A new design collective allows designers to shine as well as develop their brands
Renowned fabric designer and all-round creative Nicole Levenberg has joined forces with product developer Carike Greffrath on a new venture – the Wanderland Collective. The two met while working together on a range for Ardmore Design and quickly realised a creative symbiosis.
The concept behind Wanderland is to create a playful collaborative space where art and beautifully considered product design merge. Focusing solely on local talent – in the form of African and more specifically South African artists and designers – Wanderland aims to create a platform for creatives to delve (even if only temporarily) into a more product-focused commercial market while simultaneously retaining their creative integrity as artists, as well as that of the artwork itself, throughout the transformative process.
This specialised approach is a unique one – and services a much-needed gap in the market for creatives to express their ideas in a way that upholds their work. No doubt due to Levenberg’s extensive experience in the design realm navigating these exact challenges, and Greffrath’s understanding of how to convert an artwork into something more commercially viable, without compromising its beauty and conceptual strength, the collective will surely strike a chord with the local design community.
Every few months Wanderland will collaborate with a new artist to develop specialised product that showcases the featured artists’ designs. The founders stress that the handmade human element is incredibly important to the brand philosophy and as far as possible suppliers, manufacturing and hand finishing and embellishment will be done locally. Wanderland’s first artist collaboration was with textile design studio Aureum – a collection of wearable art comprising Aureum’s handpainted, aquatic-inspired designs on silk scarves, twillys and embellished velvet bags.