Saturday, June 10, 2023

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Black Artists and Designers Celebrated In New Sustainable Pottery Barn Collection


A new collection is coming to home goods retailer Pottery Barn. The sustainable brand is showcasing its second collaboration with the Black Artists + Designers Guild—a global organization that promotes independent Black makers.

The new Pottery Barn collection comes as part of a Williams-Sonoma initiative to increase Black representation as well as its commitment to prioritizing progress toward racial justice and equity through action-based initiatives.

The member-driven Black Artists + Design Guild (BADG) is only in its fourth year, but its dynamic roster of action-oriented members has led to notable partnerships including a Hearst collaboration last year. Pottery Barn co-sponsored that event, a project dubbed the Obsidian Virtual Concept House.

The concept house imagined an 11,000-square-foot home in Oakland, California, designed for a multigenerational Black family.

“We’re using research as well as our experience to come at this from a more thoughtful design perspective,” BADG founder Marlene Barnett told Business of Home in 2020. “It’s thinking about sustainability, innovative technology, and Black culture, and exploring how we can bring all of that together in a space.”

“We decided that we wanted to expand the idea of a showhouse, which is usually more based in fantasy than in reality,” says Barnett. “We wanted to have something that could be real, and position it as a way to live and not just show off great design.”

Black Joy

The newest collaboration with Pottery Barn, “Black Joy,” isn’t a concept, though; it features more than 25 pieces including accessories, bedding, pillows, dinnerware, table linens, barware, and games. Themes include ‘Unity in the quest of inclusion and equity,’ ‘Triumph over tribulations,’ ‘Celebration of love and family,’ and ‘Harmony as a connected community’. The company says the capsule highlights the richness of Black culture and showcases the beauty in how Black communities and families gather and entertain.

“For us, ‘Black Joy’ is possibility and empowerment, a celebratory theme that is woven into our collection.” BADG founder Malene Barnett said in a statement.

Three interior designers, all BADG members, led the collection development: Penny Francis and Casi St. Julian of the New Orleans-based interior design firm Eclectic Home, and color enthusiast Lisa Turner of the Beverly Hills-based design firm Interior Obsession.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Black Artists + Designers Guild and its community of creators, artists, and design professionals to highlight excellence in design and artistry,” said Marta Benson, Pottery Barn President. “The pieces within the collection, designed in partnership with BADG, illustrate a shared love of creating meaningful spaces, vibrant in color and joy, that I am excited for our customers to enjoy in their own homes.”

The collection features notable works including mouth-blown ribbed glass, hand-pressed vases, and Eswatini-artisan crafted tableware. According to Pottery Barn, these items were produced by a local women’s empowerment organization in the Southern African country.

“This partnership with Pottery Barn builds on our mission to honor ancestral legacies while embracing liberatory creative practices,” Barnett said. “We love creating spaces to celebrate Black culture in design, and our collection invites everyone to celebrate with us.”

Shop from the collection below.

BADG Celebration 12-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set

Start with a set featuring three cohesive designs (one modeled after an African shield) that will energize your place settings. The hand painted dots and radiating Vs have a lively design that almost moves.

BADG Shield Tufted Quilt

A repeated round shield motif is accented with multicolored dots in earthy gem tones. Embroidered, hand quilted and textured, this set is art as much as it is bedding. The quilt is made with cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative, which trains farmers to care for the environment and respect workers’ rights and well being.

BADG Close Knit Throw

The ivory and grey zig-zag pattern descends diagonally for a playful take on chevron. And it’s any-room neutral so it won’t interfere with any established palettes. Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX Certified: tested to be free of 350+ harmful substances.


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