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Konekting New York’s Chinatown

Nov 23, 2017

Mother-daughter design duo Helena and Natasha Sultan have set base in New York’s Chinatown with a showroom for their artisanal furniture brand Konekt

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Text by Rab Messina
Photography by courtesy of Konekt

Helena Sultan might owe it to her past as a documentary maker: every item she designs for Konekt, her luxury furniture brand, seems to speak of stories, motion and subtext. “In film, I teamed up with others, exploring different ways I could bring out the essence of the story I wanted to tell, [and] with my design work, it’s also about being open to all the possibilities as I collaborate with skilled artisans to make my vision a reality,” she explained. Some refer to Hans Wegner, remote East Coast beaches and the neck dusters found in hair salons; others achieve a sensual, sculptural quality via materials like horse hair, American walnut and bronze.

And this month, Sultan and her daughter Natasha opened their first showroom in New York’s Chinatown —in a perimeter that has become a vitrine for women-led creative retail enterprises, with Reformation and Glossier showrooms also nearby. The neighbourhood, it seems, is becoming a hub for female entrepreneurs who tweak the operating details of traditional businesses in order to have a co-creative relationship with their customers.

In the case of Konekt, that detail lies in the high customisability of the pieces, which are made to order in a series of handpicked workshops in Pennsylvania. “All of our products are crafted in Pennsylvania not only because [our studio] happens to be based in the Philadelphia area, but because [the state] has a strong furniture tradition with a vibrant community of skilled artisans, cabinetmakers and craftsmen.”

It’s this combination of durable natural materials, a spirit of co-creation and Keystone know-how heritage —what the Sultans call “sublime luxury”— that makes Konekt a brand to watch.

The Konekt showroom is now open at 41 Elizabeth Street

Helena and Natasha Sultan in the showroom
The Pause lounge chair and chaise longue with the Petra coffee table
The Gazelle dining table
The Sonya dining table and the Bianca side chairs with the Stone candle holders
The Pause chaise longue and the Dionis side table
The Thing stools
The Rib bench and the Thing 3 stool

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