For nine transformational years, Danish label Kvadrat and Prada co-creative director Raf Simons, have been shaking up the fashion system side-by-side; gracing the runways with elegant repurposed upholstery, formulating furniture and crafting other fuss-free fixtures. Now, the two subversives turn the page on their partisan past and begin an exciting new, cut-and-dried collaborative chapter: lifestyle accessories – who’d’ve thunk it?
Together, the contemporary Scandinavian textile innovator and the legendary designer are calling the new collection, The Shaker System. With a clear appreciation for fine craftsmanship and exacting standards, 26 items launched across two titillating instalments will examine the nuanced application of exceptional upholstery.
Considering the day-to-day, room-to-room lifestyle of potential users, Simons and Kvadrat ditched the aesthetic approach to designing and opted for a tactic that focussed on function and need instead, with a shared, unparalleled commitment to quality in mind. At once playful and deadly serious, The Shaker System is the cure to complexity, enforcing a refreshingly simple way of living and creating beauty from order. Simons wrote in the collection notes, “More than ever, the home is the absolute centre of our lives and I wanted to create a system that would change it for the better.”
The foundation of the edit is a sculpturally proportioned horizontal bar that acts as an adept storage system. Despite its industrial look, the repository feels rather artisanal and it can hold all the random shit you won’t be seen out of the house without – and then some. Elsewhere, a key chain, cap, tote bag, shopping bags, soft woollen throws, cushions, leather-clad mirror trays, accessory boxes, leather magazine straps and storage sleeves exhibit the four vivacious colourways available: pink, off-white, black and green.
All coated in Vidar 4, the collection’s emblematic fabric sets the mood and subtle nods to Jacques Adnet – the French decorative-arts designer whose métier was laminating furniture in leather – come across as somewhat generationally ambiguous.
With that in mind, inspired by 1970s Shaker culture, Simons formulated a unified family of accessories based on the notion of ‘one’ – one system, one colour, one textile, across the collection. Don’t worry, if that makes no sense and you’re wondering what the hell a Shaker is, we’ve got you covered. The Shakers were communities of people who – while known best for their being proponents of celibacy, their opposition to marriage and their belief in the second coming of Christ – gave rise to a way of living characterised by honesty and utility, and boasted ordered homes and simple, functional furniture.
What’s more, the minimalist sculptures of John McCracken – who defined his work by the use of monochromatic colours and homogeneous finishes – were also a source of inspiration to the creative cohort.
The Shaker System is for everybody; it’s simple, democratic and creative. So if you’re looking to try out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up your life, we suggest you don’t miss this.
Photography courtesy of Kvadrat.