Tag Archives: new york

  1. 10.16.13
    Sight Unseen Presents
    The Etienne Aigner Flagship Opening

    In many ways, the story of Etienne Aigner is a personal one for us. As a kid growing up in the Midwest, I remember coveting my mother’s gold horseshoe–embossed heels, and then, as a teen, scouring the shoe racks at Marshall’s for a pair of my own. And Monica? I’m pretty sure when we first met she had a dozen pairs of the brand’s vintage loafers and Priscilla heels, and she happily passed that obsession — complete with eBay alerts and frantic Etsy searches — on to me. So we were more than thrilled earlier this year when Sight Unseen was approached by the 63-year-old heritage brand, now led by creative director Daniela Anastasio Bardazzi, to help conceive and curate the opening of their first-ever flagship in New York’s Soho.

  2. 10.01.13
    Sighted
    ALL Knitwear Fall Update, featuring RO/LU

    We never imagined we’d be the website bringing you images from a fashion brand’s lookbook, but the ones we’re featuring today were just too perfect to ignore. To launch her fall ALL Knitwear collection — which includes crewnecks and pompom hats in new geometry-inflected patterns and color combos — Sight Unseen fave Annie Larson reached out to another studio with a happily low-tech approach: the Minneapolis-based furniture duo ROLU. It’s a serious match made in heaven, as these photos — shot by Mary C. Manning at Mondo Cane in New York — can attest. Both Larson and ROLU make deceptively simple-looking work that belies serious craftsmanship; both studios have Midwestern roots (Larson grew up in Wisconsin and used to work at Target HQ in Minneapolis.) But it also makes perfect sense on another level. ROLU often speak about their affinity for theatrical sets, so though their work is normally shown on a gallery level, we can’t imagine a better context than this in which to show it.

  3. 09.23.13
    shop
    We’re Popping Up in New York!

    We’ve been going gangbusters in our online shop this year — and we have a ton of new things in the pipeline for fall! — but sometimes we miss, you know, actually meeting our customers. So from September 26–28, the Sight Unseen Shop will be hosting BACK 2 COOL, a three-day pop-up event in the heart of downtown New York with some of our favorite up-and-coming designers. At the Lindsey Adelman showroom in Noho, we’ll be showcasing and selling our own signature jewelry and housewares alongside the work of four other creative entrepreneurs. On sale will be editioned objects by contemporary artists from Zoe Fisher’s new Handjob Gallery//Store, ceramics and necklaces from Brooklyn designer Helen Levi, prototypes and planters from Chen Chen & Kai Williams, and fine jewelry from Lindsey Adelman Studio. The Sight Unseen Shop will also be debuting its brand new wares for fall and holiday including coasters by Kiel Mead, wind chimes by Ladies & Gentlemen studio, ceramic lamps by B. Zippy, cosmic pyramids by Eric Trine, brass bottle openers by Light & Ladder, jewelry by Shikama and Twin Within, men’s accessories by Ilana Kohn, and marbled bookends by Brendan Timmins. Also available at the sale will be past season samples, current stock, and exclusive Sight Unseen T-shirts! Please stop by and say hello!

  4. 09.18.13
    What We Saw
    At Capsule New York

    Don’t worry, we’ve got eyes on the ground at the mega–big deal trade fair happening this week — i.e. the London Design Festival — but since your editors are sadly missing out on those festivities, we thought we’d first offer a glimpse inside a trade show we ourselves had never attended until this week: Capsule, the six-year-old, 12-times-a-year fashion and lifestyle event for independent designers. This month was the SS14 women’s edition, and having mostly attended design fairs we weren’t really sure what to expect. Capsule is held at a massive venue on the East River that doubles as basketball court and event space (it’s where the New York edition of the NADA art fair was this spring), and the soundtrack was appropriately bumpin’. We were there mostly to get face time with some of our favorite designers — like Ilana Kohn, Wing Yau, Ellen van Dusen, and SU regulars like Chen Chen and Iacoli & McAllister — but we also spent lots of time browsing in the hopes we’d discover someone new to write about (or something new to take home from the cash-and-carry shop portion, which of course we did in spades.) Here are some of our favorite finds from the afternoon.

