NEW TENDENCY’s signature META side table is quietly ubiquitous in Berlin studios and living rooms, where it stands out as much for its industrial materials and modernist aesthetic as for its delicate silhouette – depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The META’s ability to both be present and to vanish not only creates a trompe l’oeil effect, but gives the side table a versatility that makes it play very well with other objects. Enter ALYX, the fashion brand that brings equal parts functionality-fetishism and playful subversion to its street culture-inspired clothing. A combination of each studio’s most iconic designs, and a mash-up of the familiar and the new, the NEW TENDENCY x ALYX META Side Table, now available on 032c, takes ALYX’s California theme park-inspired Rollercoaster Belt inside and affixes the accessory to powder-coated steel. The product is a decisive combination of utility and absurdism – a perfect fit for everyday life in the city.
032c asked NEW TENDENCY creative director Manuel Goller and ALYX founder and designer Matthew Williams more about this synergy of fashion and furniture. The NEW TENDENCY x ALYX META Side Table is available at our online store.
ON COLLABORATION AND CROSS-POLLINATION
“[W]e’ve always loved the furniture Rei Kawakubo designed for her shops in the 1980s. And after moving to Berlin, we had the opportunity to meet Ines Kaag from BLESS and have been inspired by her work on the borderline of fashion and furniture as well. We’ve always loved the alleged “ease” of fashion, the playfulness, and the imagery. None of these things are found very often in the furniture world. With NEW TENDENCY, we are trying to change this, and the collaboration with ALYX is a perfect start. We felt very connected with their products and brand: the graphics, the resilience, the technical materials, the love for details and poetry.” Manuel Goller, NEW TENDENCY
“There are so many amazing companies and brands that have been studying and developing their particular expertise for years. For us as a brand to recreate that would take endless time and money, and I would rather honor their previous investment and work together to create new product that will live and grow within ALYX.
For this particular project, the collaboration came really organically. … We were introduced to the brand through friends, and the aesthetics and functionality of New Tendency was a really nice fit for ALYX. I really admire their simplicity, but simultaneous quality and clear vision. I think that furniture and fashion have a lot in common in terms of form and visual identity. Designers are often fascinated with furniture and use it to create their world and aesthetic, whether it is in their office space, showroom, runway, etc. Getting the chance to work directly with a furniture company and develop a unique piece together was such a great opportunity and I really love how the product turned out.” Matthew Williams, ALYX
ON FUNCTION AND FABRICATION
“I am attracted to tactical wear in both aesthetic and functional terms. Beyond the utilitarian look, I am really fascinated by fabrication and how different fabrics inform different environments and tasks. There is so much function and logic involved in the development of clothing, and I want to explore that and investigate how that can play a role in the world of ALYX.” Matthew Williams, ALYX
“Our ambition is to create everyday objects which not only satisfy functional needs but also poetic ones. We add complexity to our objects, but keep a simple and graphical shape, which leads to multi-faceted objects that are bold from one angle and very delicate – almost fragile – from another viewpoint.” Manuel Goller, NEW TENDENCY