A pair of Carolina hipsters – Trig Modern and Raleigh Denim Workshop – have teamed up to feature chairs and fabrics from Bernhart Furniture.
Raleigh Denim designed the Bernhart fabrics. A mile and a half away from its downtown factory, Trig showcases them, along with a bright red swivel chair t. It’s clad in one of five designs called Looking Up.
“When we did our grand opening in May for a new location downtown, we wanted to show how we’re connecting to city at large – so we called them up,” says Ann Marie Baum, Trig’s interior designer. “They sent us samples of all the fabrics, and brought us the chair and showed up for the event, enthusiastic and excited to work together.”
She’s talking about Raleigh Denim Workshop co-founders Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough, who established their iconic brand in 2007.
“We were trying to make the ideal pair of jeans,” Lytvinenko says of their start here. “We paid attention to history and were also forward-thinking – for handmade jeans that were focused on quality. We started making them and people started buying them.”
The media took notice too – including Esquire, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Fast Company. In fact, at a Fast Company event, they met one of Bernhart’s executives. “We hit it off – he called us and said: ‘We want to visit your factory – and we want you to design furniture for us,” he says.
Their first design – an industrial-sized meeting table called Power Bar- debuted at ICFF in a 5,000 square-foot installation. That was followed by a request for the fabric line now known as Looking Up.
It takes its name from the 5,000 paper airplanes suspended from the ceiling of Raleigh Denim’s factory. But there are designs with stars and constellations, a takeoff from the couple’s wedding invitation – and a Moroccan, star-filled sky too.
“For one, we took nails and arranged them on a photocopying machine and crisscrossed them,” he says. “From further away you see a hexagonal shape, but close up, you see the nails. There’s a 1950s vibe to them.”
You can feel that vibe and see that design today – at Trig Modern in Raleigh.