2023 Design Icon Award: Sandra Jordan

Sandra Jordan. Photos by Joshua Barnard.

Since 2006, artist, designer, author and all around creative Sandra Jordan has graced the design community with her luxurious textiles. Born in Peru and raised around the world due to her family’s work in diplomacy, her innate love for and curiosity of culture was ignited from a very early age. “Since Chile was culturally close to Peru, I became fascinated with the subtle differences,” she recalls. “The music, dances and Spanish language had recognizable similarities to my Peruvian culture, but they were not the same. The ingredients and style of cuisine were recognizable but with different emphasis in the preparation. I found the same in the decorative arts.”

But it was her time working as the creative director at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg that inspired a launch into luxury product design. “As the creative director I made sure that everything we presented internally and externally was reflective of the brand,” she recalls. “I paid attention to the different colors of the days and seasons, cloud formation and more, and used all the information to create a style manual and a mood board that would give the guidelines for hospitality and marketing,” says Jordan. “The mood board consolidated the color, look and feel that I needed to design the fabrics to use in the public areas and guest suites. What was very clear was that I would use the best quality natural fibers to weave our textiles. Alpaca fiber was the obvious choice—the perfect choice. I already knew so much about the history of the fiber and how it was venerated and used by Inca royalty.”

Photos by Joshua Barnard.

Sandra Jordan Textiles was launched, offering a variety of woven treasures using arguably one of Peru’s most important exports made by Indigenous craftspeople. “Fine alpaca fiber is a national treasure. It is better than cashmere,” Jordan notes. “It has the ability to sustain artisans in one of the poorest regions of Peru.” Aside from the large assortment of colors, prints and textures, designers are drawn to
the natural-fiber fabric for its luxurious, soft feel. “Educating designers around the world about the inherently beautiful qualities of prima alpaca has been a great achievement,” she remarks. “We have helped protect the finest fiber while providing recognition and supporting weavers and herdsmen in the poorest regions in Peru. I have filled an unfilled niche: the best alpaca textiles and rugs for the home.”

What keeps Sandra Jordan inspired is not just studying work from greats like William Morris, Issey Miyake and Mariano Fortuny but also keeping creative company with other iconic minds including Gary Hutton, Jiun Ho and Paul Vincent Wiseman as well as surrounding herself with young, passionate colleagues. When asked what advice she would give to aspiring artists and designers she notes, “Always seek inspiration. Don’t imitate. Keep it simple, edit. Keep your curiosity, passion and drive. Have fun.”

More news: