Iván Meade - Grabado Paloma

With an eye for contemporary graphics, Iván Meade’s Mexican heritage is at the heart of his prolific product designs

In Design, News by Laura Goldstein

The pattern of silver nuggets in Iván Meade’s faux suede fabric,’Pirita’, is a tribute to the Meade family’s 300 -year-old silver mining business in Mexico. Photo: Meade Design Group

“I remember playing with marbles on my grandparents’ tiled floor when I was a little boy in San Luis Potosi, a beautiful colonial silver mining town north of Mexico City,” reminisces textile designer, Iván Meade by phone from his eponymous interior design studio in Victoria. In fact, that memory had such a profound effect on the adult Meade that he re-created its pattern as Vista Hermosa, part of his new line of luxury fabrics.

A personal narrative always triggers the creation process for principal designer and founder of Meade Design Group, Iván Meade. His meticulously curated fabric collections, soft furnishings, branded chocolate and most recently, candles can be found on Iván’s Website

As a student, Meade began a gap year visiting his aunt in Victoria before backpacking through Europe, and she urged him to return to Canada. “I’ve always been passionate about design,” admits Meade who was mentored by another aunt who was a renowned interior decorator in Mexico. “After I moved to Canada in 1998, I tried to get international brands like Kravat to manufacture my fabrics but they had never heard of me. I decided that I wouldn’t give up and instead found my own wonderful manufacturer in the U.S. who uses sustainable methods to produce my fabrics,” he explains.

Principal designer and founder of Meade Design Group, Iván Meade in his studio in Victoria. Photo: Sarah MacNeill, Carte Studio

Pirita, in two colour-ways and printed on faux suede is a sophisticated take on silver nuggets (and a tribute to the Meade family’s 300 -year-old silver mining business in Mexico.) Mariposa recalls a French floral pink toile, popular as drapery, pillow and window treatments and an elegant favourite of his mother, Chelita. Jinete, an equestrian motif that Meade designed, was based on the popularity of Lappanzer Stallions, bred for precision dancing and wildly popular in Mexico and Vienna. Created as double-sided pillows in polyester faux suede, a client wanted them for the bedroom of her equine-loving child.

“All of my fabrics have been designed to integrate into other manufacturer’s inventory in addition to many combinations within the line itself,” says Meade.

Meade collaborated with Sunshine Coast chocolatier, Sylvia Punguntzky on the launch of 6 organic chocolate bars. His branding corresponds with the designer’s most popular fabrics. Photo: Meade Design Group

Never one to rest on his laurels (or his love of good chocolate,) Meade collaborated with Sunshine Coast chocolatier, Sylvia Punguntzky of Art Meets Chocolate on the launch of 6 organic chocolate bars. The brand packaging deliciously corresponds to that of Meade’s fabrics: Eme, is an abstract drizzle of salted caramel, fleur de sel with 70% dark chocolate from Africa while Ghost Chili & Nibs mimics the geometric optical illusion of his Cubo fabric and is 70% dark chocolate from Tanzania. “For every chocolate bar sold, a tree is planted or protected under the ‘One Bar One Tree‘ programme,” he adds.

Meade’s seemingly insatiable creative drive led him to delve into luxury candles and their accessories.

For his luxury APAPACHO candles, Meade also designed wick-cutting and candle snuffing accessories. Photo: Meade Design Group

“For the development of our all natural candles, Apapacho Ome (Oak Moss + Rosewood) and Apapacho Ce, (White Amber + Vetiver,) we worked with a perfumer and went through 30 different combinations of fragrances before perfecting these scents,” he explains. The organic candles are made by hand in Tofino.

Apapacho roughly translates as ‘embrace of the soul’ in Nahuatl, a Mexican dialect. “They are masculine and feminine, yin and yang – an olfactory experience without giving you a headache or competing with your meal,” assures Meade.

Whether designing for work or just travelling for pleasure, Meade tries to live by advice given to him by his mother. “Find luxury in what you touch every day.”