Founded by interior designer (and former stockbroker) Sasha Young and launched in 2016, Wright & Smith is an exemplary online marketplace offering high-quality, artisan design and craft. No great shakes there – decent online design emporia are hardly a rarity in 2017 – but Wright & Smith’s USP is one of personification: aiming to engage its customers with the carefully picked selection of designer-makers.
They highlight the processes and remits of individuals – ceramicists, carpenters, furniture makers and textile artists among them – as well as the stories inherent in their works. By encouraging first-hand interaction between their roster of makers and their discerning public (occasionally, for bespoke projects, within their ateliers) Wright & Smith presents a curated collaboration across time and borders. Redoubtable stuff.
The platform has recently expanded, with a small – but impressive – series of new designer names. First, Humble Matter – aka, Long Island City’s John Born – creates timeless and oneiric ceramic pieces that draw inspiration from sources as diverse as Brancusi’s sculptures and Cycladic pottery. The creative world has, it appears, taken note; Born’s work was featured in a recent Fendi Casa campaign, bought to life by Milan design agency Studio Pepe. It’s a canny addition on Wright & Smith’s part.
Tea set, table and stools, all by Keren Zhang
Second, JBJ Interiors is a series of embroidered cushions and textile hangings, both pictorial and abstract, by Dutch designer Jackie Villevoye; itself a part of her wider Jupe by Jackie atelier, located in Uttar Pradesh, India, home to 120 master embroiderers. Finally, there's UK furniture maker Will Elworthy, whose small, perfectly formed selection of turned bowls, as well as his tanned leather and ash ‘Easy Chair’ represent a rustic benchmark for the platform.
As a contemporary design concept, Wright & Smith is quietly progressive – bringing a sense of intimate localism to an increasingly borderless market. Bravo to that.