Meet the Site Helping You Discover New Designers and Artists — Starting With These 14
Five years ago, software engineer Rachely Esman had just moved to San Francisco from her native Israel and was asking friends in the city for recommendations on how to furnish her home. She was directed to West Elm, Restoration Hardware, and all the other usual suspects, but no one could tell her where to source the kind of unique, small-batch objects that were more up her alley. (Apparently none of them were Sight Unseen readers!). Esman’s wheels started turning: She knew that hotels and other public spaces outfitted by in-the-know interior designers were the most obvious places to be exposed to independent design and art, but figuring out how to identify and buy the things she admired in those spaces was still a mystery. Wescover, the site she founded in 2016 with fellow engineer and fintech veteran Yoad Snapir, was an attempt to bridge the gap. “By surfacing this kind of information and documenting the world around us, we hoped to give that access to consumers,” Esman says.
When it launched, Wescover was an index of places and spaces — the Ace Hotels, De Maria restaurant in New York, Hauser & Wirth in LA — annotated with the names of artists and designers whose work they contained. Each of those creators in turn had their own page on the site. So if you were at an Ace and tried Googling who had made a certain chair in the lobby, you’d likely end up on Wescover, where you could find the designer, see their portfolio, and contact them directly. As the site grew more established, though, its functionality evolved. In addition to discovering objects in real life and then identifying them on Wescover, the goal of the site now leans more towards fostering discovery within its pages, specifically through the kind of contextual interior photography it preferences. “A lot of design marketplaces lead with white background images, but we believe that when it comes to furniture or art, seeing things in context makes a big difference,” says Esman. “It establishes the credibility of the artist, when you can see who’s purchased or used their pieces in an interior, and it gives consumers a better understanding of the work.”
Many designers and artists that we’ve loved and worked with for years have a presence on Wescover, like Asa Pingree, Robert Sukrachand, and artist Maja Dlugolecki. But true to the site’s name, we’ve also found talents there that are new to us, like Rebecca Jack, Adir Yakobi, and K’era Morgan. To give you a jumping off point for your own exploration of Wescover — whose sheer volume of offerings, nearly 90,000 at press time, require some patience to navigate — we’ve rounded up 14 of our favorite creators, both familiar and new, below. (Pictured at top: Rug by Okej.)
Photo courtesy of project designer Anna Karlin