KVADRAT/RAF SIMONS LAUNCHES A NEW LIFESTYLE ACCESSORIES CONCEPT
The 9 year long collaboration between Kvadrat and Raf Simons is entering a new chapter: lifestyle accessories. This August Kvadrat/Raf Simons launches The Shaker system: a new concept for the home, resetting how we live and creating beauty from order. A total habitat, it is a salve for a complex contemporary life. A storage system and a range of accessories honouring utility, function and rethinking materiality, and by reflecting those values bringing meaning and artistry to the home. The Shaker system comes in four colours.
The foundation is a horizontal bar inspired by the Shaker peg rail, but sculptural in its proportions. The use of a single colour sets the atmosphere. The protagonist of the system is Vidar 4, the emblematic fabric of the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection. Simons uses it to upholster the bar, for most of the accessories and to set the palette.
While living in the US, Simons developed a deep appreciation of the Shaker culture, whose ordered homes and simple functional furniture are considered the first modern American design. The Shaker culture gave rise to a way of living characterised by honesty and utility, which greatly influenced artists such as Donald Judd. In designing the bar, Simons was also inspired by the minimalist sculptures of John McCracken, who used colour intensity and surface finish as a means of expression.
The result is the Shaker system for the home of today, a unified family of accessories based around the power of one – one system, one colour, one textile – and infused with his fashion signifiers.
“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. I am trained as an industrial designer, just putting out beautiful products was not enough. I wanted to conceive something relevant to how we live today.” Raf Simons
Underpinned by his conceptual vision, Simons made comfort, tactility and atmosphere central tenets of The Shaker system.
The Kvadrat/Raf Simons Shaker system defines a space and keeps order by providing a place to hang all the accessories. The bar can also have a life of its own, sculptural almost and precisely tailored, it feels artisanal rather than industrial. In wrapping the bar Simons took cues from the French decorative arts designer Jacques Adnet who clad furniture in leather and made it his métier.
Raf Simons continues: “I really wanted to design something that can be anywhere in terms of its non-pretentiousness but, on the other hand, has scale. So it could be very architectural and define
a space or it could also work in a 35 square metre apartment in Tokyo, for example.”
The Kvadrat/Raf Simons collaboration is founded upon Simons’ curiosity about pushing the boundaries of upholstery fabric, bringing a richer, more nuanced application of colour and texture to the interior. Re-colouring and expanding the palette of Vidar was a seminal project. For the Shaker system he chose four signature Vidar 4 colours – off-white, pink, green and black – each of which brings a different expression or mood. Other materials such as leather,
wool or cashmere are colour-matched to the Vidar 4 tones.
The single colour brings harmony and invites the eye to look more closely. To register outlines and structures. To sense the characteristics of the different materials used for the accessories – Vidar 4’s satin surface and grainy tactility, matte leather, soft rippled cashmere, and pure wool.
The accessories are edited by rooms. A distillation of need and desire and the result of an investigation by Simons and the development team into how people act and what makes them feel really at home. As Simons explains: “Originally the idea was to think about a whole house, room by room, not literally, but more a way of thinking – how do we actually live. We didn’t approach it from an aesthetic point of view,
it was about function and needs and we really put ourselves into the skins of the users.”
Thinking of the entry, there is a key chain, cap, tote bag and shopping bags. The living room has soft woollen throws and cushions, handsome leather-clad mirror tray and accessory boxes, leather magazine strap and storage sleeves. Each piece lovely on its own but better together.
As a designer of fashion and textiles, Raf Simons is a game changer, a master of moods and juxtapositions from sartorial detailing to street culture, with an innate ability to foretell taste. With the Shaker system he turns his attention to the whole home, demonstrating a deep understanding of the everyday and the exceptional, and how they can be one and the same.
It’s personal and a homecoming for the designer himself. “I’ve moved a lot, from Europe to America and back, always having to organise myself in a new home. There are all these trends telling you how you should cope but I never found the right system, the clever beautiful one. So this really came from a personal need.”
The Shaker system is Raf Simons’ version of the now and the future, informed by historical and classic references, and setting a foundation for a new way of living. Technically innovative and produced to exacting standards, it exemplifies the shared values of the eight-year-long partnership Kvadrat/Raf Simons, and takes it into new territory, transcending categories with a singular vision.
“I hope it’s inspiring for people who like to buy small objects with the same minds as when they
buy a chair or something, you put it in the context of your environment.”
The Shaker system consists of 26 items available in 4 colourways and will be launched in two collections. The first collection is launching August 10, 2022.
For the complete overview and dealer information, please check
About Kvadrat/Raf Simons
The Kvadrat /Raf Simons collection brings the acclaimed designer’s exceptional sense of style to the home.
Distinguished by the innovative blending of colour and materials for which he is known in the fashion world, Raf Simons’ collection of textiles and accessories for the home is by turns sophisticated and playful, and produced to the exacting standards associated with Kvadrat. Conceived as a suite of diverse yet complementary tones, weaves and textures, the textiles and accessories are suitable for use in a wide variety of interiors, and work beautifully together in a multitude of inventive combinations.
The collaboration between Kvadrat and Raf Simons is built on a mutual appreciation for fine craftsmanship. The collection is based on materials that both reflect Kvadrat’s commitment to quality,
and Raf Simons’ refined elegance.
The first Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection received its debut public airing unannounced in January 2014,
in an appropriately fashionable setting. Textiles from the collection were used in Raf Simons’ highly acclaimed menswear collection in collaboration with artist Sterling Ruby. Since then, the Kvadrat/Raf Simons upholstery designs have graced the runways on more than one occasion.
About Raf Simons
Born in Belgium in 1968, Simons studied industrial design in Genk. Inspired by the work of designers such as Martin Margiela, he moved to Antwerp, where the head of the Fashion Department at the city’s Royal Academy encouraged him to start his own label without further study. Launched in 1995, Raf Simons menswear—informed both by classic tailoring and youth culture—had a huge impact on the style of the decade. In 2005 Simons became artistic director of the Jil Sander label, which under his tenure became known for its vital, sophisticated modernism. In 2012 he was named creative director of Dior Women, a position that he held until late in 2015.During his time as Chief Creative Officer of American fashion label Calvin Klein from 2016 to 2018, he has been awarded Designer of the Year 2017 for both his Menswear and Womenswear collections and for his Womenswear collection in 2018. In April 2020 Simons joined the Prada brand as Co-Creative Director, working in partnership with Miuccia Prada. A passionate collector of contemporary art and modern design, Simons’ aesthetic is often informed by his admiration for art and he regularly engages in interdisciplinary collaborations.
Kvadrat was established in Denmark in 1968 and has deep roots in Scandinavia’s world-famous design tradition. A leader in design innovation, Kvadrat produces quality contemporary textiles and textile-related products for architects, designers and private consumers across the world.
Our products reflect our commitment to colour, quality, simplicity and innovation. We consistently push the aesthetic, technological and functional properties of textiles. In doing so, we collaborate with leading designers, architects and artists, including Miriam Bäckström, Raf Simons, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson,Alfredo Häberli, Akira Minagawa, Peter Saville, Roman Signer, Doshi Levien and Patricia Urquiola.
For images and further questions, please contact:
tel. + 46 73 663 76 12
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