Raf Simons’ Take on an American Design Classic

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Photos courtesy of Kvadrat and Raf Simons


August 10, 2022

Kvadrat and Raf Simons’s new Shaker System offers beauty in the form of simplicity and utility, inspired by America’s first modern design language: Shaker culture. Nine years into an ongoing collaboration, Kvadrat and Raf Simons enter the realm of lifestyle accessories with this storage system and range of accessories, making a case for functionality as art.

“I really wanted to design something that can be anywhere in terms of its non-pretentiousness but, on the other hand, has scale. So it could be very architectural and define a space or it could also work in a 35 square meter apartment in Tokyo, for example,” Raf said in a release.

Thus came the simple-yet-sculptural horizontal bar and essential accessories. The classic Shaker peg rail directly influences the Shaker System, inspiring the horizontal bar that forms its foundation. The intensity of color and experimentation with surface textures in the minimalist sculptures of John McCracken also inform the design.

From the horizontal bar hang all of the system’s accessories, designed around each space in a home: a key chain, cap, tote bag, and shopping bags for the entry; soft woolen throws and cushions, a leather-clad mirror tray, accessory boxes, a leather magazine strap, and storage sleeves for the living room.

Vidar 4, the emblematic fabric of the Kvadrat/Raf Simons collection, defines and unifies the system. It upholsters the bar and most of the accessories. Additional materials are color-matched to the Vidar 4 tones, bringing the four signature hues—off-white, pink, green, or black—to every piece of the system. The effect is harmony, tactility, and comfort.

Inspired by his own struggles to establish “home” each time he moves, Raf Simons designed The Shaker System to visualize future living through design cues of the past. “More than ever the home is the absolute center of our lives, and I wanted to create a system that would change it for the better. I am trained as an industrial designer, just putting out beautiful products was not enough. I wanted to conceive something relevant to how we live today,” Raf Simons said.

The Shaker System consists of 26 items in the four signature colorways and will be launched in two collections. The first collection launches today, August 10.


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