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The West Coast Sofa by Way of Japan

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Oct 16, 2015 01:03 AM
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by Myles Tipley last modified Oct 15, 2015

Has Stephen Kenn created the ultimate masculine sofa? A self-taught designer who grew up in Edmonton, Canada, he arrived in LA in 2005 at age 20 and launched a denim line called Iron Army. Several years ago, he shifted his focus and made use of WWII military fabrics for upholstery. What distinguishes Kenn's work is its construction: When he set out to create a sofa, he decided to strip it down to its barest elements, likening the frame, webbing, and cushions to bones, muscles, and skin. The results are impressive: Each sofa is handmade in LA and takes Kenn and his crew four to six weeks to complete (you can watch process videos on his site). Kenn's designs have attracted other designers to come hang out with him. I especially took notice when he unveiled his joint project with one of my (and Remodelista's) longtime favorite companies,  Truck Furniture of Japan. He worked with Tok Kise of Truck, and then took a coastal motorcycle trip with him out of LA. How's that for the California dream? Above: The Stephen Kenn City Gym Sofa , $6,800, upholstered in US Navy blankets, shown in the West Village apartment of New York fashion director Nick Wooster. Each of Kenn's pieces has an exposed, welded metal frame that's been rusted or oxidized and then coated with polyurethane to halt the aging process. His designs are available directly through his studio. Photograph via Scene Magazine .   Above: The Stephen Kenn x Simon Miller Sofa  is upholstered in hand-dyed indigo cotton canvas and has a copper-plated frame; $6,900.  Above: Kenn's sofas all have a support structure of custom leather belts. Above: Kenn and Tok Kise of Truck Furniture sent each other fabric for design inspiration. The Cord Sofa is made in LA using Truck Furniture's olive green wide wale corduroy from Japan; $6,500. Read more about Truck Furniture  here . Above: The back of the sofa is detailed with leather and webbing belts  modeled after 1940s Swiss military belts used to strap supplies on pack mules . Above: The  Boomerang Chair and Ottoman , $2,800, is made in the Truck Furniture studio in Osaka and upholstered in Kenn's signature military canvas. Above: A Stephen Kenn Inheritance Collection Sofa , $5,600, at Juice Sold Here in Venice, California. Most of the Inheritance pieces are upholstered in repurposed World World II military canvas that's been washed and softened.  Above: An Inheritance Collection Armchair , $2,600, and Ottoman , $800. Kenn says that he likes his designs to tell stories via the work that goes into them and the tales old fabrics have to tell. Above: An Inheritance Love Seat , $4,000, in the upstate NY home of Frank Muytjens, head of menswear design at J. Crew. Photograph via Trnk , which also sells Kenn's furniture. Stay tuned for Kenn's in-progress collections of shelving, stacking benches, and outdoor furniture. For more small workshop furniture , take a look at: Born to the Trade: LA Designer Michael Felix's Handmade Furniture Solidwool's Responsible Plastic Made from Wool Head & Haft: A New Old-Style Woodworker in Cornwall, England Sawkille Studio's Color-Stained Furniture Made in Rhinebeck, NY More Stories from Remodelista 10 Easy Pieces: Distressed Furniture in Black The New Serif TV by the Bouroullec Brothers for Samsung Ethnicraft: Furniture for Life from Lekker Home






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