Character study: BassamFellows' elegant wares take the spotlight at Atelier Courbet in New York

The design and architecture studio
The design and architecture studio BassamFellows is presenting its work in a modern, well-appointed setting at Atelier Courbet in New York
(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

The wonderful world of BassamFellows comes to life this week with the design firm’s catalogue of sophisticated wares taking over the Master Craftsman’s gallery space at Atelier Courbet in New York. Entitled ‘Object Lesson’, the exhibition throws the spotlight onto BassamFellows’ most recently extended foray into lifestyle goods, objects, shoes and leather accessories – each as perfectly conceived as its furniture pieces and architecture.

Since its founding in 2003, BassamFellows has become widely recognized for its Craftsman Modern aesthetic; a style that fuses bold architectural strokes together with an artisanal minimalism. Whether its their statuesque yet elegant sofas, storage or tables, or the restrained sensuality that permeates projects for clients such as Herman Miller, Bally or The James Hotel, the firm’s rigorous eye for detail is apparent in every guise.

For ‘Object Lesson’, the firm’s first comprehensive showing on American soil, co-founder Craig Bassam has created a salon-like environment that makes the most of Atelier Courbet’s intimate setting. Signature BassamFellows pieces, such as the Asymmetric sofa and club chairs, along with the newly minted Plank glass table, evoke an inviting sitting-room space.  Leather holdalls, Chelsea boots, sunglasses and cashmere knits are delicately arranged on grey toned wall drawers installed on one side of the gallery, waiting to be touched.

Co-founder Scott Fellows says, ‘A sense of comfort and warmth has always been integral to the BassamFellows vision. With our new lifestyle products, we want people to be comfortable and appreciate a relaxed elegant setting. You can talk, try things on, have a drink and engage in conversation. The scale of Atelier Courbet’s gallery lends itself to an intimate setting and we wanted to heighten that intimacy.’

He adds, ‘In all our projects, we prefer to create tactile, real-life room settings – not only is it more comfortable and allows people to see how pieces interact with each other, but we find that people want to linger a lot longer.’

The duo has approached its lifestyle offering just like it has its furniture. Their accessory offerings follow the same design and development process like their chairs. Trendless, seasonless and genderless, each object is treated with a reverence and respect in the hopes that they will be kept and used. The newest highlight - buttery leather, seamless sneakers  made with leather soles in three colourways - are foldable, yet luxurious to the touch. They bring an elevated feel to everyday dressing without being overly precious.

Fellows says, ‘When Craig designs a piece of architecture, it’s designed for forever. The same is true for BassamFellows furniture: when we design it, we want it to last like the classics that inspired us. It’s this very philosophy we apply with our apparel, shoes and accessories.’

The perfect finishing touch comes in the form of a pair of scented candles that fill the air with precious woods. Created especially for BassamFellows, the fragrances are named Petrichor and Sylvan and are inspired by the duo’s love for minimalist architecture on both the American coasts.

Craig Bassam conceived an intimate salon space

Co-founder Craig Bassam conceived an intimate salon space, which features a long row of the firm's wall shelves on one side of the gallery in a new shade of grey

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

footwear and sunglasses to cashmere knits

BassamFellows recently unveiled a collection of beautifully made lifestyle goods that ranges from footwear and sunglasses to cashmere knits and leather bags. The newest addition, the Crombie leather sneaker, is seen in closer detail here

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

Craig Bassam (left) and Scott Fellows (right)

Craig Bassam (left) and Scott Fellows (right)

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

closer view of the Mantis lounge chair

A closer view of the Mantis lounge chair (L) and the studio's roomy leather holdall - both designed for everyday use

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

The exhibition entitled 'Object Lesson' marks the first time that Atelier Courbet

The exhibition entitled 'Object Lesson' marks the first time that Atelier Courbet has devoted its gallery space to showcasing American craft and design

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)

Asymmetric sofa and Plank table

The elegant setting is completed by a hanging print by photographer Francois Deschinger (L) and BassamFellows' Asymmetric sofa and Plank table (R)

(Image credit: Paul Barbera)


’Object Lesson’ is on view at Atelier Courbet until 31 December 2015

Photography: Paul Barbera


Atelier Courbet
175 Mott Street
New York


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.