Harry Nuriev, founder of Crosby Studios, has just designed a couch that perfectly embodies the philosophy “out with the old, in with the new.” To create his bold statement piece, he collected old Balenciaga clothing items and stuffed them into an entirely new creation: a transparent vinyl couch.
Crosby Studios is a creative agency that works on a wide variety of projects, including fashion collaborations, graphic designs, and interior design for hospitality and residential spaces. In fact, this isn’t even the first time that Crosby Studios has created a product like the Balenciaga-stuffed sofa. Their website also features some furniture that celebrates sneaker culture, including a transparent armchair filled with Nikes.
Nuriev and Balenciaga first unveiled the couch at Design Miami 2019, a yearly fair that aims to provide both designers and consumers with commercial opportunities and serve as a platform for cultural and artistic collaboration.
The sofa’s daring aesthetic is supposed to be both visually and mentally stimulating, though Nuriev hopes hopes it can also inspire customers to be more aware of the negative impact consumerism has on the planet. While the design is reminiscent of a large, overstuffed sofa you might expect to see in an average family home, this couch has a lot more going for it. The materials are much more unique, mostly sourced from “damaged or otherwise unsellable garments and off-cuts from obsolete stocks of Balenciaga clothing,” according to MR magazine. The final effect is a couch with a bold and mixed pattern of all conceivable colors.
While the materials that went into making it would normally not be suitable for any other means, Nuriev has repurposed them into what the fair calls “environmentally conscious design, giving generations of garments and other materials another life.” And while it may be a think piece first and foremost, the furniture is still functional, even including a pillow and recliner if you want to get a bit more comfortable.
The eco-friendly sentiment here is appreciated, but Nuriev is not the first to bring this concept to life. Companies such as Tradesy, The RealReal, and Poshmark also attempt to give clothing multiple lifetimes by reselling old pieces so they can be enjoyed by several new owners for decades to come.
Earlier this year, Balenciaga also launched an environmentally-friendly clothing line. The company’s goal with that collection was to practice sustainable fashion and bring awareness to threatened species and the need for conservation. Even better, the company put their money where their mouth was, donating all proceeds from the collection to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Attitudes toward sustainability, conservation, and eco-friendly design may vary, but seeing retail giants like Harry Nuriev and Balenciaga moving in the right direction is massively encouraging. Recognizing the responsibility designers have in protecting the environment is a necessary step forward for the whole planet.