Blurring the Lines Between Fashion and Furniture. Both deeply rooted in self-expressionism, the connection between fashion and furniture has created many new horizons and presents consumers with access to a complete lifestyle experience that speaks to specific fashion tastes.
Fashion and furniture design have always revolved around the same creative sphere, simultaneously corresponding together. Merging fashion and furniture is not unusual as both worlds have never been so closely aligned. The crossover between the two art forms has notably increased in the past few years as a result of the wide availability of digital media. With the fashion industry paving through multidisciplinary approaches, more designers are starting to broaden their design palette and expanding to the business of interiors.
The bilateral relationship between the two can even be traced back as far as the 18th century. This was explored in one of Met Museum’s exhibits opened in 2004, titled “Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century”. The exhibition was announced as the theme of the same year’s Met Gala. The exhibition displayed a series of clothing and furniture from 18th century France. Fashion and furniture of the era merged ideals of beauty and pleasure through their forms and embellishments. This can be evidently shown in the period’s opulent costumes that were heavily influenced by Rococo and Neoclassical interiors of the period.
One of the reasons why these two industries are so closely aligned and can merge harmoniously is that they both serve as creative outlets for individuals to express themselves and channel their individualities, projecting them into a physical form. Whether it’s through the perfect dress, sofa set, jewelry, or nightstand, expressing an individual style is a significant aspect of existing in today’s society. In addition, both fashion and furniture possess key elements that they share in common, including textures, fabrics, finishing, exquisite design and meticulous attention to detail.
Many fashion houses have noticed consumer’s enthusiasm for fashion often transfers to their interior choices, fueled by ready-to-access trends that have given them the means to quickly correlate their sartorial choices with the way they decorate their homes. This synthesis of fashion and interior design presents consumers with access to a complete lifestyle experience that speaks to specific fashion tastes.
While furniture design may be uncharted territory for many fashion designers, it’s not a new scene for well-established fashion houses that have established their luxury living lines. Names such as Ralph Lauren Home, Missoni Home, Fendi Casa, Versace Home, Armani Casa and Casa Loewe have been long time-players of the industry as these fashion houses have straddled both worlds since as early as the 1980s.
Expanding beyond garments not only strengthens a business by increasing brand recognition, but it also allows these fashion houses to earn high profits from the luxury home and furniture sector. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the profit is forecasted to reach $27 billion by 2020.
These phenomenons have led to the birth of many unforgettable fashion and furniture collaborations introduced to the creative scene. Here are some of the most notable recent crossovers that have resulted in new creative horizons in both industries.
Moschino x Gufram
In 2017, Moschino along with Italian furniture manufacturer Gufram, launched a special collaboration in the form of a capsule collection named “Moschino Kisses Gufram”. The collection utilizes irony, humor, and provocation as elements that constitute the style of these two brands. Their most iconic piece, the “Zipped Lips!” Couch is a modern take on Salvador Dali’s “Mae West Lips Sofa” designed in 1970, updating the surrealist classic for the fashion house’s first foray into furniture.
Maison Martin Margiela x Cerruti Baleri
Well-known for manufacturing superb interior design products, Italian furniture company Cerruti Baleri enlisted the talent of Maison Martin Margiela and launched a special collaboration project in 2010. Together, both developed a set of furniture pieces, including Surrealism-inspired furniture including, “Groupe”, a sofa that incorporates three armchairs, and “Emmanuelle”, an armchair wrapped in white cotton canvas. The collaboration represents the perfect synthesis between Margiela’s creativity and style and Cerruti Baleri’s savoir-faire.
Balenciaga x Crosby Studios
In 2019, Harry Nuriev, founder of architecture studio, Crosby Studio has teamed up with Balenciaga to unveil a special edition furniture piece, “The Balenciaga Sofa”. Intended to promote environmentally conscious design, giving generations of garments another life by converting them into a functional piece of art. The transparent vinyl couch was filled with discarded clothing from the French fashion house.
M/M Paris Studio x Miu Miu
For Milan Design Week 2019, Miu Miu partnered with Paris-based design and creative agency M/M Paris studio to release a special limited-edition “M/Matching Colorstool”. A stool crafted from linden wood, the design features systematically distributed perforations inviting users to express themselves with 300 chubby match sticks. Presented like a board game, or a puzzle, users can personalize the surface of the stool with the matchsticks that come in twelve different colors and can be used to create different designs.
Zandra Rhodes x IKEA
Recently, IKEA has announced its collaboration with British designer Zandra Rhodes, set to launch in November 2021. The 26-piece collection called “The Karismatisk collection” features vases, covers, candles, rugs, lampshades and most notably, Rhodes’ take on IKEA’s most iconic Frakta shopping bag, which was also famously reimagined by Virgil Abloh in his 2019 collection for Ikea. Presented in her signature “loud and proud” colour palette, the Karismatisk collection has been in the works for more than two years and Rhodes was influenced by our growing attachment to domestic life throughout the pandemic. For the collection, Rhodes worked closely with Ikea’s in-house designer Paulin Machado to develop the products.
Jeremy Scott x Lovesac
In August 2021, Moschino’s Creative Director, Jeremy Scott unveiled another fashion and furniture collaboration, this time partnering with the Lovesac Company, the home furnishing brand known for its Sacs. Releasing limited-edition exclusive Sac covers, Scott was inspired by his upbringing in Missouri, working with premium patchwork design inspired by his family tradition of exchanging hand-sewn quilts. With his signature style of reinventing pop culture, he transformed pieces of sustainably sourced cotton into a collaboration that provides a unique piece of hand-crafted furniture that marries the aesthetics of traditional quilting with the functionality, coziness, and comfort of modern seating. (Text Sharrona Valezka)