It’s not unusual for fashion designers to try their hand at product design. Kenzo Takada recently launched a line with Roche Bobois in his signature bold style; Maria Cornejo has dabbled in textiles (sophisticated and refined like her ready-to-wear apparel) with Knoll; in 2005, Vivienne Westwood partnered with the Rug Company translating her avant-garde aesthetic into one-of-a-kind handmade rugs. Even Badgley Mischka, the chic fashion house known for its glamorous gowns that populate red carpets every awards season, has applied that same meticulous attention to detail to luxe casegoods and opulent furnishings.
But what about product designers who get into fashion? Surely, the two go nearly hand-in-hand with inspiration and creativity coming together to craft something accessible and distinct. Recently, prolific designers Jaime Hayon and Jasper Morrison teamed up to start their own fashion label, an evolving collection of clothing created by a number of contributing designers.
Their Jijibaba brand, a collaboration with Phaidon publisher Richard Schlagman, launched this month with nearly 40 menswear pieces. Expect what you’ve come to appreciate about Hayon and Morrison. Hayon, for one, will apply his whimsical graphic style to a series of geometrically informed T-shirts, some with chicken motifs. Morrison’s more refined look will be practical and functional with an understated quality.
Of course, Hayon and Morrison aren’t the only trailblazers toggling between the two worlds. Fashion is in constant flux, while architecture and product design can often seem too rigid. For Clio Sage, a former model-maker for A.M. Stern Architects, her clothing line is reminiscent of her design work, structural in nature and decidedly unique with her first pieces made of wood and plexiglass.
Airi Isoda, another former architect turned fashion designer, is now one half of Wrk-Shp, a multidisciplinary firm that focuses on fashion, architecture, and product design in Los Angeles. She launched her collection with a white raincoat dotted with green wheatgrass inside pockets. Her highly constructed pieces experiment with color blocking and a natural material palette: A concrete-dipped coat was created after hammering it until it got a crumbling texture.
Marc Newson’s range of designs span fashion and furniture, and in his 2016 collection with G-Star Raw (a partnership that started in the early aughts), the Australian designer conceived a contemporary and accessible range of wardrobe staples that come together in seamless harmony for an updated and polished everyday uniform.