Andrea Bentley from Disciples of Print. Image supplied.
Andrea Bentley is the founder and designer of Disciples of Print which specialises in creating digital print artwork for fashion garments and interior projects. Based in Taupō, Andrea offers her unique designs through her website which she launched in 2018, constantly evolving and refreshing the designs available. Her background in fashion design led Andrea into creating prints and her beautiful designs have been utilised by a number of leading local and international brands over the years.
We caught up with Andrea to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Since starting the Disciples of Print website, I have spent the last couple of years creating an online library of original digital textile prints suitable for fashion garments, interior design, wallpaper, and soft furnishings.
The collections include traditional and contemporary florals, geometric repeats, animal prints and most recently the ‘Mini Disciples’ range of childrenswear prints.
The prints are all sold in colour separated, seamless repeats so that they are ready for fabric printing and production. The files are sent as AI vector files so that customers have the freedom to edit and re-colour the artwork to suit their needs and seasonal colour palettes.
From my experience working for many different fashion companies over the years, my goal with Disciples of Print is to offer production ready artwork to companies needing that last minute print artwork for a seasonal deadline or are just looking for something different to add to their collection or product.
What made you become a designer?
From a young age I knew that I wanted to be a designer or artist of some sort. My passion for op-shopping and restyling my purchases into new garments finally won out though and I began studying at the School of Fashion in Dunedin in 1993.
Since then, I have always worked in the Fashion industry, spending 16 years living and working as a Technical Designer and Illustrator for fashion companies in London, Vancouver, and Perth before returning to New Zealand a couple of years ago to start a family.
After I had my first child, I started to really crave a creative outlet as this was the first time in about 20 years that I didn’t have a job and I had also moved to rural Taupo after living in big cities for 16 years. I started to design and illustrate print ideas any free time I had, and the Disciples of Print website just grew from there. I now have two children and being able to work from home while they are little is perfect for our family right now.
Prints by Disciples of Print.
What inspires you?
Op-shopping, fashion and interior design trends and past travel experiences.
I love finding old, printed fabrics and vintage clothing which always inspires me, and I often use these as a starting point for new print designs. I also own a good selection of beautiful, printed garments and fabrics that I have collected on my travels over the years.
Since returning to New Zealand we have been living rurally near lots of native bush, trees, farmland, and gardens which is always an awesome daily source of inspiration for new surface print ideas.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
For someone who really loves colour and print, I actually wear a lot of black, white, and grey. I dress for comfort and practicality these days as I spend a lot of time either on the floor with my children or chasing them around the back yard or in the bush. Sneakers and Gumboots have also become my go-to choice of footwear.
I do love beautiful statement prints though, whether it be an amazing dress or wallpaper or cushions, so when I am creating new artwork, I always try to put my commercial fashion designer hat on and think of the types of products the prints would look good on.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
When I was a fashion student in Dunedin, one of my favourite fashion labels was NOM*d. I had a black knitted wool jersey that I bought from Plume that I wore for about 15 years. I would probably still be wearing it now if it hadn’t regrettably fallen to pieces through too much wear and washing.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A black jersey that you will wear for 15 years and goes with everything!
Prints by Disciples of Print.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
Find your own style and dress in what makes you feel comfortable and confident.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The 16 years that I spent working overseas for various Fashion brands were a massive highlight for me. From visiting trade, fabric and print fairs in London and Paris to spending time in factories in China and India. With everything going on with the world right now, I am very grateful for all the amazing work opportunities I have had and the experience and insight to so many parts of the Garment and Textile industries it has given me.
What can’t you live without?
My partner and children, good food and wine, coffee, and sleep – which currently I do live without on a regular basis with two pre-schoolers!
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Really high heels! Not because I don’t love them, I am just not very good at walking in them!