Empire was inspired by my Gt Grandfather Sir William Conyngham Greene who was a British Diplomat at the beginning of the 19th century. I found a beautifully decorated bag with a old book inside and it turned out to be an account of his travels to Persia. There were no roads and aeroplanes in those days so he covered vast distances on the back of a donkey. His account continues with his meetings with The Shar of Persia who was very bad mannered but was dripping in precious jewels, he was famous for his harem and rooms full of gold, silver and more precious jewels. When my Grandfather left Persia a few months later the Shar gave him a beautiful jewel encrusted snuff box which had a portrait of himself on the top, we still have this snuff box in the family. The account of Sir William’s trip to Persia reminded me of all the Arabian films my sisters and I used to love to watch, turbans, veils, jewels and camels, all very romantic!
Orlando The Great elephant fabric is named after my autistic Godson Orlando, he loves animals and having a fabric named after him was his 7th birthday present.