Thursday, April 1, 2010

We Heart Vera

Anthropologie, where I work very part-time on the weekends, recently collaborated with the archives of Vera Neumann, the New England housewife-turned-printmaker who launched her own scarf company in 1946. She and her husband used excess parachute silk from WWII for her first runs and soon, her vibrant prints were seen on everything from scarves to plates to slipcovers. I walked into my store 2 weeks ago and immediately honed in on these beautiful mugs, printed with scenes from different places she visited in her many travels. One is ablaze with a sunset that reminds me of Florence in early Autumn, another feels possibly set in Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean. My favorite mug is one that is predominately red, the same red as the tissue paper thin of poppies in Italy. Grasping it takes me right back to a certain bend in the road near Monte Giove, with two tall cypress trees standing sentinel as I watch Blythe stoop just so to photograph the poppies for me.

One of the many things I love about Vera Neumann is how prolific she was. When anthropologie contacted her estate (she passed away in 1993) about collaborating, they found 7,000 prints in the archive. She had a mission to create one print per day and it seems as if she may have met her goal. I love picturing her in the 50's, 60's, and 70's travelling all over the world and using those travels to inspire her work.
We currently carry a proper day skirt that could have been lifted from Gwyneth Paltrow's character Marge in "The Talented Mr. Ripley", a linen/cotton A-line with a gorgeous print of boats and village in strong turquoise, red, and white. If I were the kind of girl who could pull off espadrilles and a white button up shirt with peter pan collar, you can bet I'd be purchasing this skirt. Heck, I may buy it anyway, hang it on my wall, and daydream that I'm in Positano when I look at it.
Anthropologie's label for this collaboration is We Heart Vera. This is printed on the bottom of the well of the mugs in such a way so every time you take a swig, you see the logo. This is particularly heartwarming to me as Vera is the name of Ryan's Grandma who passed away two years ago, and I think of her every time I use these.


  1. I bought a glass that the U.vill anthro had last year that was an I heart Vera one...I bought it purely for the label. It is one of the few plastic glasses (oxymoron?) we have and I plan to use it for Nolie. It makes me smile every time I tip it.

  2. i love vera too. & used to work for anthro when i first moved out here. i *loved* that discount...sigh!

  3. Looking forward to drinking out of mine!

  4. I want those. and you as a travel guide and companion one day. sigh.

  5. love!

    i have a few Vera scarves that belonged to my grandma- she still asks me "is it a Vera?" whenever I visit her wearing a silk scarf. sigh.

  6. Blythe, that's so cool! I was hoping someone would comment saying their Grandma wore her scarves!