Sight Unseen, Leah Ring, Los Angeles, Design, Laure Joliet 2017

Inside the Home and Studio of LA’s Newest Emerging Design Star

Leah Ring assumed it would take years — half a decade, maybe — to get her line of original furniture, objects, and clay jewelry off the ground. She had a full-time job as an interior designer, after all, and though she’d gained valuable manufacturing know-how in a previous stint at a Los Angeles furniture company, this was her first solo venture into the world of product design.

Yet that’s not quite how things turned out. After only a single, well-timed email, sent when we were in the midst of planning for this year’s Sight Unseen OFFSITE show, the designer landed herself a dedicated booth from which to launch her debut collection — a feat made possible by the support of Levi’s Made & Crafted, the denim brand’s elevated sister line, on whose Instagram we’ve often spotted some of our favorite makers and designers. Ring’s line, Another Human, included pieces like the Stacks Bench (meditation stones reimagined in lush gray velvet); the transparent acrylic Vacation Table (filled with black sand and Mexican obsidian), and the Tubular Magazine Rack, a fat-legged beauty that’s now for sale in our online shop. 

Ring, who still works full time as an interior designer, first became interested in designing products while working at a Manhattan firm, years earlier. “I was buying things at Christie’s and Sotheby’s and was being exposed to this really high-end aesthetic,” she says. “But I was also learning that people were making things of this caliber in America. I’d been more familiar with finding really fine pieces in galleries in Europe or at auctions, but to see that level of craftsmanship coming out of New York? That’s when I thought, you can do this? For a living?

Her own works represent striking and deeply thoughtful iterations on familiar forms, but there’s something brighter and more buoyant that binds them. “There’s a sort of playful geometry that’s present in all of my work, and I definitely hope that all of it communicates a sense of joy,” Ring says. She recently invited us into her Atwater home and studio to reflect on her space, her process, and the importance of play.

PHOTOS BY LAURE JOLIET