10 Things Textile Queen Candice Kaye Can’t Live Without
Some artists hang their art on walls. Candice Kaye’s art is the wall. Her firm Candice Kaye Design creates gorgeous, high-fashion custom wallpaper and textiles for some of Toronto’s hottest restaurants, like Mimi Chinese, Planta and Byblos, along with trendy destinations like the June Motel in Sauble Beach, Ont., Maman in New York City and Gekkō in Miami. She also has a bustling bespoke rug business and collaborates on capsule collections with big-name brands like CB2, Microsoft and Roots.
Now, she is working on a coffee-table book, and is developing unique 3D wallpaper and beaded and embroidered wall coverings. “It has been my goal to create pieces that have never been seen or done before,” Kaye says. “It excites me to push the boundaries in this industry. When I started in bespoke, everyone told me it wouldn’t work. That was a challenge that I was excited to prove wrong. Whenever someone says no, I see that as a possibility.”
Here, the 10 sources of inspiration that keep Kaye motivated.
High Low with EmRata
Kaye is especially fond of the episode with Stephanie Danler, which speaks about creativity and how important it is to take time doing something other than your day job. “It’s about building the time to get lost in your own thoughts and then think new thoughts. It’s tough to do this constantly when you’re on tight deadlines,” Kaye says. “As artists, we have to give ourselves the time to dream. I’ve started to give myself some days off and it has been really helpful.”
“My luggage was lost in transit over the holidays and still hasn’t been found. I am still upset with myself that I didn’t have an AirTag on it! I don’t shop very often, but when I do, I become attached and love the clothes I purchase. So now, the AirTag will never leave my luggage.”
Kaye headed to Europe in 2012 after design school to visit friends attending school in London. She zipped over to Paris for a solo weekend as well, and wandered into a fabric manufacturing warehouse, and, she says, as soon as she touched the embroidered fabrics, she felt an odd sense of familiarity: “like a remembering, like I’ve been here before and worked with fabric before.” It was love at first sight—she was home. “Paris is my favourite city in the world. I am hopeless romantic. I get lost in the romance of it all.”
Attico cargo pants
“They are cool and pretty much go with everything.” Kaye sources them from her number-one online shopping spot, Monica Rose.
Recently Kaye has been spending lots of time in L.A. working on a new hotel project—and she finally caved and officially became a smoothie person. Her go-to order? “The Hailey Bieber smoothie at Erewhon is my favourite: It’s absolutely delicious!”
One of Kaye’s great loves after design? Photography. “Leibovitz is one of my favourites. I recently just put together a mood board for a new print inspired by her work.”
Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch
This 10-part book series started in 1995 and shares the author’s queries to the man upstairs—along with the deity’s answers. “It’s an interesting perspective on how as humans we’re in charge of creating our own lives. How important it is to dream and imagine the life we want for ourselves. And how powerful our thought process is.”
“Most of the time, my clients need responses within the hour, so I constantly need to be checking in with them to make sure everything is good!” Kaye is always on the go and travelling, so being able to answer emails via phone is a life-saver, she says: “There’s nothing better than multi-tasking and getting work done in the back of an Uber when en route to various meetings and appointments.”
Kaja Erika Jørgensen bracelets
Kaye purchases jewellery whenever she travels to remind her of specific moments or places in the world. “I love looking down at these pieces and being reminded of beautiful memories,” she says. Her daily go-to is a set of bracelets by Canadian artist Kaja Erika Jørgensen. “I have three pieces from Kaja Erika Jorgensen that I haven’t taken off since I bought them. They are 18k gold and made by hand. I love her style: effortless, chic and one of a kind.”