The Modern Heirloom
Meet four contemporary designers whose age-defying works will stay in your family for generations
Think of these as the prized antiques of the future. In an era when slow is the new fast—whether we’re talking food, fashion, or home decor—and the term small-batch has substantial resonance with shoppers, we’re increasingly drawn to designers whose works have staying power hardwired into their DNA. The four brands featured here are helping define the new heritage piece, thanks to products that only get better with time (and will surely appreciate in value). We’re willing to bet your kids will be putting them on their inheritance wish list.
The New York City–based furniture brand was founded three years ago by Russian-born husband-and-wife team Donna and David Feldman. Their goal: to bring European craftsmanship to the American market. Specialties include horsehair- and down-stuffed cushions, French mattress stitching, and hand-pleated cashmere—all made the old-fashioned way in New York. “We started this company built on the premise that the pieces we make today will one day become antiques. It’s our guiding philosophy,” says Donna.
Best known for his Crystal Bulb lighting, the British designer has a new collection, Nouveau Rebel, that plays with the idea of using familiar materials (Carrara marble, handblown lead crystal) in innovative ways. Though Broom’s pieces are rooted in tradition—in both material and method—they’re also decidedly of the moment.
Just as millennials have started to show an interest in finding wedding-registry standards that feel distinct from those of their parents’ generation, the London-based designer has introduced a compelling premise. He’s reviving the bone-china market with creations that draw inspiration from the past and help invigorate the industries that manufacture his product while still seeming totally fresh—china for Generation Y.
Susan Hornbeak-Ortiz’s furniture and lighting firm, founded in 2004, has recently gone through an aesthetic refresh that debuted with its newest collection, Modern Vintage 1. The statement-making range, which includes lighting, upholstery, and case goods bench-made by artisans in Southern California, has a sexy-sophisticated edge that Halston would have adored.