  5. 09.06.13
    Eye Candy
    Jennie Jieun Lee, Ceramist

    Jennie Jieun Lee forms blobs of clay into attractive vessels full of good humor. Lee allows the clay to crack and warp and the paint to drip and drop. Pieces are named Eddie’s Mug, Salome, Suzanne and—Mr. Vukelich—A jar and lid based on a true man who sat in a classroom behind me. Make sure you check out her instagram, so many more goodies. Lee lives and works in NYC.

  6. 09.05.13
    What We Saw
    At Boisbuchet with Snarkitecture

    For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Domaine de Boisbuchet is basically glorified summer camp for designers: It’s an old chateau and grounds in the middle of the French countryside where, each week for 12 weeks, two or three contemporary designers or studios are invited to host a creative workshop for a group of students and professionals. During downtime, you can canoe, swim in the lake, lay in the grass, drink beers, swing from trees, attend dance parties, or sit around a bonfire and stargaze — it’s pretty much rural heaven. So it was a tiny bit funny to be there last week with Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of Snarkitecture, who are best-known for their work with white styrofoam, fancy fashion brands, and hip-hop superstars, and who this week are hard at work back in New York installing a 20-foot-tall carved-foam mountain as a backdrop for the runway show of leather-sweatpant purveyor (and Kanye favorite) En|Noir. Luckily you can not only take the boys out of the city, you can take the city out of the boys, whose first instruction to the participants in their “Excavations” workshop was to dredge up wheelbarrows full of dirt, clay, and sand from the lake and its surroundings. The group then spent five days doing hand-casting experiments in the sunshine, in order to “take familiar, everyday objects and find ways to manipulate and alter them to make them serve new and unexpected purposes,” as Mustonen put it. After the jump, check out all the photos we took documenting the process from start to finish.

  7. 08.23.13
    Up and Coming
    The American Design Hot List

    Last week on Ambra Medda’s new site L’Arcobaleno, Jill was asked to cover the recent rebirth of New York design, discussing the transformation with key players like Jason Miller, Lindsey Adelman, and Dave Alhadeff. “Once again there’s a scene that’s celebrated internationally,” said Alhadeff, and we couldn’t agree more — ever since we founded the Noho Design District in 2010, which is largely devoted to American talents, we ourselves have been asked countless times by global designers and journalists to share our take on all the exciting things happening on our home turf, and we’re always happy to oblige. After awhile, though, it got us thinking: Why wait for people to ask? Why not create an easy resource we can share with everyone? And so, introducing the American Design Hot List, a totally unscientific, unapologetically subjective portfolio of the 25 emerging and semi-emerging furniture and product designers we think you should know now. Is it comprehensive? No. Will some folks feel left out? Inevitably. But without enumerating them here, we had our reasons for every choice, whether it’s the fact that they have a big show coming up this fall/winter — Katie Stout, Misha Kahn, Snarkitecture, Jonathan Muecke — or they had a game-changing launch this year, or they just seem to be ubiquitous at the moment. Because these things (and our minds) are constantly changing, we’ll be publishing new versions of the list periodically. Meanwhile, Sight Unseen is taking a short summer hiatus next week, returning September 2, so you’ll have plenty of time to peruse this one! See the names after the jump!

  8. 08.22.13
    Excerpt: Book
    Pattern Box

    We were already pretty sold on the idea of Pattern Box — a new postcard box set curated by New York’s Textile Arts Center — which gathers together 100 different prints by 10 of our favorite illustrators and textile designers. We imagined sending off thank yous backed by Eskayel’s dreamy, washed-out blues or get well soons accompanied by Leah Goren’s graphic black cats. (With 100 cards to blow through, even our garage guy might get a holiday bonus paper clipped to Helen Dealtry’s abstract florals.) But then we found the little booklet tucked inside, which contains wonderful, Sight Unseen–like Q&As that delve into the inspiration and process behind each designer and we knew we had to share.

  9. 08.19.13
    Up and Coming
    David Kirshoff, Designer

    If New York designer David Kirshoff’s bright, blobby lamps and chairs have an element of the grotesque to them, to some degree it was fated: “I was raised around a shop that makes special effects for movies and TV, where my brother and I used to hide out and coat each other with fake blood,” says the 25-year-old Pratt grad. “I’ve been welding and machining, blowing things up, setting things on fire, and most importantly, making things with my hands since I was a little kid. That’s how I learned to be a craftsman.” Thanks to these formative experiences, Kirshoff developed a healthy knack for experimentation, and for not being afraid to work outside the normal boundaries of form and function. We discovered his wacky work through Zoe Fisher, whose upcoming Handjob Gallery Store project includes a special edition of his lamps. We’ll be helping Fisher launch her entire collection very soon, but in the meantime, you can get a sneak peek by way of our interview with Kirshoff after the jump.

