Tag Archives: retail

  1. 07.02.15
    Q+A
    Portuguese Designer Célia Esteves of GUR Rugs

    While Portugal is probably best known, these days, for manufacturing clothing and shoes for big brands like COS, Zara, and Camper — or if you’re a product designer, for supplying 50% of the world’s cork — Porto-based designer and printmaker Célia Esteves homed in on its longtime flat-weave rug-making tradition when she founded GUR two years ago. After meeting a weaver in her hometown of Viana de Castelo, who for 15 years had been handcrafting the style of rug that she’d seen on “every Portuguese kitchen floor” since she was a child, Esteves decided to hire the weaver to use the same technique to produce colorful limited-edition designs commissioned from illustrators she knew and admired, like Atelier Bingo and Ferreol Babin. We recently interviewed Esteves about the project, which has collabs with Après Ski and Reality Studio on the way; scroll down to read more about how she transformed a local craft into a contemporary design brand.

  2. 06.26.15
    Sighted
    L.A.’s Newest Design Brand, TOOOLS

    Back in 2012, we wrote about the launch of a gallery called Beginnings in Brooklyn, which, a year later, met an untimely and unfortunate end. But two of the gallery’s founders have since gone on to forge a new (ahem) beginning, this time giving it a far less superstitious name: TOOOLS, a Los Angeles–based object-design company recently started by artist Caroline Hwang and designer Joel Speaskmaker that aims to be “a new company with an old ethos: form & function.” See what the duo have to say about the project, and see tons of images, after the jump.

  3. 06.26.15
    Top 5
    Transparent Jewelry

    A periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, featuring five of our favorite recent examples. Today, the subject is transparent jewelry, which has evolved beyond its ’60s pop connotations to encompass designs both subtle and edgy.

  4. 06.13.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of June 8, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: a look inside Andreas Murkudis’s new full-service design outpost in Berlin, a sneak peek at our favorite projects launching at Design Miami/Basel next week, and our first picks from this year’s degree shows, starting with the vanity above.

  5. 06.10.15
    Top 5
    Dust Pans

    Our Top 5 column is a periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, with five of our favorite recent examples highlighted in each post. Today, the subject is dust pans, whose utilitarian beauty is being rediscovered by a new generation of retailers and designers.

  6. 05.19.15
    Sight Unseen Presents
    Print All Over Me HOME

    Sight Unseen is the exclusive curator of the new PAOM HOME line, where our job is to help choose what kinds of objects to feature and then to invite up-and-coming illustrators, artists, and designers to contribute prints to those items. For the inaugural collection — which features IKEA slipcovers, plant cozies, pillows, linen throws, beanbags, cushions, and more — we selected four powerhouse female design studios: Caitlin Mociun, Pia Howell, Studiopepe, and Alex Proba. Get a 20% off discount code after the jump!

  7. 04.20.15
    Sighted
    Aelfie x Studio Proba Rugs

    For the rest of this week, we’ll be bombarding you with our favorite finds from last week’s Milan furniture fair, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t first highlight one of the best things to recently launch on our shores: A colorfully graphic series of limited-edition rugs, pillows, and prints that represent a powerhouse collaboration between two Brooklyn designers, Alex Proba of A Poster a Day, and rug designer Aelfie Oudghiri. The two designers have strangely similar backgrounds — both attended medical school in Europe before finding their way to Brooklyn’s collaborative design community — as well as a complementary aesthetic that’s heavy on geometry and asymmetry.

  8. 03.31.15
    Eye Candy
    Acme Releases Deadstock Memphis Objects

    It was only a week and a half ago that we reported on a cache of original, made-in-the-80s Memphis jewelry designs that the brand ACME has spent the past few months pulling from its archives and posting for sale on its Legacy website (where it appears that even more designs, particularly those by Peter Shire, have since been added). But we had to come in for round two today when we found out that, just this morning, Acme unleashed the motherlode: actual objects, long unavailable and highly rarefied, by the likes of Ettore Sottsass, Andrea Branzi, and Aldo Rossi. Many of them are original prototypes, some of them are one-of-a-kind, and none of them were ever put into mass production. We’ve posted a selection of the offerings after the jump, along with the bits of history provided by ACME — get them before the collectors do!

