"I've Always Wanted to Design Other Things": Bianca Saunders on her Debut Furniture Collection

The lauded menswear designer launches a chair as part of ECCO’s new AT.KOLLEKTIVE program.

Design 
3,805 Hypes 1 Comments

Bianca Saunders is one of the most successful designers to have emerged from the London fashion scene in recent years. From her studio in the city’s Sarabande Foundation – the creative complex founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen – she has been crafting intentionally timeless menswear pieces that have won the acclaim of the likes of Pheobe Philo, Ye, and Alessandro Michele (to name a few).

Now, she is turning her attention and talents to furniture and has developed a series of home objects and accessories alongside ECCO Leather, under its new creative exchange named AT.KOLLEKTIVE. One of five designers invited to create pieces for the first drop, Saunders has worked alongside the team of in-house experts at ECCO to create pieces that extend far beyond her usual menswear practice, but remain rooted in her signature aesthetic.

Going off-piste and into new design territories brought about a sense of nostalgia for Saunders, but also an opportunity that came right in the nick of time. “When I was at the RCA doing fashion, I wanted to design other things,” she says, describing the school’s reputation to push its students’ experimental sensibilities. “But now, doing every season, and having more collections, I haven’t been able to do as much as I have hoped to do – so this was the perfect opportunity.”

It all began when the ECCO team reached out to Saunders, to ask if she’d be interested in working alongside them and the rest of the collaborators on this new venture. As someone who tries to be material focused through her fashion design, she saw it as an opportunity to learn from the company’s vast network of experts. “I split my attention across multiple fabrications, so it really appealed to me that this was just leather and that I could really master and study intently,” she explained. Following that were visits to tanneries, and back and forth conversations about what leathers would be right for the different ideas she had. It turns out it’s a lot more complex than you may think – “they have hundreds of leathers [at ECCO], and certain things work better for furniture, while others work better for footwear,” she says.

The idea behind Saunders’ showstopper piece comes in the form of a so-called “floor seat”, – “I want the user to be able to lift the chair’s seat off the frame and onto the floor so that it becomes almost like a bed,” she elaborates. Her inspiration came mainly from the properties of the leather itself, and how it molds and changes with use over time – forming to the shape of the wearer (or in this case, the sitter). Across the other pieces she has created, this inspiration is evident, too, from her multisized, malleable bags which can be shaped via the wire in their seams, to a series of chic, streamlined footwear.

“The colors aided the shapes and the sense of structure”

When it came to colors, it was the works of English painter Francis Bacon that the designer turned to. “A lot of Francis Bacon [came up], especially ‘Study for a Portrait on Folding Bed’ (1963) – there are lots of punchy colors, anchored by dark colors,” she says. “I was trying to find colors that felt new and felt unexpected, without too obvious associations. I think that the colors aided the shapes, and the sense of structure, and add to the sense of it being a special object that you’ll take care of.”

In her late twenties, Saunders is the youngest of the designers on the AT.KOLLEKTIVE roster. She says that being in this position enabled her to learn extensively from the experience of the other participants: Natacha Ramsay-Levi; Isaac Reina; Kostas Murkudis; and Bernard Dubois. “I’m the most emerging out of the other designers, and they’ve worked for loads of companies that I really admire,” she says. “It was great to hear their stories and see how they worked – I live in my own bubble, so it was good to get out of it.”

Saunders’ collection with AT.KOLLEKTIVE will launch to market in January and will be made to order for £4,800 (approximately $5,361 USD).

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Official Images of the Air Jordan 4 "Midnight Navy"
Footwear

Official Images of the Air Jordan 4 "Midnight Navy"

Releasing this October.

Depop Collaborators: Designer and Artist Paris Takes Us To a Futuristic Planet of Her Own
Fashion 

Depop Collaborators: Designer and Artist Paris Takes Us To a Futuristic Planet of Her Own

Presented by Depop
The founder and creative behind 69999 brings us into her world through an enlightening Depop installation.

The Weeknd Enlists Summer Walker for “Best Friends (Remix)”
Music

The Weeknd Enlists Summer Walker for “Best Friends (Remix)”

Coming behind a list of ‘Dawn FM’ remixes.


Official Look at the Air Jordan 11 "Cherry"
Footwear

Official Look at the Air Jordan 11 "Cherry"

Another item to add to your Christmas wish list.

Filling Pieces' "Different, Together" Campaign Celebrates Unity
Footwear

Filling Pieces' "Different, Together" Campaign Celebrates Unity

Featuring company team members decked out in the brand’s latest collection.

Byredo Unveils Romantic Fall Fragrance "Eyes Closed"
Fashion

Byredo Unveils Romantic Fall Fragrance "Eyes Closed"

Inspired by British photographer Alasdair McLellan’s “The Perfect Kiss.”

Watch the 1975’s Poetic Performance of “I’m in Love With You” From Forthcoming LP
Music

Watch the 1975’s Poetic Performance of “I’m in Love With You” From Forthcoming LP

‘Being Funny in a Foreign Language’ is out on Friday.

Carrier Goods Shows the Importance of Zippers for Your Outdoor Excursions
Fashion 

Carrier Goods Shows the Importance of Zippers for Your Outdoor Excursions

Featuring new Alpine Jackets in black and yellow colorways.

The New Balance 1906R Gets Readied in Desert Tan Cordura Fabric
Footwear

The New Balance 1906R Gets Readied in Desert Tan Cordura Fabric

Sporting a tonal design equipped with protective underlays.


JID and Smino Announce Co-Headlining ‘Luv Is 4Ever’ Tour
Music

JID and Smino Announce Co-Headlining ‘Luv Is 4Ever’ Tour

Hitting 32 cities across the U.S.

Emerging U.K. Label Hyo Isak Merges Abstract Art With Your Favorite Streetwear Garments
Fashion 

Emerging U.K. Label Hyo Isak Merges Abstract Art With Your Favorite Streetwear Garments

Who said bunny ears can’t be cool?

Lil Yachty Officially Drops Viral Track "Poland"
Music

Lil Yachty Officially Drops Viral Track "Poland"

His first official solo track of this year.

Blink-182 Reunites With Tom DeLonge, Announces New Single and 2023 Global Tour
Music

Blink-182 Reunites With Tom DeLonge, Announces New Single and 2023 Global Tour

Guitarist and vocalist DeLonge helped form the band in 1992.

Carhartt WIP’s Womenswear FW22 Collection Captures the Essence of London
Fashion 

Carhartt WIP’s Womenswear FW22 Collection Captures the Essence of London

With the campaign being shot by London-based photographer, Elena Cremona.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.