July 2009

Tastemakers 2009 Sally McQuillan

by Allison Kornberg / produced by Mayer Rus / portrait by Peden + Munk

Sally McQuillan She doesn’t like to drop names—McQuillan prefers to let her résumé do the talking. But ask any number of decorating heavyweights, and they’ll tell you the fiercely inventive fabric designer, known for setting trends in color and pattern, is a home-furnishings sensation. Who knew that the 12-year old who used to ruin her mother’s irons crafting batik would become spooled into the industry while studying painting at the Art Institute of Chicago? It was there that she developed a taste for repeat patterns that later evolved into block printing and silkscreening.

Soon, she was creating prototypes for skate and surf companies Quiksilver, Billabong and Nike. Now operating out of her own factory in Santa Barbara and her Pacific Design Center showroom, McQuillan plans to expand into wallpaper and weaving—inspired as always by passions rather than trends.