  9. 03.30.15
    Top 5
    Incense Burners

    We love design thinking. We love interior design, landscape design, fashion design, and architectural design. We love design for social change, and design for public spaces. But it’s hardly a shocker to admit that we’ve got a particularly soft spot for the design of objects, and as such we’re constantly looking for new ways to highlight them — mostly with in-depth backstories and maker profiles, but sometimes, as in our Eye Candy and Saturday Selects posts, with a simple tip of our hats as well. Our newest column, Top 5, is just that: a straightforward, periodic nod to object typologies both obscure and ubiquitous, with five of our favorite recent examples of that typology highlighted in each post. Today, the subject is incense burners, whose proliferation among makers and ceramicists we’ve been noting for some time now. From geometric compositions to simple brass balls, in no particular order, see our picks after the jump.

  10. 03.23.15
    What They Bought
    Julia Leonard of Either Way LA

    “I sometimes think I wear too many hats,” says Julia Leonard, the Los Angeles–based artist, interior designer, curator, gallery owner, and shopkeeper, whose backyard retail venture Either Way LA — an every Sunday sale of thrifted or commissioned pieces — has recently become a hit via Instagram and word of mouth. Since moving from San Francisco a little more than four years ago, LA has offered her the chance, as it does to so many, to start over. In San Francisco, where she had studied, worked, and lived for over a decade, she had been teaching alongside her art practice. However Los Angles marked the opportunity to focus on her art, giving her a fresh perspective: “I even dress differently,” she admits wryly.

  11. 03.18.15
    Sighted
    Acme Legacy’s Archival Memphis Jewelry

    After our recent post on jewelry created by famous ’80s-era Memphis-group architects, readers came to us asking where they could find the pieces (good luck), while even copies of the out-of-print book we pulled the images from immediately became exponentially harder to procure (for under $350, at least). And so despite the excitement the post generated, it was destined to remain a mere digital artifact for most. That’s why we were so happy to discover, shortly thereafter, Acme’s Legacy collection, through which the 30-year-old accessories brand — which these days focuses on designer pens — has been quietly pulling Memphis jewelry pieces out of its archives and making them available for sale at shockingly reasonable price points. From 1985 to 1992, Acme founders Adrian Olabuenaga and Leslie Bailey produced more than 100 different earrings, brooches, and necklaces by design titans like Ettore Sottsass, Joanna Grawunder, Alessandro Mendini, and George Sowden, a big chunk of which are now up for grabs on its Legacy page. We asked Olabuenaga a few questions about the history and future of the project.

  12. 03.10.15
    Sight Unseen Presents
    Think Big! Our First LA Pop-up, at Space 15 Twenty

    If you’ve been following our Instagram, you know that we’ve been spending an awful lot of time in Los Angeles lately. Last Thursday, we finally revealed why (aside from an obvious need to escape New York’s subzero temps and un-meltable snowdrifts). Our latest pop-up — and our first-ever venture in LA — opened last Thursday at Space 15 Twenty, the Los Angeles Urban Outfitters concept shop and sister store to Brooklyn’s Space Ninety 8, where we hosted a similar event last fall. Called Think Big!, the pop-up is inspired by a 1980s-era Soho store of the same name, which featured scaled-up versions of everyday objects.

  13. 03.07.15
    Saturday Selects
    Week of March 1, 2015

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: A glimpse into the past (the three-year-old side table, pictured above, we can’t believe we overlooked), present (six can’t-miss art exhibitions happening now), and future (four pieces launching in Milan next month).

  14. 03.02.15
    Sighted
    Dusen Dusen Home

    The past few years have proven that — every once in a while — a fashion label can make a successful, mostly non-embarrassing crossover into furniture and housewares. Margiela, Hermès, and Rick Owens all come to mind, but who better than a textile designer to make the leap? At last week’s Capsule show, Ellen Van Dusen of the Brooklyn-based clothing brand Dusen Dusen launched a brand new line of soft goods for the home that feature her signature geometric patterns — sheets, blankets, rugs, towels, pillows, and a pouf — and the extension feels totally natural, like it was meant to be. Today she’s giving Sight Unseen a first peek at the line’s lookbook photos, which were shot by SU contributor Brian Ferry and feature cameos by both SNL comedian Aidy Bryant and Van Dusen’s official canine mascot, Snips.

