Meet the Faces Behind Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Ever wondered... who are these people that design all these wonderful fabrics at Robert  Kaufman Fabrics? Well wonder no more! We thought it would be fun to start letting you see a little bit more about all the people who work so hard to bring our fabrics to life and into your hands.


Michele's fishing trip to Catalina was a success.Michele Ko - Textile Designer

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Busan, South Korea. I moved to Southern California 7 years ago to attend FIDM(Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandise). I graduated with an associates’ Degree in 2005.

How long have you been working for Robert Kaufman Fabrics?

I started in November of 2005. Almost 5 years! Wow. It goes by fast when you are as busy as we are!!!

What is your favorite part of your position?

That would have to be seeing all the different sorts of arts, fabrics, samples, and anything else that goes into my research. I try to focus my attention on items like this in order to spur my creativity and help me decide on a group. When I put them all together I can complete a collection. It’s so interesting to take a pattern and see how it evolves as is or onto a fabric. Time and again, it becomes a trial and error process moving an idea into a sellable design for clothes or quilting fabric.

What is the most challenging part of your position as a textile designer?

I would have to say taking something from nothing and turning it into a successful design. The research that goes into transforming a nugget into a pot of gold can be difficult at times. But, with all the research done on one collection, you tend to learn enough so when you go down that road again, you are prepared for the twists and turns. The information you gain makes the challenge easier later.

You were born and raised in South Korea. Does that help or hinder your research?

I would say it does both. It makes understanding Western Culture easier since I end up doing all this research. I tend to learn a lot very quickly.

Where do you derive your inspiration from?

I tend to go to museums all over Los Angeles a lot. I even go to the zoo to learn more about the animal I see in some artwork. But, I also do a lot of research in art books and some designers past and present work.

What do you enjoy doing on your days off?

Museums! I love going to museums. Garden and art museums are always on my “to-do” list. I also love wine-tasting up in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. My weakness is for Sushi these days at various restaurants. One of my favorite items on my list is “ceviche” which is the most amazing food ever!

What is the “fun” highlight from the last 6-months?

Spending a week on a private beach at a resort in Hawaii where I just did nothing but relax. That was just pure fun for me.