Konekting New York’s Chinatown
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
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