  15. 01.16.15
    From the Library Of
    Lisa Mayock: Welcome to Big Biba

    If there’s anyone we would trust to guide us through the annals of vintage fashion literature, it’s Lisa Mayock, co-founder of the sadly defunct, cool-girl label Vena Cava and now a Brooklyn-based creative consultant. So we were pretty thrilled when we sent out a call for this column a few months back and Mayock immediately responded with one of her most beloved and referenced books, BIG BIBA: Inside the Most Beautiful Store in the World. The book traces the short life of the 7-story Big Biba department store, which opened in 1973 after the fashion label’s massive success as first a mail-order catalog and then a series of London boutiques.

  16. 01.13.15
    Sighted
    New Textiles by Alyson Fox for Ferm Living

    When we profiled the designer and artist Alyson Fox last year, on a visit to the home she and her husband built themselves in the wilds of Texas, we spent much of the story marveling at the sheer, unrelenting range and volume of her creative output. Which is to say: We could theoretically be writing about some new project of hers every week if we wanted to — she’s just that prolific. We won’t go there, of course, yet when of-the-moment Danish housewares brand Ferm Living offered to let us be the first to share the new line it’s done in collaboration with Fox, in advance of revealing its full 2015 collection to the world tomorrow, we figured it was as good a time as any to check in with the talent.

  17. 12.13.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of December 8, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: three new jewelry lines we’re coveting, our top must-have from the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt museum (above), and are speckles the new squiggles? You be the judge.

  18. 12.11.14
    Sight Unseen Presents
    Visit Us This Weekend at Tinseltown, With Refinery29

    Last week we shared with you our official Sight Unseen holiday gift guides, which were full of links to our most-coveted design and fashion items this year. But for those of you who prefer to browse in person — and will be in New York this weekend — we’re taking our wish lists IRL at Tinseltown, Refinery 29’s annual holiday shopping event, which we’re co-hosting this year. Sight Unseen has invited seven amazing vendors to offer their wares for sale: Alex Proba, Best Made Company, Bower, CHIAOZZA, Dusen Dusen, Fredericks & Mae, and MAKE Cosmetics. Refinery29 are hosting RillRill and Print All Over Me, plus a cat-themed boutique and a hairstyling bar. Best of all, CHIAOZZA’s Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza will be on hand all weekend offering personalized papier-mâché plants, so you can choose custom colors and patterns and get them painted for you on the spot! It’s all happening at OpenHouse in Nolita, 201 Mulberry Street, on December 13 and 14, from 12PM to 8PM each day.

  19. 12.03.14
    The Essentials
    75 Gifts We’re Coveting — Ryland

    Welcome to Sight Unseen’s second annual gift guide, in which each member of the Sight Unseen team will share the 25 items they’re coveting at the moment. Today’s honors go to the newest third member of Sight Unseen: assistant editor Ryland Quillen. Gift guides are great because they not only tell you what cool things to buy for your loved ones but they also give you a sneak peek into the inner workings of the author’s brain. For example, Ryland likes: chunks of resin embedded in things, glyphs, figurative animal prints, and long walks on a rocky beach. If you do too, this is the list for you! Happy holidays!

  20. 12.02.14
    The Essentials
    75 Gifts We’re Coveting — Jill

    Welcome to Sight Unseen’s second annual gift guide, in which each member of the Sight Unseen team will share the 25 items they’re coveting at the moment. Yesterday we got a peek at Monica’s picks (from $10 chocolate bars to $10,000 chairs), and tomorrow we’ll be hearing from our assistant editor Ryland (dude loves himself a nude-colored seating element!) Today it’s Jill’s turn, and this year’s list doesn’t stray too far from the color scheme of 2013. Into blue, aqua, blush and brass? This is the list for you! Happy holidays!

