piece of art. It sets itself apart from the European brands as a series of original hand-painted designs as opposed to computer-generated designs featuring Middle Eastern museum treasures and incorporating the patterns of Islamic embroidery.”

Talk about extending your reach, from art to fashion.

“When I was preparing for my Reflections on Islamic Splendour exhibition I wanted to offer a smaller, less expensive version of these pieces as the majority of the paintings were very large.

At the time the Grayson Perry exhibition was on at the British Museum and I bought, in the museum gift shop, a 90x90 silk scarf with one of his designs. The scarf idea was born and took on its own journey, starting from the initial idea of a simple addition to my exhibition to an extravagant line of silk scarves.”

What have you discovered about your new market?

“The luxury market here is extensive — there is certainly a gap in the market for individual designs featuring products with a flavour of the region, which are made using top quality materials and that are presented impeccably.

These are the types of products that will hold their own next to the big name brands. One needs a distinct and quality product to appeal to this growing luxury market in Dubai and the wider region.”

To find out more, visit www.katetoledo.com