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The Balenciaga Sofa by Harry Nuriev
Courtesy of Balenciaga and Crosby Studios

Talking to the artist behind this Balenciaga sofa

Made by Harry Nuriev as part of Design Miami/, the settee is a comment on fashion waste

When Virgil Abloh recently released his IKEA collection earlier this month, crowds of hypebeasts literally fell over each other trying to make their way through the Swedish furniture store, desperate to get their hands on some of the limited-edition pieces created by the Off-White designer. In another sign that fashion might be heading into the home market, there is now a Balenciaga sofa we can pine over – if not actually buy.

Created by artist, architect, and furniture designer Harry Nuriev, The Balenciaga Sofa is a collaboration with the Parisian fashion house. Engineered out of disused clothing from the brand, the settee has been made as part of Design Miami/, an international design fair held in Miami each year, and is intended to subvert the humble sofa from the centrepiece of the home to a comment on fashion waste. 

An advocate for environmental issues himself, Nuriev saw Balenciaga as a natural partner. “When I met Balenciaga’s creative team, I proposed collaborating on an art object centred around sustainability and was excited to learn about Balenciaga’s mission to upcycle waste,” he explains. “They told me they had unused, damaged clothing and garment off-cuts from the Balenciaga warehouse, and then everything developed organically from there.”

Although it is not clear what will happen to the sofa after the show, Nuriev wanted to create a piece which allowed garments to be given a new lease of life. The New York-based creative took damaged or otherwise unsellable pieces and off-cuts from the luxury fashion brand and encased them in scrapped transparent vinyl.

“I’ve always been fascinated by Balenciaga's ability to incorporate subversive designs within the house’s framework of signature looks. I have a similar aesthetic approach, with an aim to elevate utilitarian objects to arrive at something thought-provoking,” Nuriev says.

It’s not the first time Nuriev has worked with the brand. Last year for Design Miami/, he created The Office – an installation that featured a classic swivel chair, a bulky air conditioning unit, and a photocopier, all emblazoned with Balenciaga’s sans serif logo.

Design Miami/ will run from December 3 through to December 8.