Boutique Design - May 2017 - 92
Chilean native Leonardo Novik takes
a hands-on approach to weave his
grandfather's legacy into the framework of
mill-direct producer Fil Doux Textiles.
BY CHRISTINA GREEN
MATERIALS ARE THE FABRIC of Leonardo Novik's heritage. The founder of
WHY PUT THE COMPANY'S GREEN MISSION AT THE FOREFRONT?
Fil Doux Textiles inherited his passion for textures from his grandfather, who
helped establish the family's first mill in Chile more than eight decades ago.
"When you grow up around fabric, it becomes a part of your DNA," says
Novik, who was born and raised in Valparaíso, Chile. He attributes his affinity
for aesthetics to his early exposure to that port town's steep funiculars, European-influenced architecture and colorful cliff-top houses overlooking the
Eventually, Novik's love for colors and patterns led him to expand the
family company's scope beyond the residential and seating markets with a
new brand that could sell directly to hotel groups, furniture manufacturers,
interior designers and architects. As a result, Fil Doux Textiles-meaning soft
thread in French-was born in 2009. Now the unit controls two vertical mills
in Chile and Brazil and has its U.S. headquarters in New York.
Growing up in Chile, I saw the beauty of the natural world around me, and I'll
always be committed to preserving that beauty. My mom taught me that
we're creatures of love and that we should respect everything around us-
from people and animals to trees and water. I remember her waking me up in
the middle of the night to go outside and experience the full moon and a sky
full of stars.
Because Fil Doux is mill direct, we have a unique responsibility to make a
difference through our production process. I think every company should do
what it can to reduce its footprint. As a manufacturer, producing in tune with
nature and being as eco-conscious as possible is the only viable future.
DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST RECOLLECTION OF MANUFACTURING.
We're moving from Park Slope to Gowanus in Brooklyn this summer for the
rich cultural landscape and the blending of residential communities and
industrial businesses. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the
neighborhood and we want to be a part of the community. The building we're
moving into has been abandoned for the last 20 years and we're renovating it.
We want the interior to be modern without covering up the past, leaving
much of the old structure exposed, while also enhancing the space with innovative touches. We love the contrast of historical elements and modern architecture. Working with the architect has been really inspiring. He's designed
museums around the world, so our desire to intermingle the old with the
new came naturally to him. £
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT TEXTILES?
I have a deep appreciation for art. For me, textiles are an art form that evokes
feeling and a language of the senses that everyone understands. I think
textiles are the heart of every space. They have the power to change your
mood; they are expressive and a source of comfort.
boutiquedesign.com MAY 2017
COUR TE S Y OF FIL DOUX TE X TILE S
My earliest memory of textile manufacturing was learning how to walk
through the mills alongside all of the looms and machinery. It was a very
creative environment that allowed me to dream and play, but also observe
how all of this magic comes together.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE WORKING WITH CHILEAN ARCHITECT
CRISTIÁN VALDÉS RUIZ OF AMERCANDA ON THE COMPANY'S NEW U.S.