  10. 08.14.13
    Sight Unseen Presents
    The BYCO Design Contest Results!

    A few months ago, we launched a contest with BYCO, the new micro-financing site for fashion and housewares designers, founded by Jesse Finkelstein of JF & Son and his sister Meredith. The Kickstarter-like site invites designers to submit products, which then must be funded by supporters in order to cover the costs of making a prototype. Our contest allowed readers to submit designs that, if chosen by Sight Unseen’s editors, would bypass the funding stage and move straight to production. At the time, we had no idea what would happen. Would anyone enter? If they did, would those brave souls be plucked from the world of designers we were already familiar with? Happily, the pool was wider than we ever could have imagined. The five chosen designers, who were picked relatively blindly, range from an ITP design student to a contractor-turned-artist in San Diego to — just one! — former Sight Unseen subject, the lovely Jennifer Parry Dodge of Ermie (whose Kid Gunta duvet is shown above). Which just goes to show that BYCO isn’t merely for amateurs looking to get a foot in the door: Even for a pro like Dodge, BYCO offers opportunities that would never be possible with a small-scale production set-up. “This was an amazing opportunity, and it’s a fantastic service that BYCO is providing to independent designers such as myself,” Dodge says. We couldn’t agree more! Read on to get to know the winners of the Sight Unseen/BYCO contest and click here to purchase their incredibly cool designs.

  11. 08.09.13
    Eye Candy
    Mansi Shah, Surface Designer

    Mansi Shah has mastered the art of mesmerizing surface designs. Her mind-bending patterns that take your eye for a wild ride. A must see/wear are the scarves of Shah Editions, a ongoing collection of outrageously gorgeous silk scarves features digitally printed patterns and hand-rolled hems. Shah often cites music and songs as her inspiration for her patterns, “Inspired by the wobbles of analog frequency, this curious pattern reveals visual vibrations that have been translated from rhythmic pulses.” Dig her vibes. Shah lives and works in NYC.

  12. 07.26.13
    Up and Coming
    Katie Stout, Furniture Designer

    What were you doing at age 24? Muddling through grad school? Working as a CAD monkey? Moving back in with your parents? If so, you might be more than a little jealous of recent RISD grad Katie Stout, who at that tender age already holds the post of gallery director at New York’s Johnson Trading Gallery, where Paul Johnson not only represents her work but encourages her to introduce him to that of her peers (like Noho Next alum and future SU subject Misha Kahn, for example). Before she landed the job, Stout’s only previous employment was a one-summer college internship for the novelty housewares brand Fred and Friends: “I showed the creative director my portfolio, and when he saw a table I’d made as a sophomore that was an udder with milk squirting out of its teats, he asked me what I was on,” she recalls. “Obviously I said nothing.”

  13. 07.23.13
    Eye Candy
    The Perfect Nothing Catalog

    The Perfect Nothing Catalog is a idyllic little shop/shack nestled amongst an overgrown garden on a quiet street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and curated by Frank Traynor the Perfect Nothing Catalog is unequal parts shop, gallery and clubhouse. Traynor searches for works that are artist made and wallow in weirdness, featuring vases by Chen Chen and Kai Williams, striped candlesticks by Bree Apperley and amethyst daggers by Michael Bauer. The handmade goods mix effortlessly with found objects, artworks, and vintage GAP fashions (specifically made in the USA) and incredibly smart and sturdy denim sweaters by Made in Lieu (made in Greenpoint). The Perfect Nothing Catalog lives in an summer eden in contrast to the city’s steamy concrete – an enchanting summer shopping experience.

  14. 07.18.13
    Sighted
    Leon Ransmeier on Herman Miller’s Why Blog

    Most design fans know Leon Ransmeier’s name — and the minimalist, hyper-functional work he’s known for — and yet he flies relatively under the radar in the New York scene, with very selective participation in pop-up shops, exhibitions, and even industry parties (the ones that aren’t thrown by yours truly, of course). It’s a smart strategy, in a way, because whenever he does pop his head up, we take particular notice. Earlier this week, an as-told-to essay appeared on Herman Miller’s newly relaunched Why blog, exploring his ideas about contemporary tables and table usage (Ransmeier recently debuted the AGL worktable for HM) — complete with photos of New York City tables both real and makeshift — and we couldn’t resist reposting it here for your enjoyment.

