Milan 2016: American designer and architect David Rockwell has created a collection of furniture for Stellar Works, one of a host of Chinese brands due to exhibit during Milan design week (+ slideshow).
Rockwell, founder of architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, used materials including tube metal, dark wood and leather to creates the items in his Valet range.
"The concept for Valet grew out of our needs as designers," said Rockwell. "The collection merges expressive materials, craftsmanship, functionality, and elements of surprise to activate transitional spaces in residential and hospitality environments."
The collection is produced by Stellar Works, which launched as a design brand in Hong Kong in 2011 and is part of a growing trend for Asia-based brands looking to cater for both eastern and western markets.
Architects Neri&Hu, who also give creative direction to Stellar Works, and Andre Fu are among others that have recently set up design brands with a similar focus. The number of Chinese brands exhibiting in Milan next week looks set to be one of the key trends emerging from this year's event.
Each of the 14 pieces that make up the collection are constructed from high-quality materials, including black steel, brushed brass and cognac-coloured saddle leather.
The black steel frame of each piece is influenced by traditional valets.
"Reinterpreting the valet for the 21st century", the designer created a series of functional pieces that each serve a number of purposes.
Rockwell centred the collection around his own version of the valet, which features a leather bag for two pairs of shoes, a walnut shelf for personal items and a pocket for a shoehorn.
Hexagonal brass hardware hooks can be used to hang dog leashes or a handbag, and the blackened steel frame doubles as a coat rack. A compact six-sided mirror is adjusted with a leather strap.
A lounge chair made from one continuous piece of cognac saddle leather features a blackened steel frame with leather cord-wrapped arms, whilst a club chair and love seat are both upholstered with grey-coloured cushions.
The final seat in the collection is a bench topped with a walnut and quilted leather seat. A cutout on one side of the bench accommodates a leather sling pocket for storing magazines or accessories.
The collection's multifunctional aspect is also present in a magazine rack that doubles as a side table, and a set of leaning shelves that can be used as a desk.
Rockwell has also designed a series of drinking-related products, including a bar cart with looped leather bottle storage, and a 'mixology centre' that has a rack for champagne and wine glasses, as well as a walnut shelf for tumblers.
Other pieces that make up the collection include a coffee table with a storage compartment in its surface, a hi-fi console, and a standing mirror complete with a leather shoe bag.
The Valet collection will be shown in The Wallpaper Arcade, Via San Gregorio 43, during this year's Milan design week from 12 to 17 April 2016.
During last year's event, Stellar Works presented a wooden cabinet designed by Neri&Hu that was filled with seven objects – one to represent each of the seven deadly sins.