Stephen Kenn started his design career making jeans – which was the reason he moved to L.A. – but after the economy crashed, he moved on to making bags out of old military fabric. His goal was to sew a new bag every day, simplifying his designs down to a bag’s mere essence. This project sparked Stephen’s appreciation – now evolved into a slight obsession – for vintage military fabrics.
While dreaming about his next step, Stephen noticed the absence of well-designed, masculine furniture on the market – and there was no furniture to be found with military materials. He sat down with his wife Beks and together they set up their very first pieces of furniture; The Inheritance Collection. Just as with the bags, Stephen’s goal remained reduction: stripping things down to their barest bones.
The steel welded frame functions like an exoskeleton, much like a scaffolding. The cushions are suspended by thick leather and canvas belts. All the references to the utility of the military are there, even when they stray from the use of vintage WWII fabrics and upholster the pieces in soft wools and canvas. Each piece of furniture is carefully composed using different metals, fabrics and leathers. Stephen likes working from the idea that each piece is unique and loves to work in close collaboration with his clients. As for the future: Stephen says he feels most comfortable changing the mediums in which he works often enough not to get stuck in the same pattern.
Pictures by Daniel N. Johnson, property of StephenKenn LLC.