Harry Nuriev’s unofficial-but-with-the-company’s-blessing Balenciaga office furniture collection was widely applauded as one of the highlights at Miami Art Basel, held earlier this month.
In the past the Moscow native has created pendant lamps out of Bic biros and used humdrum, workaday materials like concrete and cheap, unsophisticated plastic as bases for his interior designs (albeit elegantly transformed with inspired colour schemes).
In Miami, a photocopier, air conditioning unit, clock and chair were beautifully made, with hand-carved wood with a white lace print, and all branded with the Spanish luxury goods logo.
Nuriev, described last year in a New York Times profile as “the man designing spaces for the Instagram age”, works under the name of Crosby Studios, with a growing portfolio including bars and restaurants in Tribeca and Soho, Manhattan, as well as private apartments and lofts both in the States and in Moscow.
He spent the early years of his working life stuck in mundane office jobs, dreaming of producing pieces that would kick against all that oppressive conformity; to take an office chair and transform it into a highly desired luxury object.
The Balenciaga work stands as a commentary on loss of identity and the challenges of creative thinking in a stale, stifling world. But equally, collaborating with a fashion brand has long been an ambition for the Brooklyn-based architect and designer.
This could well be the moment that sees him team up with one of the big boys. Who knows, maybe Balenciaga’s on the lookout for somebody to give their Paris head office a bit of a makeover…
A New York-based designer’s office-inspired collection was the talk of Miami Art Basel