Two pieces of furniture from Kawakubo’s own private collection are featured in an auction alongside designs by Ettore Sottsass and Niki de Saint Phalle
In Paris, what is today Comme des Garçons’ dedicated perfume shop on Place du Marché Saint-Honoré was once, in the late 80s, an outpost selling the brand’s furniture. From 1983 to 1993, Rei Kawakubo designed pieces to sit alongside the collections in Comme des Garçons stores, “to create a complete environmental setting for the clothes”. Incorporating the avant-garde and unexpected features championed in her clothing designs, Kawakubo’s furniture was an extension of the Comme des Garçons ethos: chairs were made with chain backs, brass seats or angular steel frames.
Two pieces of Kawakubo-designed furniture from 1987 have gone on sale in a Chicago auction this afternoon, straight from the designer’s own private collection. Both pieces are chairs with steel frames and quadrant-shaped seats and two chains forming the backs, the overall effect erring more towards sculpture than functional furniture. Following a Paris exhibition of Kawakubo’s furniture designs staged in 2017, the rare chairs are estimated to sell for upwards of $10,000 at today’s auction, where they are presented alongside designs by the likes of Ettore Sottsass, Niki de Saint Phalle and Frank Lloyd Wright. The designer has said of her process when it comes to furniture: “It is an undeniable fact that design is reflective of the designer’s personality. Though I do not view myself as harsh and stark. If I must characterise the essence of my furniture design, it is: simplicity.”
Head to Wright Auctions for more information.