NEW YORK — It seems as if an architect isn't worth his or her drafting pen unless it's also been used to design a line of furniture, pasta, toys or some other household object.
Michael Graves' small kitchen appliances for Target brought refined design to the masses, and Philippe Starck created luggage for Samsonite and panties for Wolford. Now Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid is weighing in with everything from a Louis Vuitton handbag to a three-wheeled car.
The worlds of fashion and architecture are intersecting, as brands hire boldfaced names to design their flagships — think Rem Koolhaas and Prada, and Frank Gehry and Issey Miyake. Hadid has yet to design a boutique, but she is dabbling in fashion.
"We're looking at a conceptual handbag for Louis Vuitton," said Patrik Schumacher, a partner in Zaha Hadid Architects. "It's a take on one of the classical handbags, stretched out like a hose."
Schumacher said there may be collaborations with Vivienne Tam, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, all of whom Hadid counts as friends. "She's full of ideas on dresses and clothes. Another area of interest is jewelry," he said.
"We're working with Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel on a pavilion. We're interested in cross-connections. [Hadid] and [Lagerfeld] respect each other's work."
The architect is talking to Stella McCartney about designing a catwalk for her show. "We've designed opera sets," Schumacher explained. Last year Hadid created the Aqua table for Established & Sons, the firm run by McCartney's husband, Alasdhair Willis. The Aqua table sold for $296,000 at auction at Phillips de Pury in December. A Phillips auction in November will feature Hadid's "seamless" furniture.
Like many celebrated architects, a good number of Hadid's projects haven't progressed beyond the theoretical stage. A party in Hadid's honor Sunday, hosted by London art dealer Kenny Schachter at the Fifth Avenue penthouse of Schachter's mother-in-law, Denise Rich, celebrated something concrete, the Z.Car, which is part of the Guggenheim Museum's retrospective of her work.
Schachter, an avid collector, commissioned the Z.Car, a lightweight feat of engineering. He wanted a three-wheeled "concept car" that reflected the Hadid studio's design aesthetic, and he insisted that it be environmentally advanced. The car also would have to run — there would be no shallow form without function, he decreed.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)