LA based Stephen Kenn has partnered with Victorinox to create a line of furniture inspired by the lasting utility of the Swiss army knife.
November 29th, 2016
Stephen Kenn set up his eponymous industrial design studio in downtown LA in 2011, after launching and selling a successful denim line to Fred Segal, and creating a collection of sell out hand sewn leather bags.
Since working more specifically with furniture, Kenn has collaborated with Truck Furniture in Japan to create custom sofas for the Deus ex Machina store in Tokyo. He also produced a lounge inspired by a pair of jeans with LA denim label, Simon Miller. Victorinox is his latest collaborative partner, and the furniture forms part of the Swiss company’s broader ‘Maker’ series.
“I finished up a season designing men’s travel bags. I had been married for about 2 years and was becoming interested with environmental design, and furniture felt like a great place to start,” says Kenn. “I began ripping sofas and chairs apart to see how they were made and learned a lot in the process. I then started to ask myself. How can I make this simpler and use materials that tell a more interesting story?”
Taking lead from the universal utility of Victorinox’s iconic Swiss army knife, Kenn ‘began to think about pieces of furniture in the home that could serve more than one function’. The collection includes three double function pieces. And while the furniture doesn’t miraculously store a set of different sized pen knives, a screwdriver, toothpicks or tiny scissors – Kenn was sure to incorporate an element of play, discovery and surprise to each piece.
In the Victorinox collection is a stepladder slash chair with soft leather swing seat, and a storage column with four interchangeable surfaces. The working desk’s legs can be taken out, turned 90 degrees and put back in to lower the height and create a coffee table. Despite their uncomplicated functionality, Kenn’s signature rustic and industrial aesthetic has not been lost.
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