Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Kelly Wearstler – these aren’t names you would traditionally associate with carpet design. Yet owing to The Rug Company’s creative approach, they now are. To celebrate the company’s 20 years in business, the acclaimed carpet marker, known for its hand-made rugs produced by skilled weavers in Nepalese mills, has enlisted the creative minds behind leading fashion brands, as well as its own co-founder Suzanne Sharp, for its TRC20 collection. The resulting carpets, each endowed with the designer’s unique vision, pay tribute the Rug Company’s signature style of fusing modern creativity with tradition craftsmanship. From Sharp’s geometric patterns and McQueen’s evocation of vibrant Dutch floral paintings of the 17th century to Paul Smith’s stripes, there is a rug for everyone in this collection.
Suzanne Sharp sitting on her rug
“We wanted to celebrate great design, which has always been central to The Rug Company’s ethos,” says co-founder Christopher Sharp. “It was difficult to choose just five designers to represent such a wide spectrum of talent, but I hope that the collection embodies the extraordinary diversity of our history.” The designers, says Sharp, are chosen for their originality. “Each needs to contribute something to the Rug Company. This is what enables us to achieve the original design work that we have become renowned for. We have always needed to be careful that we don’t work with designers just because they are just well known. The reason we work with them is because the designers each bring a unique perspective to our collection.”
Suzanne Sharp's mood board
Since its founding, the Rug Company has worked with craftsmen in Nepal who provide each carpet with its meticulous quality. “They understand the quality we require and we understand their challenges,” adds Sharp. “It’s a happy marriage. There are a number of factors that make a perfect rug that will last for 200 years. The whole process must be completed by hand and the quality of the wool needs to be extremely good. We never cut corners and we take our time. Trying to produce a rug quickly and cheaply is not what we are about.” For instance, the stripes in Paul Smith’s carpet each took one full day to weave.
Paul Smith with his rug
The rugs in this collection are innovative in vision and interpretation. Highland by Vivienne Westwood pays tribute to Scotland with its muted royal blue and cream bands accented by gold and red threads. Bonavita by Suzanne Sharp stems from the designer’s childhood growing up in the Mediterranean country of Malta, surrounded by rich and sensual colour. Channels Copper by Kelly Wearstler incorporates a structural synthesis from the worlds of art and design. Moreover, the collection is celebrated with a special photo shoot paying tribute to the designers in their creative spaces.
Vivienne Westwood with her carpet
“The Rug Company has always sat very comfortably between design and art,” says Sharp. “We have had great success as a result of working with fashion designers – they understand colour, print and design, and these are the vital ingredient for a great rug.” TRC20 collection goes beyond a simple carpet – they are true objets d’art.
Alexander McQueen's Chiaroscuro rug, Dhs 88,000