Stephen Kenn dives into the pwr of design, inspirations & long-lasting drops
Meet Stephen Kenn, the designer behind the design studio which gets his own name. Since 2011, this Canadian native artist tests leather goods & shapes them 2 last longer (both designs nd materials).
Proudly makin' everything local, the LA-based atelier brings new-ins from sofas to bags that are focused on reimagining the day-to-day w/ loads of repurposed materials.
Check right here our chat w/ Stephen 👇.
How does curiosity lead the way in your work?
I always have a project going, either for a client or new development or art. These projects always bring up a host of questions and when I go down the road of finding answers, ideas arise. My curiosity comes from wanting to do things in a new way. I love learning how it has been done in the past but my passion is in how I can do it using different materials or inventing new processes.
All that curiosity came to light in 2011 when Stephen ripped off his own sofa to check on how it was made 2 get to know its structure. What did that result? Oh, just The Inheritance Collection 👌. This epic collection presents customized sofas, benches, tables, even bed designs.
In the Inheritance Collection, you used a steel frame, leather straps, and cushions made from WWII military shelters, right? How does something like that happen?
I begin with the goal of reducing a functional form (let’s say a sofa for example) and think about what can be removed. Once the frame is simple, the supports are simple and the comfort is simple, I choose materials and finishes that will age well over time.
U have done a hell of an out work with leather — from bags to sofas. What is it about leather you think people are so passionate about?
I think there is something nostalgic about leather & it’s also a natural material. These two things are comforting and give people a sense of quality. I love watching leather age and not being too precious with it.
On the subject of things that can last 4ever, The Encounter Collection is all 'bout passing leather goods from one generation to the next. So if u have a thing for ✈ around the 🌍, u better check drops like the Overnight Bag & Travel Duffle made from vegetable-tanned leather. One word for them: timeless.
Quick question: share some designers/brands that are on your mind right now.
✂ Estudio Persona
✂ Jeremy Mok
✂ Klein Agency
✂ Jason Koharik
✂ Mike Amiri
Talking 'bout inspiration, what inspires you the most from outside the design zone?
Problems. Right now homelessness inspires me to think about solutions more than anything else. Problems are the most inspiring things in my life.
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