  15. 07.09.13
    Sighted
    Pippa Drummond’s “Above (Series 1)”

    The Auckland-born, New York City–based photographer Pippa Drummond is Sight Unseen’s newest soon-to-be contributor, but when we were first introduced to her photography, it was the low-key but lovely portraits and coolly moody interiors that caught our eye. We had no idea at the time that she had this hiding in her portfolio. Above (Series 1) is a collaboration with prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky, and it reminds us a bit of Carl Kleiner’s Ikea cookbook photographs (which is interesting, considering Drummond’s other passion is food — she’s got a cookbook of own in the works, and she assisted on the Amagansett-based shoot for Gwynnie’s latest. Yes, we ARE jealous). But the organized clutter here isn’t pantry staples but rather cheapo salon items that Drummond and Bartoshesky have turned into something almost beautiful.

  16. 07.03.13
    At Home With
    Annie Larson, knitwear designer

    If you follow Annie Lee Larson’s Instagram — and chances are good that you do, considering the New York knitwear designer’s followers almost tip into the five digits — you might envision that she lives in some Peter Halley-meets-Memphis–inspired fantasyland, all primary colors, geometric patterns, and kitschy throwback accessories (hello Bananagrams!) But the truth is, Larson’s 5th-floor East Village walk-up doesn’t appear all that crazy upon first glance. A pretty but small, light-filled, plant-friendly apartment, the place is largely decorated in black and white, save for a trio of painted shelves where Larson keeps her most prized possessions, and a one-two punch of colorful striped and polka-dot bedding. It’s only upon closer inspection (and I mean, really close, considering Larson’s love of miniatures) that her oft-photographed influences begin to reveal themselves — dice, Swatch watches, Japanese toys, and ’80s electronics among them.

  17. 07.01.13
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    Jesse Moretti at Mondo Cane

    A few weeks ago, someone on our Facebook page coined the term “zigzag expressionism” to describe the current prevailing aesthetic in art and graphic design. At the time, we laughed, gave the comment a thumbs up, and moved on. But in the weeks since, the phrase has stuck with us — and never more so than when we caught a glimpse on Instagram of the work of recent Cranbrook MFA grad Jesse Moretti, on view now at Mondo Cane gallery in New York. What we like about this phrase in general is its laughable obviousness, but in the context of Moretti’s work it actually does describe not only a visual language but a thematic one as well.

  18. 06.28.13
    Eye Candy
    Lydia Adler Okrent, Performer/Designer

    Lydia Adler Okrent’s collection of neckwear entitled ‘Dirty Danny’ reeks a special blend of Sculpey, leather, paper and rubber tubing (some of Okrent’s accessory making materials). The range is inspired by a 2007 article in Butt magazine chronicling the uncouth life of an Amsterdam homo hobo. Okrent refers to her work as ‘neckwear’ and makes a new piece to wear herself or give to a friend nearly everyday.

  19. 06.18.13
    Sighted
    Paul Loebach Q+A on Core77

    One of the things we love so much about the website Core77 is that it makes the very wide, sometimes dry world of industrial design feel like such a small, warm, tight-knit community; it’s all that insider info, combined with a jovial, conversational tone and a knack for rounding up essays and other up-close-and-personal content from so many great design voices. We’re all about the up-close-and-personal here at Sight Unseen, so we love it every time Core starts a new series devoted to things like entrepreneur profiles and Proust questionnaires; their newest column — called, simply, the Core77 Questionnaire — is only two subjects old, and we’re already looking forward to finding out what the designers we admire love and hate about their job, how they procrastinate, and where they see themselves in 10 years. Last week’s interview was with an old SU mainstay, the Brooklyn furniture and product designer Paul Loebach, whose responses we’ve excerpted here for your reading pleasure.

