Paisley has been popping up all over runways lately, with fashion designers putting a fresh spin on the bold swirl that gained a following with flower children nearly 50 years ago. Of course, the design dates back centuries before the Summer of Love, with roots in India and Iran. The paisley pattern was introduced to the Western world in the late 1800s, when production centers in Europe began to weave their own cheaper versions of the rich, colorful shawls that had been imported from the East. The name itself comes from Paisley, a town in Scotland, known for its textile production.
Lately, designers have been punching up the drama, throwing paisley on everything from jackets and dresses to shoes and purses. But in the advertising specialty world, paisley often serves better as punctuation, rather than a total fashion statement. Look for the twisted floral teardrop on all types of neckwear, be it a bandanna, fashion scarf or tie.
“Bandannas are practically synonymous with paisley, which is why our trademark design has flourished for decades,” says Reid Hoag, sales manager of Bandanna Promotions (asi/44020).
The company calls the distinctive, stylized pattern a favorite of cowboys and farmers for more than a century. “Our unique design, with the burst in the center, looks great on any color, allowing the nostalgia of paisley to be put on fresh color trends of today.”
Paisley evokes a “folksy sensibility” that highlights the farm-to-table and back-to-basics movements sweeping the country, says Diane Katzman, owner of Diane Katzman Designs (asi/63988).
Paisley allows companies to get creative with their logos, offering a more eye-catching design than the standard step-and-repeat, according to Hoag. Bandanna Promotions will incorporate logos in the center and corners of a paisley bandanna, or along all four sides for companies with a horizontal logo. The company offers more than 30 color choices to help keep corporate branding consistent.
Katzman agrees that “it’s important to hit the mark while staying true to a brand’s standards.” When her company creates a custom scarf or tie for a client, she’ll “incorporate their logo into a paisley repeat using their PMS colors.”
The bold pattern may not be the best choice for traditional corporations, who are likely to stick with tone-on-tone, stripes and other conservative designs, Katzman says. For youthful companies with an earthy, eco-conscious ethos, it could be the perfect pick.