Sight Unseen launches furniture line with Bestcase
Editorial platform Sight Unseen worked with sheet metal specialist Bestcase to launch a collection of 1970s-inspired furniture in collaboration with Home Studios, Studio Anansi and Thévoz-Choquet
After 13 years of spotlighting the best in emerging design, the editorial platform Sight Unseen launched its inaugural line of furniture during New York Design Week 2022. Produced in collaboration with Bestcase, a furniture company that specialises in sheet-metal production, the five-piece collection showcases the talents of an international mix of designers, commissioned by Sight Unseen founders Jill Singer and Monica Khemsurov.
Debut furniture collection by Sight Unseen
‘We’ve always wanted to have our own collection of furniture or objects, but it took the stars aligning for us to finally take the leap. Around the time that we’d opened a successful [Sight Unseen store on] 1stdibs [in 2018], an old friend of ours, Charles Constantine, co-founded Bestcase, a furniture brand with its own metal factory on Long Island,’ says Khemsurov. ‘We had worked with Charles when he was a partner at the design firm The Principals, and we were excited to collaborate. The collection is a mix of steel – either brushed, powder-coated, or mirror-polished – and aluminium, but we did bring in a few other materials from outside fabricators to give the collection a more layered and nuanced feel, like resin and glass.’
The eye-catching collection by Sight Unseen includes a Roman curule-esque chair by Constantine that’s made from rolled aluminium; a statuesque mirror by the New York-based Home Studios; a bar cart by Nova Scotia-based Studio Anansi, finished with a milky, candy-like resin handle; a mirror-polished folding screen by Constantine; and a pair of glass-topped tables by Swiss duo Thévoz-Choquet.
‘Our jumping-off point was the two pieces that [Constantine] designed, with a little input from us – the “Magna” chair and the “Song” screen – but we knew that we also wanted to bring other points of view into the project for both this and future collections. We put together a mood board [that visualised] a specific story of very simple designs in one or two materials, whose personality lay in their unique but sophisticated geometries. There were a lot of 1970s references, like Karl Springer and Gilles Saint-Gilles, but also a nod to contemporary makers like Paul Coenen and Fredrik Paulsen,’ adds Singer.
‘The pieces are chic, formally and conceptually uncomplicated, and have a small twist in their shape or materiality that draws the attention. We invited a small circle of designers to join the project, whom we felt could channel that direction, and channel it in metal in particular. The designers in our first collection really achieve that simple-yet-covetable vibe, where the form of each piece isn’t too crazy, but you can immediately understand the level of thoughtfulness that went into it.’ §