Clothing & Lifestyle Designer Debuts New Furniture Collection
The Ciervo armchair is available in walnut with loose cushions in a variety of fabrics, including raw silk, pictured above. Photo credit: Gabrielle Stiles
(Berkeley, Calif.–June, 2017) A shared love of beautifully-made objects sparked a collaboration between longtime friends — clothing and lifestyle designer Erica Tanov and master craftsman and luthier Russell Fong. Their mutual admiration of each other’s work has resulted in a new and exciting bespoke furniture collection. The collection debuts with two casegood pieces, the Ciervo sofa and armchair — two expertly handcrafted pieces that are clean, modern and timeless. They are now available exclusively at Erica Tanov boutiques and website.
Based in Berkeley, California, Tanov is known for her exquisite textiles and timeless designs which reflect her understated, feminine style. Her vision is one of “relaxed refinement”, as she puts it, evoking a lived-in grandeur in which comfort, elegance, and utility is fundamental to daily life.
Master woodworker Russell Fong got his start apprenticing and ultimately studying traditional luthiery in England. He built handmade acoustic and electric guitars for private clients and indie bands, including the Cocteau Twins and The Veldt. His work expanded to fine cabinetry and furniture and always includes a reverence for the raw materials, classic design and traditional carpentry methods.
Russell Fong got his start as apprentice to revered guitar maker Jonny Kinkaid in Bristol, England. Photo credit Ngoc Minh Ngo
“Working together with Russell was a natural effort since our aesthetics are so aligned. I suggested silhouettes and shapes that I loved and he shared his expertise of wood and technical skills and we quickly arrived at a modern and enduring design,” says Erica Tanov. “I’m thrilled to take my love of design into the realm of furniture where I can work with new materials that I love, such as walnut, and blend them with my textiles to create clean, modernist designs that work in many different contexts.”
Tanov attributes the inspiration behind her impressive body of work largely to her love of nature, always seeking beauty in its imperfections. She immerses herself in the great outdoors at her family’s weekend retreat in Soda Springs, California, observing the rugged beauty of the wilderness, or day trips to the coast, witnessing the power and magnificence of waves along the coastline.
Erica Tanov, above, celebrated her 25th anniversary in 2015, since launching her line. Photo credit: Alanna Hale
In her own home, you’ll find a spontaneous style. Here, Tanov’s well-attuned, curatorial eye finds wonder in the details of the simplest objects. Hand-stitched blankets from India, mismatched patterned Moroccan rugs, and an old time-worn grand piano inherited from a great aunt. Similarly, you’ll find a stack of vintage, well-worn leather-bound books, each with a rich history, capturing a certain allure. The sum of these experiences exude a careful mix of beautifully made or found objects, each uniquely marked by the passage of time, the work of the hand or Mother Nature.
The collection is available in a variety of fabrics, including “Was Black” mixed wool fabric. Photo credit: Gabrielle Stiles
By joining forces in their respective areas of expertise, the collection draws from Tanov’s influences, and Fong’s meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, rendering pieces that use a visual language of pared down delicate forms. The two worked closely together, ensuring proportion, balance and scale were achieved, creating timeless, versatile pieces, ideal for featuring the beauty of wood and fabric.
Above is an image of Russell Fong’s studio, featuring a collection of wood off-cuts and samples. Photo credit: Ngoc Minh Ngo
The pieces are crafted from solid, quarter-sawn American black walnut, using an open-grain wood finish in a low sheen, rich, matte finish to express an informal, relaxed spirit. The sofa and chair are available to order with white glove delivery service.
Ciervo Armchair is featured in raw silk fabric. Photo credit: Gabrielle Stiles
“The vision and key elements of my clothing and home goods collections are beautifully captured in the collaboration,” adds Tanov. “What I love about the pieces is the beauty and warmth of the walnut. It’s my favorite wood for furniture. I love the simplicity, comfort, sturdiness and grace of the pieces. They demonstrate that luxury and glamour can be understated, without sacrificing comfort and utility.”
The chair and sofa work beautifully as a set but also on their own. The clean, simple lines allow each piece to work well with many different styles of furniture ––both modern and vintage. The loose foam cushions are offered with removable covers, in a variety of opulent, textural fabrics, which are also seen throughout the designer’s clothing collection, including raw silk, mixed wools and cotton canvas.
Ciervo sofa is featured above in “Was Black” mixed fibre fabric option. Photo credit: Gabrielle Stiles
The fabric covers feature thoughtful detailing, such as welting to afford a finished, tailored look, as well as durability. A bias-cut welt brings added visual interest, harmoniously offsetting the rest of the seat fabric. The fabric covers can be easily changed to refresh a space without the costly expense of re-upholstery.
Raw silk is currently available as a double-breasted Hedra coat, as well as in the Ciervo armchair and sofa.