The wallpaper that is also a “reminder that my ancestors supported me”

“I also think there’s a whole other conversation to be had around intergenerational wealth and owning and passing on homes,” said Ms Harris, the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris. “It’s also something we’ve been deprived of, isn’t it? It’s almost radical just to say that even though it’s temporary, it gives me joy. It’s something I celebrate, and I put it on the walls and all around me.

One of the things Harlem Toile does by taking inspiration from traditional 18th century French design is to reference the history of black American elite communities that are currently featured in popular culture, from a reboot series as “Bel-Air” on shows such as “The Gilded Age” and “Bridgerton”.

Growing up in Atlanta, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, the Tony-nominated actress who is married to Samuel L. Jackson, was inspired by the history of black wealth that surrounded her. “I’ve seen fabulous homes with beautiful fabrics,” Ms. Jackson said. “It’s the story I’ve always wanted to tell, which brings us back to why I couldn’t put the original Toile de Jouy in my house. So I like the fact that Sheila saw something else. Ms. Jackson has Harlem Toile wallpaper in three rooms of her Los Angeles home and has also used the fabric to upholster furniture.

Chris Gibbs, owner of famed streetwear brand Union LA, saw Harlem Toile for the first time at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. “It was mind-blowing to me,” he said. “In particular, being of Afro-Caribbean descent, the juxtaposition of this African influence on what would have been typically this type of European art, or wallpaper, really blew my mind. It stayed with me for a very long time. »

Mr. Gibbs was inspired to use Harlem Toile on sneakers and Sonos speakers, and some of the limited-edition items sold out within just hours, something Mr. Gibbs is used to but which took Ms. Bridges off guard. Laughing, he recalled her calling him and saying, “’Man, like I’m getting killed on Instagram because I did something, and it sold out too quickly. Like, I never thought I’d say that.

Designing more affordable items gave Ms. Bridges as much pride as creating the wallpaper (basic colors cost $300 a roll). I bought the speakers while I was saving for the wallpaper. Ms. Bridges also sells a Harlem Toile umbrella for $30 and melamine plates, which cost $54 for a set of six. “I don’t have any children to pass it on to, but for me it’s part of my legacy – this design and the creation of these beautiful, meaningful things, accessible to many more people than would normally be able to access me. through interior design services,” she says.

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