Daniela Gilbert’s many years of experience and diversified career in textiles led her to open Loom1801 in September 2014, which has grown to include a roster of clients.
Loom1801, a boutique firm that partners with leading textile mills to source and develop fabric designs, currently includes such clients as Zero + Maria Cornejo, Angelys Balek, CG and Gem Picket.
Gilbert said she generally works under long-term contracts averaging six months. Her work entails researching fabrics and material trends, prices, colors and other developments for brands and manufacturers, helping them develop seasonal collections. She will also help connect companies to factories and mills. She noted that many small and medium-size firms don’t want to hire someone full-time to perform this function, offering her opportunities in what can be a complex sourcing world.
“Most of what I do is through the connections I’ve built over the years,” Gilbert said. “I also attend trade shows such as Première Vision to see new companies and do research on upcoming fabric trends.”
Right now, she said, “Price is the most thing, especially with the economy the way it is.”
“We have been working with Daniela the last two seasons and we have been very impressed with her knowledge of fabrics,” said Alex Inn, managing director at Angelys Balek. “She has helped introduce us to mills that are of the highest quality. Her professionalism is what we expected, and her insights and ideas to improving our selection, as well as getting the best prices with our development, has been very helpful.”
Gilbert began her fashion career as a journalist, specializing in textiles at WWD. She said her interest in textile research and development merged while working on a WWD feature story with Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein, where, in a visual timeline, she traced the designer’s textile development process.
Before starting Loom1801, she worked at such companies as Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade, Chado Ralph Rucci, Isaac Mizrahi, Honor and Tamara Mellon.
Gilbert noted that she also writes blogs about industry trends on her Web site, Loom1801.com.