MILAN — Tory Burch will debut the brand’s home collection in Europe and launch the Dodie Thayer for Tory Burch Lettuce Ware Collection here during the international furniture and design show, the Salone del Mobile.
Burch and Wallpaper Magazine tapped British designer Bethan Laura Wood to create an artwork inspired by the Lettuce Ware collection, and the installation will be unveiled during a cocktail event on Wednesday at the designer’s new flagship in Milan’s Via della Spiga.
The Florida-based, self-taught Thayer began selling her ceramics in the shape of green lettuce or cabbage leaves in the Sixties. Her customers included Jacqueline Kennedy, C.Z. Guest, the Duchess of Windsor and Brooke Astor. “I’m not afraid of color or pattern, two of my favorite [elements] and strong inspiration,” Wood said. “I loved the whole story, and I had fun researching cookbooks and recipes, and the style of entertaining from the Sixties and Seventies.”
Wood explained the “main brief was to create a very celebratory” installation, “colorful, fun and playful. There was a strong connection and great fit.” The installation comprises individual canapé designs all painted by hand, with an eye on Burch’s “recent range of women’s wear,” with touches of green and mustard. Each small canapé took three days of painting. “It depended on the complexity — cream cheese was a nightmare, it’s harder to paint than to draw,” observed Wood with a laugh.
The lettuce ware will be displayed in a dedicated area of the brand’s flagships in Milan, London and Munich, and will also be available on toryburch.com and, from Tuesday, on the brand’s European e-commerce sites. Burch will open a Paris unit this summer.
Ahead of her trip to Milan for the Salone, Burch said she decided to team up with Thayer because she has admired her work for years. “I was always drawn to the perfect shade of lettuce green. When we began working on our home collection, one of the things I kept referencing was Dodie’s work. I reached out to her and she was interested in collaborating with us, so I flew down to visit her at her home on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Fla. She is an extraordinary woman and entrepreneur.”
As for Wood, Burch said the designer “shares my passion for color and pattern. Her work is incredibly diverse — everything from furniture to accessories — so I was interested to see what she would do with our Lettuce Ware Collection.
“Like Bethan, I love flea markets and finding interesting pieces while traveling — our collections are partly inspired by that, but the main inspiration is really my family and items I grew up with around our home.”