If you’ve ever dreamt of taking a piece of Rafael de Cárdenas’ seductive interior projects home with you, now is your chance. The New York-based designer, who has concocted visions of modern elegance for clients such as Cartier, Nike and Glossier, as well as for private clients around the globe, is releasing his first collection of furniture, produced in collaboration with the American furniture retailer, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Rafael de Cárdenas: simple forms and attention to detail
The 19-piece collection features furnishings for every room. Made up of classic silhouettes with an enhanced sensuality and visual boldness, the collaboration brings together de Cárdenas’ taste and sensibility with hardworking American craftsmanship.
‘Rafael’s extensive experience as an interdisciplinary designer and creative director, coupled with his global design perspective, drew us to him,’ shared Allison O’Connor, the company’s president and CEO. ‘We seek collaborators who share our brand’s values with a unique industry lens, and Rafael was the perfect person to carry out that vision. His distinct approach to design appeals to our existing customers while attracting a new audience, which is key for any heritage brand. This collection presents a marriage of classic and contemporary, highly customisable, staying true to our emphasis on liveable luxury and our comfort-first approach.’
'The MG+BW Home factory is a place where American craftsmanship has a home,' says de Cárdenas. ‘Witnessing first-hand the sheer amount of production here in the USA and seeing the factory in action with a very diverse group of people working under one roof makes me think we as a country are going to be OK. Together we made a collection my childhood dreams are made of, and with the help of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, made it accessible for every taste.'
Ranging from smaller pieces, like poufs and side tables, to those of a larger stature, such as a shelter-style sofa, accented by rounded edges, and an evocative swivel armchair that nods to 1940s French deco, the collection is playful yet well put-together.
‘My [design aesthetic] co-mingles [in this collaboration] like bitters in a cocktail. There is a flavour that exists throughout creating a language between all various pieces, but it's not meant to dominate,’ de Cárdenas reflects. ‘We wanted it to be as inclusive as possible whilst still being innovative for an audience, whose attention we rarely have. In the end, the collection had to be desirable at a large scale whilst also referencing some classic RdC language. We've always preferred clean forms and add a signature through colours and fabrics.’
The underlying thread throughout the collection is the balance of simple forms with a specific attention to detail; they are versatile, yet comfortable and elegant to bring an elevated feel to multiple types of rooms and homes.
‘Witnessing [Rafael’s] interpretation of our brand has helped create a distinct collection that stays true to our core tenets of producing quality goods available for personalisation and customisation,’ sums up O’Connor. ‘This special collection combines the bespoke service he provides to his clients with the ability to work with multigenerational artisanal craftspeople at our North Carolina factory, the root of our storied history for nearly 35 years.’
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Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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