NEW YORK -- Obeetee proves the synergy between area rugs and fashion once again with the launch of its Abraham & Thakore collection at ABC Carpet & Home (ABC), exclusive retailer of the 18 rug designs in the U.S.
Themed "India's Modern Makers & Muses," the May 22 launch party featured remarks by Paulette Cole, CEO of ABC Carpet & Home; Rudra Chatterjee, chairman of Obeetee; and David Abraham of the design duo Abraham & Thakore.
Almost 300 influentials from the worlds of design and fashion joined together in celebration of ABC's 30-year focus on Indian textiles, craft, and innovation, and its move from its iconic 6th floor to its exciting new incarnation on the 2nd floor.
The limited edition line by Abraham & Thakore, one of the most successful and respected fashion and design houses in India, is the second edition of Obeetee's 'Proud to be Indian' series, which is aimed at bringing the loom to the modern Indian context. The initiative's first collection, in collaboration with Indian bridal and fashion designer Tarun Tahilian, premiered in February 2017, also at ABC (read story
From left to right, designer David Abraham; Richard Perl, chief administrative officer of TerraCycle and Graham Head, vice of chairman of ABC carpet & home.
"The Abraham & Thakore collection for Obeetee celebrates modern India and its global impact today, while embracing the country's rich heritage in textile design and its weaving traditions," explained Graham Head, vice chairman of ABC Carpet & Home, who has spearheaded much of the retailer's rug innovations over the past 30 years.
ABC also treated guests to a special presentation by renowned lifestyle guru and trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, whose color and design predictions are taken as gospel in the textile, apparel, and interiors fields. Edelkoort intrigued the audience with a sneak peek at her just released forecast entitled, "Indian Summer - From Climate Change to Color Change, Autumn Winter 2019/2020", which identifies the consumer's increased appetite for color, handmade textiles, and the seamless integration of apparel and home décor trends.
Attendees listening to a color trend presentation by renowned trend forecaster LI Edelkoort, who, like the collection itself, is inspired by India's great textile traditions.
Indeed, the rich palette and sari silks of India referenced in her forecast are reflected in the Abraham & Thakore rugs. The latest 'Proud to be Indian' collection touches upon India's fascinating elements: The borders of vintage saris from Kanchipuram, block prints from Sanganer and the timeless tie and dye Bandhani from Kutch.
The designs are also influenced by the geometry of double Ikat Telia Rumals and the art of calligraphy and its ornate lettering techniques. Other elements that are becoming an anomaly in our digital age like old handwritten letters, faded ink and calligraphic strokes are also been referenced in the designs.
Rudra Chatterjee, Obeetee Chairman, explains his commitment to preserving Indian craft to over 300 guests at the ABC Carpet & Home launch party for the Abraham & Thakore rug collection.
"We are proud to partner with Abraham & Thakore to create rugs that represent design, material and craftsmanship that are local, yet exceptional in heritage and quality. What attracted us was their mastery of design, which is both cutting-edge yet tied intricately to India's ethos," explained Rudra Chatterjee, chairman, Obeetee.
"With projects such as the one with Abraham & Thakore, we will continue to make fine rugs, but using a new palette derived from the exceptional talent of our partners. We want to give our consumers high-end carpets that are not mass-produced. As we move towards completing 100 years in 2020, we will continue to pursue such opportunities to engage our weavers and help preserve their craft," added Chatterjee.
From left to right, Vimal Kumar, vice president of sales of Obeetee North America; David Sloan, member of Obeetee's board of directors; Patricia Ben-Zvi, president of Obeetee North America; and Gaurav Sharma, Obeetee managing director.
At the event, David Abraham told RugNews.com his firm worked very closely with Obeetee's design team to achieve the couture look of the rugs. "I think the success of the collection is due in equal part to their design studio because they are fantastic at interpretation. They took our designs and worked so carefully with us over two years, sending swatches back and forth for color approvals and sign-offs. It was amazing how much attention they put into it.
The new Abraham & Thakore collection for Obeetee includes timeless tie and dye Bandhani from Kutch. Shown, Bandhej Mauve.
"The beauty of this collection lies in the technical virtuosity of a hand-knotted carpet, where millions of threads are individually knotted together to create the complex surface of matte and sheen," Abraham continued. "Each rug has a modern design voice with a rich traditional vocabulary of Indian design and craft. The design sensibility is low-key yet highly distinctive, with a strong respect for material, form and craft."
Elaborating on the collaboration, Angelique Dhama, chief marketing officer, Obeetee, said, "We were aware of the strong Persian and Central Asian design language of most carpets, and we felt the time had come to showcase rugs influenced by India's own textile traditions, but with an evolved design vocabulary.
Obeetee weavers recreate the art of calligraphy and its ornate lettering techniques in this hand-knotted design by Abraham & Thakore, available at ABC Carpet & Home.
"We are very excited to collaborate with Abraham & Thakore who, along with our most experienced weavers, have created some never-before-seen masterpieces. Though the inspiration comes from India's rich heritage, the elements and colors are fresh and fun, making the whole compilation very contemporary. This collection reaffirms the ingenuity of the human hand."
The borders of vintage saris from Kanchipuram and block prints from Sanganer inspired several designs for Abraham & Thakore's line at ABC Carpet & Home, including Pochampally, shown here.
It took Obeetee's best weavers more than a year to weave one carpet. The carpets are all hand-knotted using different yarns and finishes. The details were carefully considered; the finest silk was procured and rugs were woven with a knot density of approximately 200 knots per square inch. Each piece has been designed to represent the modern and progressive India using a chic color palette.
"The carpets are also customized for our patrons. Each buyer can scan a QR code embedded in the tapestry of the carpet and read details about its weaver. The exclusivity of each carpet gives it a recherché charm and timeless elegance. These bespoke, limited edition rugs are made to adorn the homes of their proud owners for generations," advised Dhama.
Note: All party photos by Roey Yohai Photography for Editor at Large