Brentano and Sunbrella Contract Collaborate to Design Caspian, for Brentano’s Fall 2019 Clearwater Collection Launch


Iris Wang, Founder and Design Director at Brentano Fabrics, discusses Brentano’s new commercial watercolor fabric collection, the Clearwater Collection, which includes Caspian created and designed in partnership with Sunbrella Contract’s design team. 

Iris Wang

Iris Wang, Design Director at Brentano

Great design starts with… You fill in the blank. For some it is form, for others function. For creatives, it could be a vision, an image, or a blank slate. For me, I find my inspiration is sparked by the natural environment I am surrounded by, but more importantly, great design really starts with creative collaboration. 

It has been 25 years since my husband and I founded Brentano. We have grown our original collection of eight patterns to include sophisticated indoor/outdoor choices, dynamic stain resistant and easy clean options, as well as a beautiful collection of eco-friendly textiles. Leading our Design Studio allows me to express my creativity and explore the boundaries between art and design, and bring innovative textiles to Brentano clients around the globe through collaborative partnerships. 

Before designing textiles for the commercial industry, I was an artist. Taking what I knew and loved from fine arts and applying it to another 2D mediums was an easy transition. My approach to design starts as an abstract idea inspired by nature and my personal interests. Every design I create is inspired by something close to my heart. 

Iris Wang painting watercolor

Wang designed the Clearwater Collection on canvas using watercolor to reflect the movement of water

When I first discovered Sunbrella Contract in 2015 at NeoCon, I was immediately intrigued by the brand’s solution-dyed acrylic fibers. This textile offered something rare – it could be a malleable canvas for Brentano to create custom-made patterns that would also be ultra-durable. We needed an offering that could be artistically inspired and also withstand the challenges of high traffic commercial settings. 

Shortly after our first meeting, the Brentano team collaborated with Sunbrella designers to release our first custom-designed contract fabric collection. Our fall 2019 collection marks our fourth annual offering that includes Sunbrella Contract. Our newest contract design, Caspian, is a revolutionary watercolor design based off of strong design collaboration that envelops the serenity of water. 

Pillows on banquet with Caspian fabrics

Brentano x Sunbrella Contract fabric in Glaze Mazarine accents this modern office space to create a resimercial environment.

The Clearwater Collection is more than custom watercolor designs. It is meant to remind people of the calming energy water can bring to any environment and to reinforce that we all have an obligation to protect the nature we are surrounded by, especially an element like water that is fundamental to so many aspects of our life. 

Sunbrella Brentano Caspian Collection Fabrics

Commercial designers are beginning to experiment with eye-catching colors, which is why it is so important to provide the industry with contract fabrics that allow designers to go outside of the box, without sacrificing performance. Our Brentano team collaborates with Sunbrella’s design team to bring my pattern design inspirations, watercolors and sketches to life. We focus on using colors replicated in nature – orange, green, and blue hues – that can accent almost any commercial environment.  


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My partnership with Sunbrella Contract is founded on beautiful design that can push the commercial industry into more innovative, complex designs. Every custom pattern I have created in partnership with Sunbrella’s design team has become a top seller for this reason. 

As you experiment with your next design project, look to integrate our all-new Caspian watercolor design, offered in six versatile colorways, into any indoor or outdoor space to make your design come to life in a unique way.