Andrea Aranow

By Tom Ran

Published: April 15, 2014 under Textile

A sampling of Andrea Aranow's collection of textiles

Photo: Ace Hotel

Andrea Aranow is a collector and a scholar of textiles. She has turned her passion of woven fabrics into a career that spans five decades. Traveling the world over, Aranow’s research has exposed her to many indigenous cultures from the remote areas of China and mountainous regions in Peru to Afghanistan and Mexico. Her collection and knowledge has caught the attention of the British Museum where they purchased a significant part of her collection early on. As much as she is involved in academia, Aranow’s work has also attracted musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis where she’s designed and made clothes for them.

Though she is active in showing her collection publicly, there is still a lot more in her archive that has not been seen. Along with her son Caleb Sayan, Aranow is currently digitizing her collection for future purpose. Inventory has an interview with her in the latest issue and a selection of her American Quilts are now on view at Nepenthes.

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Alexander Girard Blankets From Herman Miller

By Tom Ran

Published: March 13, 2014 under Textile

Blankets designed by Alexander Girard for Herman Miller

Photo: Herman Miller

Late last year, Vitra released a collection of blankets designed by Alexander Girard. Next month will see Herman Miller do the same. As part of their new Objects collection, Herman Miller dove into their archives of patterns that Girard produced during his tenure as the director of textile. The blankets are woven by Pendleton from virgin wool and will be available in four color combinations. For those who prefer the more traditional color ways there is the black / white and natural / white versions. For those more color adventurous, you may consider the teal / aqua or orange / fuchsia. The latter is reminiscent of the pattern Girard designed for Braniff Airlines during the 1960s. The blankets will be available starting April 21st and retails for $289. via (NY Times)

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Vitra Blankets

By Tom Ran

Published: November 8, 2013 under Textile

Vitra wool blanket designed with the Dot Pattern by the Eames

Photo: Vitra

Vitra recently issued a line of Merino wool blankets based on familiar and not-so-familiar patterns from the design archives of Mid-Century Modern masters. The collection consists of six jacquard blankets which include iconic designs like the Dot Pattern by the Eames and Double Heart and Star patterns from Alexander Girard. Lesser known designs are also a part of the assortment. Circle Sections and Diagonal Lines, which are also designed by Alexander Girard. The blankets measure approximately 53″×78″. Not big enough for a king size bed but enough to replace your snuggie. The blankets are available at Nest. (via Selectism)

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Maharam NeoCon

By Tom Ran

Published: June 14, 2012 under Textile

Ottoman Stripe by Paul Smith

Photo: Maharam

Maharam once again elevates textile to an artform by working with world renown artists and designers. They introduced a new line of textiles this week at NeoCon in Chicago. Adding to their already impressive catalog, their new collaborative projects include designs from Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Paul Smith and Studio Job. Hella Jongerius and Paul Smith return with familiar patterns and imagery. Jongerius’s contribution include a representation in fabric form of her colorwheel sketches and iconic vases while Smith expands upon his signature stripes. Studio Job’s Farm and Farm Stripe is a colorful menagerie of animals and equipment intricately illustrated with a touch of folk art and humor. Konstantin Grcic’s designs aren’t highly decorative, rather they utilize traditional and advance techniques in production to create incredible textures and detailed effects. See all the designs after the jump.

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Maharam Relaunch

By Tom Ran

Published: May 10, 2012 under Textile

Henrik Tjærby The Hardwearing - The fabric is used for espadrilles.

Photo: Maharam

Maharam relaunches its site just in time for ICFF. In adapting with technology trends, the site has abandoned its use of flash and is html based. The new design is fresh, focused and minimal. All of its attention is on the collection and content! Yes content. A new section called Stories is overseen by Dung Ngo, the senior editor of architecture and design at Rizzoli. The focus will be on art and design with a list of contributors that include John Maeda, Maira Kalman, Stefan Sagmeister, Murray Moss, Steven Heller, and many others, all based on topics of their choice.

Nanna Ditzel is the subject on one of the site’s latest stories. Nanna Ditzel designed a fabric for Kvadrat, a textile company based in Denmark and distributed by Maharam, called Hallingdal. The fabric was celebrated this year at an exhibition titled Hallingdal 65 in Milan during Salone Internazionale del Mobile. The show included thirty two projects that incorporated the use of the fabric. Nine of those projects will be on view during ICFF at the Jil Sander showroom.

It’s exciting to see Maharam investing time and effort into these stories. The section is quite active already. We’re looking forward to seeing it grow and evolve.

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Erik Kvatek, Japanese Indigo: Boro

By Tom Ran

Published: May 3, 2012 under Textile

Eric Kvatek Japanese Indigo: Boro

Photo: Mondo Cane

Photographer Eric Kvatek has traveled the world shooting in some of the most exotic locations for brands like 45rpm, Prps, Free People and the premium Japanese clothing line, Kapital. He recently had a show at Nepenthes featuring his work in Central Mexico. But next month will see a different side of Kvatek. Instead of photographs, he’ll be exhibiting his personal collection of vintage Japanese indigo fabrics at Mondo Cane. He has managed to acquire some of the finest examples of the blue dyed textile. Mondo Cane explains:

“Photographer Eric Kvatek, on frequent trips to Japan, has scoured the early morning antique markets for these beautiful examples of Japanese indigo, some dating back to the early 1800s. These pieces are becoming almost impossible to find.”

Erik Kvatek, Japanese Indigo: Boro opens June 21st and runs through July 12th.

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Alya Kazakevich

By Raven Keller
Alya Kazakevich in her shop in the Lower East Side

Photo: Rose Callahan

On a damp and muggy summer morning on the Lower East Side, Alya Kazakevich slowly stitched up the edges of a leather coin purse and recalled her childhood in Eastern…

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By Tom Ran
Partners Robert Highsmith and Stefanie Brechbuehler

Photo: Samuel Bristow

Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith, are the partners behind Workstead. The two met at Rhode Island School of Design while studying architecture and opened their studio in 2009,…

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M.Nii John Moore

By Tom Ran
M.Nii Tailor, Waianae, Hawaii 1959

Photo: Tom McBride

The photo is one of the few relics that remain of M.Nii’s history. An image that recalls the golden age of American surf culture. Three friends in front…

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