Evan Kinori’s honest furniture designs

Evan Kinori wasn’t sure he wanted to be a fashion designer, or a designer at all. When he moved to San Francisco to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, his first patternmaking class was the catalyst to a unique and enviable career, one that has suddenly entered the industry zeitgeist, and evolved beyond fashion. He launched his namesake menswear label in 2015, in a retail storefront and workshop in San Francisco’s Mission District, vowing to ‘take it slow and make simple, functional, beautiful things.’ Over the past ten years, he has done just that, methodically building a coveted brand with a cult-like following, revered for its impeccable construction, and using only the world’s finest all-natural cotton.

Evan Kinori: from fashion to furniture

Evan Kinori furniture

(Image credit: Courtesy Evan Kinori)

Kinori’s relentless focus on materials is what really sets him apart. Together with Sally Fox, the celebrated cotton breeder known for pioneering naturally colored varieties of the plant, he has curated a truly organic supply chain of undyed cotton fibers, a commitment to quality that is obvious in the finished product. Each piece is part of a hand-numbered edition, adding to the ‘if you know, you know’ aura of fandom surrounding Kinori and his work. But after designing a stunning organic linen tuxedo for Will Welch, GQ magazine’s global editorial director for the recent Met Gala, many more people know.

While Kinori sees his role in the high-profile charity gala less as a career milestone and more like ‘helping a friend look nice for a special evening,’ the newfound notoriety is meaningful. It focuses industry attention on a decade of impressive work in fashion and now, furniture.

Evan Kinori furniture

(Image credit: Courtesy Evan Kinori)

Just weeks after the gala, Kinori has launched an exciting new exhibition at New York’s JDJ Gallery called ‘Apple, elm & cotton’. Located in Tribeca, the space provides a beautiful, deferential backdrop for the dual-purpose event, both the launch of his Spring/Summer 2024 collection and his debut furniture line. Unsurprisingly, they presented perfectly together. The title highlights three important elements of the show: the complimentary hard apple cider he hand-made for the event with upstate New York’s Occam Ciders, the oiled elm used extensively in the furniture, and of course, cotton.

The furniture line was an ambitious undertaking that few fashion designers would attempt, but it was just another project for Kinori, who sees himself as a multidisciplinary designer. ‘Studying pattern making, sewing, and learning the craft of physically making clothing allowed me to find a subtle language in the details. With clothing, furniture, and any design for that matter, the questions are the same: material, form, proportion, scale, etc.,’ he says.

Evan Kinori furniture

(Image credit: Courtesy Evan Kinori)

With his first attempt at furniture, he has applied that subtle language with the same stylish ease he does in fashion, creating a minimal, refined-rustic aesthetic that at once echoes the work of legends John Pawson and Donald Judd and advances it, in material, form and format.

Only the finest all-natural materials will do for Kinori, regardless of the medium. The solid wood pieces are simple and substantial, made of heirloom-quality woods including Douglas fir, Monterey cypress, old-growth elm, redwood, and black walnut—all harvested from naturally felled trees within 100 miles of San Francisco. These rich, warm woods are articulated in elegantly proportioned straight lines and right angles that communicate the modern gestalt of their designer.

Evan Kinori furniture

(Image credit: Courtesy Evan Kinori)

Feature pieces like the platform bed, box sofa, and coffee table are large and low-slung, set on recessed platforms that make them appear floating just inches above the floor. Not surprisingly, the organic latex sofa cushions feature slipcovers made of pre-washed, undyed organic cotton canvas handwoven in Japan – just like much of the clothing displayed behind.


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