The American Design Hot List: Sight Unseen x Moda Operandi
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At kriteria we are dedicated to covering what’s happening in Latin America… but when our favorite New York-based design blog, Sight Unseen, announced their trunk show with major e-commerce platform Moda Operandi, featuring past and current winners of their American Design Hot List (Sight Unseen’s annual editorial award for the 20 names to know in American design), we knew we had to cover it.
The next “it” designers to shake up the American design industry, all in once place? This is just what the design industry needs in order to continue thriving, and we all know that anything that happens on the American mainland influences what will happen south.
The online event, which runs until March 11, features about 200 design objects that explore the tenets of American design and present what today’s best and brightest makers are doing. Scroll down to shop some of our favorite names with roots Latin America, their particular take on American design, and what inspires them.
The women behind Los Angeles-based Estudio Persona moved in 2014 from their native Uruguay. Today, designer Emiliana Gonzalez and artist Jessie Young have managed to launch two distinctly neutral and minimalist furniture collections under a style they coined called Hispanic Minimalism.
According to the pair’s interview with Sight Unseen, here’s what American design means to Estudio Persona:
“American design feels tangible and accessible. There’s an unapologetic approach here that makes you feel as if you, too, can do it. The fact is, we are foreigners and those concepts are what made us feel comfortable enough to try and make it in this country. The challenge of actually being a designer in America is the exciting part. You have to design, produce, and sell — and, as tiring as it is, you never cease to learn.” estudiopersona.com
Guatemalan-born product designer Jessica Herrera launched Oōd Studio last May with a debut collection that perfectly captures the elephantine, chubby, tubular style that caught everyone’s eye during New York x Design, the city’s design week.
When Sight Unseen asked Herrera what she thought of American design, she replied, “American design is a melting pot of different cultures and their crafts coming together to form an ever-evolving and diverse design language. What excites me about American design is its inclusivity — in a time when our current political climate is so polarizing, it celebrates diversity. It’s really exciting to see Latin American designers from small countries like my own putting out amazing work and being recognized for it.” oodstudio.com
Also launched during last year’s New York design week, furniture designer Sophie Lou Jacobsen and interior designer Sarita Posada of Studio Sayso presented their first-ever collection, melding the two’s multicultural backgrounds: France and Colombia. Handmade in Medellin, Colombia by a network of manufacturers, their collection of color-blocked furniture mixes 1930s French and 1970s Italian design, resulting in youthful, mid-priced, custom pieces designed specifically for the hospitality industry—but also available to purchase for your home.
When Sight Unseen asked them what inspires their work, the pair responded, “We’re both first-generation Americans — Sophie’s family is French and Sarita is Colombian — and both of our families have long moved back to these countries. So, we’ve both had one foot in another country our entire lives and are being constantly stimulated by our surroundings, travel, people, and strong cultural heritages. In cities like London, Paris, and New York you’re always surrounded by wonderful design, whether you know it or not, and we both keep an eye out for it everywhere we go. This is how Sarita became fascinated with the idea of translating classic Colombian archetypes into contemporary furniture, and how Sophie gets ideas for products by noticing interesting idiosyncrasies in the objects she encounters every day.” studio-sayso.com
About Sight Unseen
Launched ten years ago by editors and curators Monica Khemsurov and Jill Singer, Sight Unseen has become the verifiable hub—adored by experts and design enthusiasts alike—for boundary-pushing talent. Their annual “Hot List” of who’s next spotlights the names shaking up the American design industry, and now, for the first time ever, you can shop them in one place via their latest trunkshow experience. sightunseen.com
About Moda Operandi
Moda Operandi is the global destination for luxury fashion, providing bespoke access, brand discovery, and unparalleled curation. In homage to the history of couturiers who showcased their creations in trunks to elite clientele, Moda Operandi is the only online retailer to invite clients to preorder next-season’s looks straight from the runway. modaoperandi.com