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We interviewed the designer of these NASA Hubble Telescope scarves

Celine Semaan Vernon of Slow Factory created these out-of-this-world scarves by harnessing the open-source images of NASA’s Hubble Telescope images. In this interview, she talks more about her inspiration for the star-studded collection and what’s in store for the future. [read our original post about her here.]

Could you give us more details on the story behind the space-themed scarves? Did you have your ‘light bulb’ moment when you first saw NASA’s telescope images or did the idea hit you later on?
Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of being an astronaut—floating in space, contemplating the beauty and immense mystery of the cosmos.

Imagining space became a way to ground me, especially during my childhood in Lebanon as my family and I often moved around due to the chaos of war. Whenever I felt lost, I would look to the skies and feel stabilized. I would feel connected to the world and my family, who were thousands of miles away.

That’s why I started Slow Factory. I learned a lot from working with the open-knowledge, open-source movement and how it allowed people to connect to one another. Inspired by NASA’s publicly-available satellite images and through the collaboration with other artists, our nebula and supernova collections were made to be a reminder of how we can find beauty and connection in the stars.

These days, it gets harder to see the stars because of light pollution from big cities. But if I can help people feel a little more connected with these pieces, I will be happy knowing that I’ve made a small impact in a really big way.

The scarves have become really popular online, how does it feel that many share your enthusiasm for the cosmos and fashion?
I think it goes beyond sharing the love of the cosmos but also supporting a company that is mission driven and that makes sure that everything we produce is made ethically with an environmentally friendly process. There are lots of cosmos printed synthetics online: from the leggings to stalkings to bathing suits. I think it’s ironic to print such a wonderful image that symbolizes something greater than us on a fabric that pollutes our environment and kills the Earth!

I think we have grown to be liked because we value our Earth and live by the mantra that ‘It is time we slow down and think of the big picture. Use less. Chose wisely. Make things that are meant to last and that are timeless’.

NASA has A LOT of Hubble Telescope images available online, how’d you go about choosing the best ones for your scarf collection?
Every single image is hand-picked, precisely framed and then cropped into a square and considered for a long time before we send it to print. I am very driven by intuition and feeling and chose the images that resonate with me the most.

Are you planning on releasing new space-themed designs? Maybe on shirts or socks or lingerie?
We are going to continue working with NASA images as they inspire us and are infinite with possibilities! And we are also going to have other types of collaborations coming soon that I cannot talk about yet.

For our Fall 2014 Collection we will be releasing a few Mars images that have not yet been seen on silk-cashmere! Stay tuned!!

Celine Semaan Vernon

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.