Denim isn’t just something to live in—it’s something to live on—so we took our very favorite fabric and upholstered a super-limited-edition chair (and we mean limited—we only made five). Our head of visual design (the man behind our stores’ mellow vibe and graphic window installations) shares how he combined our denim with ABC Carpet and Home’s simple shape and his tips for staying inspired.
But let’s take a step back. In case you haven’t yet heard, we’re smack in the middle of Denim Every Day. It’s that wonderful time of year (full disclosure, we made it up because we love the blue stuff so much) when each morning for 24 days in a row, we’re unveiling one new, unexpected way to do jeans. Needless to say, we got a little creative. (Overalls-scented candle? Lit. Exclusive three-tone denim Vans® high-tops? Laced up.) Which brings us to this chair, the first time we’ve upholstered with our denim. Our visual designer Jay worked with our friends at ABC Carpet and Home, the New York–based design mecca, to bring the idea to life—and to you. Here, he shares a bit about the process.
On that very first sketch…
“We have furniture in every store and we always experiment with fabrics and leathers. We realized the one fabric we hadn’t played with is the one we love most: denim. It was a no-brainer for us.”
On picking the chair shape…
“A chair is pretty easy to work into a room, whether it’s our store or your apartment. We worked with our friends at ABC Carpet and Home on a simple frame. We created a steel base with smooth wooden arms—materials that look even better over time, just like denim.”
On finding that just-right color…
“We looked at a rainbow of blues before we landed on a classic indigo that can be worked into so many settings.”
Sometimes creativity needs a spark, so we asked for Jay’s advice on getting the wheels turning.
How to Get Inspired: A Primer from Jay
Go somewhere new.
“I love visiting Storm King Art Center and the contemporary museum Dia:Beacon in the Hudson Valley. It’s the perfect combination of being in awe of nature and inspired by works of art. (Great bookstore at Dia as well.)”
Reference the greats.
“I’m constantly inspired by musical art. Barney Bubbles designed some of the most iconic concert posters. Elvis Costello’s Live Stiffs has to be one of the best. Primal Scream’s Screamadelica cover looks like children’s art but manages to capture the time and sound of this record—one of the first to blend indie rock with house music. We even framed the poster in one of our stores.”
Spend a few minutes in a museum.
“You don’t need a whole afternoon at a museum to get a creative jolt. Even a half-hour visit to the Cooper Hewitt in New York leaves me with new ideas for displays and store installations.”
Remember that there’s design all around you.
“Cities are living installations that combine architecture, people, weather and atmosphere. Hands down, the best-designed city is Tokyo. I lived there for eight years and was inspired from the day I arrived to the day I left. It’s completely enigmatic—once you figure something out about the culture or landscape, it opens up the way to twice as many questions.”
Shop the Madewell x ABC Carpet and Home® chair.