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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

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