As the global editor-in-chief and co-founder of Refinery29, Christene Barberich is, by trade, a storyteller. Of course, she is also a New York Times best-selling author, the host of hit podcast UnStyled, and the recipient of countless editorial awards. She paved the way for digital publishing and aspiring female editors by following through on an idea — a vision — which is now a worldwide, all-encompassing media outlet that allows women to connect, learn, share, and empathize.
So, what's Barberich's latest vision for creative storytelling? The home.
In her very first collection, the global editor-in-chief is collaborating with cutting-edge decor brand, The Inside, to bring her fresh perspective directly into our living rooms. Working alongside The Inside's founder, Christiane Lemieux, Barberich is exploring "a whole new medium to capture and tell the stories of women makers, from architects and artists to ceramicists and craftswomen," she stated in a recent Instagram announcement.
"When I read the email [to design a furniture line], I swear, I nearly fell off my chair," Barberich tells Lonny. "Christiane and her philosophies around design have been a long-time inspiration to me. I’m sort of acting like an apprentice and soaking up as much decor schooling as I can."
The co-founder's background in fashion and career as an editor play major roles in her love for interiors; however, nothing quite compares to her early exposure to design. "Really, it all goes back to my Italian grandmother on my mom’s side who was a professional seamstress," she shares.
"Her house was always filled with baskets of fabric scraps, buttons, bright-colored zippers, color, pattern, and details that always felt very tactile and hands-on to me." And as for her editorial influence? "I suppose my life as an editor has made me simultaneously good at trimming back the clutter and spotting the treasure," Barberich says. "You really need the edit gene if you’re going to be a passionate collector of anything. Otherwise, you just have a lot of stuff and it’s hard to see the specialness."
While Barberich's creative visions extend far beyond her wardrobe, she is finding inspiration for her home collection in a few of her favorite textiles and wearables (we're hoping to see her signature floral, grandma-chic looks come to life). A few more key-influencers include "vintage Japanese graphic design and mid-century interiors, Hawaiian quilts, Navajo textiles, hand-dyed straw, and ceramics, and not to mention plenty of beloved fashion references from the last century," the editor explains.
Yet, the core of her collection is what represents the writer's most genuine essence and impact: storytelling. "Really, the biggest theme is weaving in the stories of women makers—architects, designers, craftswomen," Barberich states. "I want this collection to celebrate some of the unsung heroes and established women I really admire, and who I believe have contributed so much to my own aesthetic, as well as history."
Stay tuned for The Inside x Christene Barberich's approachable, stylish line of furniture and pillows, launching in May 2018.