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An encounter with designer Diane von Furstenberg at a San Francisco Neiman Marcus catapulted Charlotte Osterman from her job as a graphic designer into a career designing fabric prints for von Furstenberg, Rachel Roy and other fashion companies. Osterman and her family moved to Sarasota from Chicago in August; she works out of a home studio, where she recently launched a textile collection for the home under her own label.

Inspire by Nature

“My design aesthetic is light, bright and colorful, and that isn’t exactly Chicago. My parents live in Sarasota, and I found lots of inspiration here in the tropical plants, the color of the water, the midcentury architecture—just everything.”

Work Thread

“I majored in graphic design at California Institute of the Arts and moved to San Francisco in my mid-20s to work for a tech company, but it wasn’t my passion. I heard that Diane von Furstenberg, who’s known for her vivid prints, was doing a personal appearance at Neiman Marcus and I put together a book of my work. I brought my friend with me so I wouldn’t chicken out. [Diane] invited me to her hotel [to talk further] and I ended up going to New York to work for her. I learned everything about fabrics from her; she took me to China, taught me all about screen printing. I became her print director.”

Home Work

“I’m creating my own collection of home textiles woven and printed in the U.S. in an old mill in Rhode Island. I thought I would do this from the beginning, but I fell into fashion first. I plan to open up my own online shop and sell to the trade.”

 

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