Cecile Tilley Memoir
BY Boyd Ferguson
It seems fitting that in the year in which Cécile & Boyd celebrates 30 years in business, we
should choose to publish a book that celebrates the life of our friend and cofounder, the late
Cécile Tilley. I marvel on a daily basis at this thing that we created: Cécile & Boyd. Who possibly
could have foretold back in the late 1980s when I first met Cécile – she a 60-something style icon
and I a befringed, over-tanned 20-something design student – that together we would embark
upon an extraordinary creative journey that has culminated in our business today.
The truth is that Cécile came into my life like a bolt of lightning. Ours was a meeting of
minds so transformative and dynamic that it catapulted my career 40 years ahead of its time.
Armed with an extraordinary instinct for beauty and what constitutes comfort, not to mention
a big personality, Cécile listened to, recognized and acknowledged my creative trajectory long
before I did. In an industry dominated by rules, Cécile encouraged me to express my originality
and to execute my own paradigm-shifting, rule-breaking ideas because she, too, was the same.
Original, courageous, loving, nonjudgmental, affirming, motherly, wise and always funny, Cécile
was without doubt the most influential person I have ever met. And so this book seeks in a small
and very personal way to honour her contribution to Cécile & Boyd and to the legacy that still
informs how we do business today.