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Japanese Inspiration by Way of Belgium

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Japanese Inspiration by Way of Belgium

March 29, 2013

Our NYC-based friend Zak Profera swung by Remodelista headquarters in SF the other day (sporting fabulous silver Jill Sander sneakers) with a bag of samples from his latest collection of linens from his line Zak + Fox. Zak launched his line a year ago with an assortment of historically inspired designs and patterns, presented for a modern audience. As he says, "I'm always drawn to the narrative behind something, and the creative process for me goes beyond the aesthetic, but also requires a dedicated search for the 'reason.' "

To wit, his latest collection of Belgian linens, called "Kiyohime," which was inspired by Japanese folktales. Zak notes that with both Japanese and Belgian design, "There's a lot of heart and thought behind each detail, even for the most unadorned object; design is driven from the mix of natural materials and organic hues, and the creation of something beautiful emerges by allowing those elements room to breathe."

The collection will be available in showrooms in April. For more information, go to Zak + Fox. To see more on the collection, see his pictorial interpretation of the legendary myth Kiyohime.

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Above: Zak Profera with his Shiba Inu.

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Above: Uroko shown in ink (also available in snow, shown on stool). Uroko translates to "scale," like that of a fish or snake. In Japanese folklore, Kiyohime, a lovelorn woman entranced by a traveling monk is often depicted in a kimono of this pattern.

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Above: Kesa shown in umber with Hidaka beneath.

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Above: Kesa, shown in snow and umber, represents the tale of a traveling monk. Kesa or Kesaya, is a vestment worn by a Buddhist priest over his robes; the rectangular geometric pattern referencing the small, patchwork assembly which makes up its construction.

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Above: Hidaka is named after the river Hidaka that stands as a barrier between love and rage in the ancient fable of Kiyohime. Zak notes, "The three new designs all represent different key elements of the story, but the challenge was figuring out how to distil these complicated metaphors and this imagery down to something wholly accessible and suited even for a minimalist. The legitimate translation of metaphor-to-geometry is what I found most compelling when I was creating these designs."

See Zak+Fox's previous collection, Textiles inspired by Exotica.

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