Design industry vet David Toback is Donghia’s new director of textile design. Beyond experience earned at Brunschwig & Fils, P/Kaufmann, F. Schumacher and his own eponymous firm, Toback arrives with a palpable affinity for textile history. “Every textile has a tale to tell, whether it was made in the 18th century or just yesterday,” he says. “These stories inform and inspire designers and their customers alike.” His is a passion that stands to impact the fabrics at the iconic design house and beyond.
Toback chatted with EAL about his new role:
How does your prior experience factor into the new gig?
I’ve had the great fortune to work in the studios of some of world’s iconic home furnishings brands alongside extremely talented designers. Each experience honed my ability to capture a wisp of imagination and turn it into actual, tangible, saleable product. The legacy of my past roles is their combined contribution toward a kind of magic, knowing how to make the things I love, and sharing them with other designers.
How do you plan to incorporate your knowledge of textile history at Donghia?
In terms of literally incorporating my knowledge, knowing how the finest textiles in history were made and used helps inform my decisions today. If the best velvets ever made were from a particular period, you can bet I’m going to use modern technology to achieve a quality which is as close as possible to the historic ideal. Fully modern designs definitely benefit from an ongoing conversation with the past. Working for Andrea Rubelli, whose family name is synonymous with legendary textiles, past and present, is a dream for me.
What do you have in store for 2016?
I’ll be buried to the tip of my paintbrush in Donghia’s design archive. The treasure trove of patterns and points of departure for future fabrics and papers is “beyond.” I’ll definitely be sending the time-traveling DeLorean to circa 1980s and doing a little “Back to the Future”!