Meet The Brands and Designers
Let’s state for the record that despite their strictly utilitarian past, kitchen & bath appliances and accessories have come a long way over the years. Driven by technological and manufacturing advancements alongside an increasing interest in how our environments look, feel, and function—everything from refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers to bathtubs and drawer handles have undergone technical and cosmetic transformations—often to splendorous results.
Consumers’ wants and needs have also driven change—now more than ever people are converting their bathrooms into luxurious spa-like sanctuaries, and kitchens into beautiful, hangout areas where friends and family can congregate comfortably. When it comes to the appliances and accessories to elevate these areas, homeowners, architects, and interior designers are seeking premium quality, innovation, and plenty of stylistic options.
If collaboration gives birth to creativity, it’s no surprise that many savvy kitchen & bath brands are also evolving to keep up with consumers’ changing taste demands, often finding inspiration through collaborations with renowned cutting-edge artists to bring in new audiences, and perhaps give the brand and products a dose of rejuvenating inspiration.
See below for a few brand + designer collaborations that we’re thrilled about.
La Cornue & Martyn Lawrence Bullard
La Cornue Chateau in Brands Hatch Green Enamel, 2022.
Pictured: Chef Chris Fersh, Matthew Quinn, Suzanne Kasler, Anne Puricelli, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, 2022. Photo: WJN Photo
La Cornue was born in the heart of Paris, a product of founder Albert Dupuy’s determination to refine cooking and enable the optimum precision of heat. The brand sought out the genius of Los Angeles-based designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard to expand its iconic Château range. Among other career highs, Bullard consistently holds a place on Architectural Digest’s top 100 interior designers and has worked with names like Ellen Pompeo, Khloe Kardashian, Tommy Hilfiger, and Cher. Bullard is famously known for taking inspiration from his clients—when he worked on Kylie Jenner’s home, he dyed chairs to match the color of her makeup lip kits.
For La Cornue, Bullard was Inspired by vintage racing cars. Using ten bold enamel colors, the designer combined the engineering of a race car with the renowned craftsmanship behind a La Cornue range.
Axor & Phillipe Starck
Phillipe Starck by Axor, Dezeen Showroom, 2022.
Russ Diamond and Phillipe Starck, 2017.
Axor describes Phillipe Starck as a free spirit, changing visual perceptions while being immune to conventional design. Indeed, Starck is the figurehead of indefatigable design, creating everything imaginable from loudspeakers and luxury yachts to chandeliers and motorbikes. Axor struck a partnership with Starck in 1994, and an extraordinary 28 years of creative collaboration followed.
The Starck Tapware Range for Axor is based on the shape of simple hand pumps found on farms. The goal was to create tapware that was respectful of water—which seems more topical and important than ever. Starck’s concept focuses on the form of water rather than the product itself. Starck and Axor’s stunning tapware is the epitome of humble, timeless, and thoughtful product design.
Smeg & Dolce&Gabbana
Antonio and Giuseppe Bevilacqua, 2022. Photo: Smeg
Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana, 2022. Photo: Smeg
A collaboration between a luxury fashion house and an appliance manufacturer is a rare sight to see. Smeg and Dolce & Gabbana, two iconic Italian brands joined forces to champion a limited edition range of appliances that celebrates the marriage of luxury fashion and functionality. Dolce and Gabbana commissioned Sicilian artists Gianfranco Fiore, Ommaso Provenzano, brothers Antonio and Giuseppe Bevilacqua, and Michelangelo Lacagnina to capture scenes that are personal to them: a fisherman against the backdrop of Mount Etna, the burst of colors inspired by the Sicilian sun, the battles between Argante and Tancredi, and Anthea of Babylon and Tancredi. The vivid colors and dazzling imagery of Sicily breathes new life into a practical appliance.
Brizo & Jason Wu
Jason Wu for Brizo™ Kitchen Collection, 2022. Photo: Brizo™
Brizo is known for creating luxury accessories for modern kitchens and bathrooms, and considers ‘fashion’ to be an important part of our everyday lifestyle reaching far beyond just clothing. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Brizo called on globally revered Taiwanese fashion designer Jason Wu, who states “fashion is something that we want to live and use and enjoy in every aspect of our lives.” The duo bonded over innovation, and meticulously handcrafted details, which led to Wu’s sponsorship in 2007. Since then, Wu has worked tirelessly to recreate his aesthetic in tangible, Brizo kitchen and bath collections known as the Jason Wu for Brizo™ Collection. Similar to his clothing designs, his interpretation of Brizo’s luxury fittings is streamlined and modern with stunning clarity, bringing a fresh perspective to our everyday taps and faucets.
Kelly Wearstler & JennAir, 2021. Photo: JennAir
Kelly's mood board, 2021. Photo: JennAir
Smoke & Brass Range, 2021. Photo: JennAir
Founded by Louis J. Jenn in 1947, the kitchen brand JennAir has made innovative progress with its unconventional utility, and industry-exclusive products. Widely known for being the first Michigan-based company to invent the self-ventilated downdraft range, the trailblazing brand tapped into the brilliance of internationally recognized L.A.-based designer Kelly Wearstler. Wearstler is known for her multi-layered, sensory juxtaposition of contemporary and vintage elements. Wearstler’s work goes beyond her laundry list of ‘celebrity client’ projects—in fact, you can experience her unique design narratives yourself at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Austin Proper Hotel, San Francisco Proper hotel, Four Seasons Anguilla, BG Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman, Westfield Century City, and more. We can see why her detail-oriented soulfulness compliments JennAir and its limited edition Smoke and Brass range and black obsidian Columns. JennAir’s Smoke and Brass range features smoke color finishes, warm undertones, and an opaque smoke that creates depth on the traditional polished surface of a range. This, along with JennAir’s Column refrigerator and its distinct black obsidian interior spoke deeply to Wearstler and inspired her to create an opulent, textured virtual kitchen concept.
Kohler & Daniel Arsham
Rock. 01, 2021. Photo: Kohler
Daniel Arsham with Stone Flow, 2021. Photo: Kohler
Kohler was founded in 1973 by Austrian immigrant John Michael Kohler, and since then the brand has successfully expanded into a family of brands under the name A Kohler Company. The brand tackles a variety of design solutions for kitchen, bath, cabinet and vanity, using different materials and design aesthetics. It makes sense why they wanted to push the boundaries further by partnering with Daniel Arsham. Arsham breaks and bends the conventions of design with his love for fictional archeology. Like Kohler, his capabilities know no boundaries, from sculpture, to drawing, film, and architecture. The pair joined forces to create Rock.01, an immersion of installation art and sink design. Arsham used Kohler’s technology to 3D print the sink faucet with clay and also created cast-iron rocks to compliment the fixture. The artist also created Stone Flow, a custom sink basin with ridges that are reminiscent of his sculpture work. Rock. 01 truly embodies Arsham’s love for ambiguous design solutions and Kohler’s relish for new and exciting avenues.
Samsung & Alex Proba
Samsung Bespoke Kitchen, 2022. Photo: Samsung
Alex Proba for Samsung Bespoke, 2021. Photo: Samsung
Global juggernaut Samsung introduced its Bespoke brand to American audiences in 2021. The design principle of Bespoke? The creative exploration of new ideas that inspire joy and innovation via highly personalized colors and finish customization. This year Samsung has added limited-edition panel art in collaboration with Portland / Brooklyn-based artist Alex Proba to its collection of exclusive Bespoke designs. Combining Proba’s whimsical use of happy shapes and hues, her nature-inspired, colorful abstract prints bring the feeling of the outdoors into the kitchen and is proving to be a big crowd pleaser.