  21. 12.01.14
    The Essentials
    75 Gifts We’re Coveting — Monica

    If you’re anything like us, you probably spent this weekend thinking less about buying new things and more about giving thanks for what you already have. But let’s be real: Gifting season is about to get seriously underway, and with that in mind we’ve put together a fantasy wish list of all the beautiful, considered design objects we’ve been eyeing lately. Welcome to Sight Unseen’s second annual gift guide, in which each member of the Sight Unseen team — Monica on Monday, Jill on Tuesday, and Ryland, our assistant editor, on Wednesday — will share the 25 items they’re coveting at the moment, from the attainable ($10 chocolate bars) to the wildly aspirational ($10,000 chairs). Happy holidays!

  22. 11.08.14
    Saturday Selects
    Week of November 3, 2014

    A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week, old meets new with the resurgence of Op-Art and a 1950s desk lamp, a(nother) Franz West show, and of course, the usual smattering of new work by young talents, including the latest collection from Brooklyn weaving duo New Friends (above).

  23. 10.30.14
    What They Bought
    Ouli

    Founded last year by longtime friends Scott Barry, a Cal Arts–educated graphic designer, and Brooke Intrachat, a CCA grad who was disillusioned with textile work, Ouli originally existed as a showroom, gallery, and pop-up retail space in Echo Park, in a tiny sun-filled storefront studio that was inherited from a mutual friend. There, the two exhibited their own burgeoning furniture and accessories line alongside the little-known work of friends and like-minded artists, and in the beginning, the space existed as some sort of halfway house for brilliant pieces without a home. “I knew a bunch of artists making work that didn’t fit into a gallery setting; it was more about the home,” says Barry. “And we also ended up showing contemporary sculptors in LA who were working under pseudonyms; typically they were people who had signed with a gallery but who weren’t making a ton of money. It was weird black-market stuff like that. An artist would drive up in his van and say, ‘Hey I just made 5 of these. Do you want them?'” Ouli quickly gained a cultlike following among Angelenos looking for something a bit off the beaten path, but just as quickly as it began, the retail enterprise was over; the two lost their space in August.

  24. 10.29.14
    Excerpt: Exhibition
    The I’m Revolting Stone Show at Kiosk

    A few weeks ago, I got an email from our friend Su Wu at I’m Revolting, asking if I’d be part of a show she was putting together for Kiosk. “Will you send me a stone?” she asked. “The show is of rocks; everybody loves looking at rocks! Me too: you know I move slowly on beaches. It can be a pebble from your morning walk or a pretty specimen, craggy or river-smooth, petrified, funny holes.” As someone whose daily routine hardly deviates from a straight line through the East Village, I didn’t have anything particularly suitable. But starting this week at Kiosk (and on Instagram at #stoneshow) you can find out who did. The results were delightfully inventive and weird: Albert Chu from OTAAT sent hot-pink Pop Rocks; Doug Johnston sent a solid piece of aluminum made from melted beer cans that people had thrown into a campfire; and Bari Ziperstein’s rock crystal, which dissolves in water, can only be cleaned with smelly vats of brine. Some of them were also surprisingly moving: “Lauren Ardis found her rock in Bolinas; it has a heart shaped indent in the back,” Wu says. “She used to make fun of her mom for collecting heart-shaped rocks; now, she laughs about getting more sentimental with age.” The rocks will be exhibited at Kiosk’s new location at 540 LaGuardia Place and placed at the base of a tree outside the shop when the exhibition ends. Here’s a snapshot of the submissions.

  25. 09.17.14
    Sight Unseen Presents
    Our Fall Pop-Up at Space Ninety 8

    Having branched into retail three years ago with the Sight Unseen Shop — plus a few pop-ups along the way — we can definitively say that the only thing better than buying beautiful objects for ourselves is putting them out into the world for the enjoyment of others. When Marissa Maximo, curator of Space Ninety 8 in Williamsburg, offered us 500 square feet in which to host an event for the month of September, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to bring the work of some of our favorite makers — most of it destined for our fall shop collection — to a much wider audience. Designed by Syrette Lew of Moving Mountains and on view now through October 5, the pop-up consists both of items we admire (Pat Kim’s Soap on a Rope, Heddle & Needle’s wall weavings) and items we’ve commissioned exclusively for the Sight Unseen Shop (Ian Anderson’s Oden pitchers, Sandwich Shop’s Shapes Vase and Two-Tone Artifact Mug). See photos of the space — and our packed opening-night party — after the jump.

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