  20. 06.14.13
    Eye Candy
    Cody Hoyt, Artist

    Cody Hoyt skillfully blends the natural hues of clay to create contemporary motifs, forming the earth material into angular shaped vessels. A perfect home for a succulent plant. Marbled, dotted, wave-y stripes flow over the vases sharp-cornered edges. Hoyt’s ceramic beauties are made by hand in his Brooklyn studio.

  21. 06.13.13
    The Making of
    Rachel Hulin’s Flying Baby Series

    The photographs in Rachel Hulin’s Flying Series, in which her baby Henry appears to float in the landscape, have a dreamy, almost magical quality to them, but they started in the most pedestrian of ways: Hulin was kind of bored. A new mom who’d recently relocated from Brooklyn to Providence, Rhode Island, she says, “I was looking for a project to sink my teeth into while I was home with Henry when he was so little. I was trying figure out motherhood and the whole thing seemed so weird to me.” A former blogger and photo editor who’d spent the better part of nine years constantly looking at pictures, she was aware of a genre of photos called “floaters” and was interested in the figure in landscape as well — “finding a beautiful scene and somehow making it more personal by putting someone you love in it,” she says. She never expected to do a floating series of her own, but once she did one photo, she was kind of hooked. “Partly it was being in a new city, trying to find special places with a baby,” she says. “It was a nice thing to do together. It became what we did in the afternoons.”

  22. 06.07.13
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    The Campana Brothers at Friedman Benda

    If you’re a longtime reader of Sight Unseen, you know it’s rare that we write about a big-name designer. In part, it’s a question of access — it’s far easier to get an RCA grad on the phone than, say, Hella Jongerius. But it’s also a question of ubiquity: If you read a bunch of design blogs, you’re going to hear about something like Yves Behar’s new Smart Lock until your face falls off. But the Campana Brothers — despite being one of the biggest names in design — have somehow always eluded that extreme ubiquity.

  23. 06.03.13
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2013, Part V: The Rest

    New York Design Week may already feel like a distant memory, but we couldn’t move on to covering the upcoming Design Miami Basel fair — or start publishing all the amazing studio visits and house tours we’ve been saving up for the past few weeks — without doing one last post about all the offsite shows we saw (and didn’t see) during this year’s ICFF. From magnified eyeballs to garbage arches to our favorite watering can of all time, check out the official Sight Unseen roundup below.

  24. 05.28.13
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2013, Part III: Jambox at Noho Next

    This year’s Noho Next show didn’t just look amazing — it sounded amazing, too. That’s because in the exhibition’s flagship space, Sight Unseen created a special installation for Noho Design District sponsor Jawbone, a kind of video listening area decked out not only with the brand’s latest wireless speakers, but with an array of furnishings and objects culled from some of our very favorite designers — from Paul Loebach to Tom Dixon. Styled with the help of Seattle’s Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, the space invited Noho Next visitors to kick back, relax, and experience the sound of Jawbone’s latest BIG JAMBOXES, which are newly available in more than 100 customizable color combinations. Check out the setup after the jump, plus watch the seven designer-made videos that Sight Unseen hand-picked to screen over the weekend.

  25. 05.23.13
    What We Saw
    At New York Design Week 2013, Part I: The Noho Design District

    Each time we start to celebrate the end of yet another successful edition of our Noho Design District project — this one being our fourth, if you can believe it — it’s not long before a certain realization hits us like a ton of bricks: We only really get a few short months to recover before we have to start the process allllll over again. We began planning in the fall for the 2013 edition of the show, which ran from May 17-20 and which we’ll be recapping on Sight Unseen today and tomorrow, and it’s almost impossible to fathom how much work could go into a four-day event that nevertheless flew by so quickly. There were spaces to secure (thanks, SubCulture!), flyers to finagle (thanks, Benjamin Critton!), and press-preview pastries to provide (thanks, The Smile!). And of course we had to find the perfect brand to partner with to help support all the amazing emerging talents we offer a platform to (thanks, Jawbone!). But in the end all that work would have amounted to naught had our exhibitors failed to bust out with some of the most stunning and inspiring designs we’ve ever shown, from the simplest concrete domino set to painstakingly elaborate chandeliers, light-up neon desks, and textile installations. In case you weren’t lucky enough to join us for this year’s event, we’ve put together a roundup of its highlights, the first half of which is featured in the slideshow at right; stay tuned for coverage of Noho Next, ICFF, and other offsite shows to come. And thanks to everyone who joined us this weekend!

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