Etsy, home to our favorite homemade candles, vintage finds, and custom airbrushed souvenir T-shirts (ideal for milestone birthdays), has just stepped up its fashion clout in a major way. Altuzarra, the fashion brand synonymous with strong, sexy silhouettes topped with a touch of well-traveled flair, has just collaborated with the ultimate independent seller marketplace on a majorly covetable home collection.
The collaboration features the creations of eight different artisans that Joseph Altuzarra worked with on creating his dream home accessories. From tie-dyed notebooks to crochet covered stones, to the chicest dog bed imaginable, the collection includes nods to the designer's eclectic fashion aesthetic as well as his own personal comforts.
We caught up with Altuzarra on the day of the launch to talk about his Etsy obsession (Phew, we're not alone! And in chic company nonetheless!) and how this collaboration came to be.
Marie Claire: So! Are you as Etsy obsessed like the rest of us? How did this come about and how did you determine which artisans to work with?
Joseph Altuzarra: I've been a huge Etsy fan for a long time. I love researching on the site, and discovering unusual, special objects, that you couldn't find anywhere else. I've been so inspired by many of the artisans on Etsy over the years, and when I started thinking about branching out into home decor, Etsy just felt like the right partner. I started by selecting some of my all-time favorite makers, from ceramicists, to crocheters and dog bed and pillow makers, and we reached out to everyone to see if they'd be interested in collaborating! It was a very organic process.
MC: Where did the Altuzarra touch come into play? How did the designing collaboration work?
JA: The collection is very much an expression of the Altuzarra world. The foundation for the collection is our signature "cognac" color, a warm brown tone which I have used since the inception of the brand in 2008. Layered over this, I wanted to create a rich and textured collection, which feels both comfortable and easy, but also refined and unique. I wanted it to feel almost like a collector's home, someone who had travelled the globe and found the most beautiful basket in Israel, and the most unique candlesticks in France, and the most unusual crocheted rocks in the United States. I have always been inspired by craftsmanship, and the collection as a whole is really a celebration of craft, and of handwork. I started each project by sharing a mood board for the collection, and for the brand, and would ask each designer to think about how they would express that mood through their craft. I didn't come to the table with a particular idea, it was all about listening to what their interpretation of the brand was, and then going from there- discussing different ideas, seeing prototypes, making changes.
MC: What are some of your favorite pieces from the collaboration?
JA: It's so hard to choose! I love them all equally, for different reasons, and honestly, I know I will be purchasing every single piece for my home! If I just had to pick a few, I would say the notebooks, because I am constantly drawing and taking notes about what inspires me, and I think it's so special that these notebooks in particular are made from our leftover fabric, so they are sustainably-minded as well! I also love the coasters and placemats, because they remind me of the Altuzarra espadrille bag. And then the beautiful ceramics Sara Paloma created, which are adorned with leather braiding—I think they are just breathtaking!
MC: Now that we are spending more time at home than ever, what do you think this means for home good businesses especially those from small, independent vendors such as those on Etsy?
JA: I think the times we live in highlight the importance of home. I believe that the space you live in and the objects and furnishings you surround yourself with can have a huge impact on your state of mind and mental health. I know that is definitely true for me. Over the last few weeks, I've been "nesting" in a way—trying to make my surroundings feel as comfortable and comforting as possible, for my family and me. I have been focusing on supporting small, independent makers, like the makers on Etsy, because small businesses are woven into the fabric of the communities in which we live, and by supporting small businesses, we are also fostering local economies, keeping money close to home, and supporting neighborhoods and communities. We are living through a time that is having devastating consequences on the economy, and most particularly on small businesses. But these businesses are necessary and we all play a part in their survival. They invent and build things despite uncertainty, take risks, create, and innovate.
MC: What does home mean to you these days and how are you getting by?
JA: I think home, to me, means a space of love and acceptance, and also safety. I've really tried to foster that feeling during this difficult time, and create an environment that brings my family and me joy and peace. There is so much uncertainty, but I know we will get through this together, and we will come out stronger as a community.