Learning about "fabric pornography" with designer Sruli Recht in his Reykjavik studio
Photos by James Ryang
With Sruli Recht's "nonproducts" and personal preoccupations housed in shelves and resting on workbenches crafted from remnants (found around his Fishpacking neighborhood in Reykjavik), his showroom and studio is an unrestrained assortment of his surroundings. We arrived at Vopnabúríð (Icelandic for The Armory) just as Recht and his wife Megan Herbert began their work day. After a playful competition between them to throw on music first, we embarked on a studio tour.
Consuming the most space, a newly purchased laser cutter is situated in a backroom next to a host of bewildering objects. Juxtaposed with an industrial rack holding the gorgeous wedding dress Recht designed for Herbert, sits a whale's tooth, a rolled up puffin skin and other oddities that speak to Recht's pension for curious leathers and distinct materials. (photos in the gallery below.)
A sternly witty character, Recht expresses seriousness for his work while channeling the spirit that conceives such designs as a bullet-proof gentleman's pocket square, a post-apocalyptic in-flight mask or a butcher shop-inspired ice bear rug. This two sides of his personality also shows up when questioned about a shelf filled with myriad rolls of fabric. With a slight twinkle in his eye, Recht explains it's his "shelf of fetishes" and the rolls are merely "fabric pornography."
Not only a talented fashion and shoe designer—one who cut his teeth at McQueen—Recht details every aspect of his projects, from designing the two fonts embedded on his leather goods to creating a beautifully shot (if not slightly controversial) video short for his Garrote necklace. His whole-hearted follow through on the entire process shows in everything he creates.
A constant innovator, future plans include owning a rapid prototyping machine and using digital technology to view smaller prototypes on a larger scale—a method that will save time and material.