Tom Smarte Lifestyle - The Artists Collection
December 2020 sees the launch of Tom Smarte Lifestyle, a new collection of home accessories and interiors created from the works of acclaimed artists from around the globe.
So, what brought a headwear brand that started its journey in 1786 into the world of home accessories 234 years later? The simple answer is that homewares and headwear are more connected to each other than you would think. Both require an understanding of the combinations of colours, materials, shapes and utility. They’re both accessories - just one is for the person and the other for a space. I always had a vision for Tom Smarte to be more than just a headwear company and it was just a matter of time before we expanded into other categories. This surreal year of 2020 has afforded me the opportunity to accelerate that vision.
Lockdowns, working from home, anxiety, fear, setbacks, a pause in time. Those were my experiences and they were probably yours too. The hamster’s wheel had stopped and the days of travel, meetings and generally running around were put on hold. I had the time to think and appreciate my surroundings that I had taken for granted. The view from my desk wasn’t changing but my view of things had. As so many people have found, our homes weren’t transitory places any more but places of safety, respite and comfort from the outside. And mine at least, had been neglected. So, I adapted.
When designing headwear, my ultimate goal is to create hats that I and others would want to wear. Instead, my focus turned to what we would want to see and use. My design inspiration had always been art and that would be my starting point with home accessories too. I’ve been lucky enough to befriend a lot of very talented artists and I decided that they would be the basis for my work. The first collaboration would be with Andy Burgess, a London born artist who moved to Tucson, Arizona 11 years ago - a move that proved pivotal in his artwork. He is renowned for his vibrant mid-century architectural paintings, as well as his colourful abstracts and clever use of ephemera. He has over 500 pieces of art that we have access to with some incredible designs coming in 2021. You can learn more about Andy here. We’ve also teamed up with other amazing artists with very different styles and will be releasing those designs later in 2021.
The next step was to design for a defined space. The first Tom Smarte Lifestyle release is for those of us who have had to get used to working from home, whether at a defined desk space or kitchen table. This features fine bone china mugs, notebooks, leather coasters, tea towels and candle holders. Items that will help brighten up our day.
We’ll quickly release more items in stationery and kitchenware, before moving to the living room (cushions, lampshades, throws, blankets and rugs), bedroom (bed linen), bathroom (shower curtains, bath rugs and accessories), garden and outdoor accessories. We’re also developing travel products for what will hopefully be a return to normality in the coming months.
We’ve started with some of Andy’s key pieces in primary colours but will introduce some more subtle palettes of his as we develop this further.
Tom Smarte will of course continue to make our signature headwear and will be introducing The Artists Collection to our summer 2021 hat collection.
Click here to view ‘Tom Smarte Lifestyle - The Artists Collection’.