Shaper: Bernie de Le Cuona

Bernie de Le Cuona founded de Le Cuona, a specialist in luxury interior fabrics almost 25 years ago. She is one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the interior textiles industry.

She built a global luxury brand from humble beginnings and 26 years later the business has c £10 million annual turnover.

Bernie carved a niche in the previously staid linen interiors market by exploring, developing and re-engineering production techniques to introduce a new category of linen fabrics. Today de Le Cuona produces the finest natural textiles for interiors, available globally.

de Le Cuona currently employs 50 people worldwide with headquarters in Windsor and New York and showrooms in London and New York and is represented in 34 showrooms worldwide. The new flagship store opened in London’s Pimlico Road in 2018 and her signature paisley print is archived in the Victoria and Albert museum in London.

Interview highlights

“I thought I could start a business in this country and produce something extremely beautiful, which is what I always wanted to do.”

“I really didn’t know what I was doing.” 

“I didn’t know anything and that is quite liberating.”

“I didn’t know what the limitations were so I didn’t have any.”

“I kept asking questions and by asking questions, I found inventive ways of achieving things.”

“To me it’s about the attitude of people as to whether they are going to succeed or not”

“It’s trial and error and it’s exhausting.”

“I can’t do this without the vision of younger people.”

“I love working with young people.”   

“I try to let people learn by their own mistakes and then try to support them when it happens and put them back on track.”   

“Sustainability is really in my heart and soul.”

“I don’t think any person or any business can afford to ignore sustainability.” 

“In thirty years’ time there will be 3 billion more people on this planet so we all have to take not.”