Every year, New York Design Week brings an increasingly massive wave of design and tech-related events, conjuring big crowds and high-concept ideas. But for the casual consumer of everyday design, the week also brings more user-friendly activations, like those for Sight Unseen Presents, a platform emphasizing the intersection of fashion, food and design. This year, Sight Unseen partnered with chic-leaning retail spaces and restaurants to create a dozen design Easter eggs – from a multicolored peppermill for sale at Dimes to stylish woodwork at Creatures of Comfort.
For its Sight Unseen Presents activation, Rachel Comey commissioned artworks from the directional mercantile Areaware, resulting in a new photography installation that highlights the designer’s curated, ultra-tasteful appeal. In the photo collages, young artist and featured Areaware designer KangHee Kim has manipulated the store’s famously chic interior to create subtly surreal landscapes.
While Areaware’s industrial aesthetic may seem a surprising match for a Rachel Comey’s feminine showroom, the Instagram-friendly collaboration came about as most do nowadays: the Internet. “I think they had just been following us online and were fans,” Areaware Communications Director Michael Hunter says of how their first fashion collaboration came about. “We said, ‘Well we’re fans of you, too.’”
While straight, unadulterated shots at first glance, the photos are in fact double-take-inducing computer-generated images. “They let KangHee come in and have the interior all to herself,” explained Hunter. “Then she went back to her studio and Photoshopped in different natural scenes into the spaces.” For example, in one, a single metallic chunky heel sits on a beach, while another shows a dressing room door opening to a blood orange sunset.
All of the artwork in the installation, on view today, is for sale.