O: Your furniture collection inspired by the De Stijl movement is made up of geometric forms and primary colours. Would you say your wardrobe is influenced by this style as well?

A: Oh for certain. But, more than it being about geometry and primary colours, to me, its about simplicity in materials and construction – both the furniture and the clothes I wear.

O: You’ve transitioned from graphic design to studying literature to curating furniture. Will there be any more moves in the future?

A: I think why it’s so easy to move between practices is because they relate to each other so well.

But with all of these things I found that I’m looking backwards, at 20th century designers, theories and methods. Lately we’ve been more involved with the fashion industry, mainly supplying pieces for shoots and styling look books, and so now it means we’re looking at contemporary design. Whilst using 20th century pieces and in some cases antique pieces, we have to maintain an image of contemporaneity when working with fashion. So that’s one of the directions we are moving in at the moment.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 14.39.29O: You have designed some pieces yourself, do you see this becoming a larger part of your business moving forward?

A: When I first started 1934, a few years ago, the idea was to design and make pieces my self. As I started researching and finding out that I could actually buy furniture by some of my favourite designers –  that’s when I got a bit obsessed, and worked harder at sourcing design pieces.

I do enjoy making furniture and I have a lot of designs stored in my head. When we start working on more interiors or exhibition spaces then I’ll certainly be into making more. Just recently I made an oak bench for a client to use as display for a show. You’ll see more of this very soon…

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 14.30.19O: What do you feel carefully curated furniture brings to a room?

A: As with clothes, I think the furniture in your home can make you feel good. You have a chair that you always return to when you get in – but similarly you’ll have pieces that aren’t very comfortable that are nice to own and look at.

Seeing nice things in a room, especially if it’s your house, can improve your life. You have clothes or furniture that you don’t like and immediately it makes everything so hard and stressful.

O: What was your household like growing up? Did your family share your taste?

A: My parents have always been conscious of design and making the home a nice place to be. When I was younger, my dad was a metal worker, and he used to bring home pieces that he’d made, coffee tables, candle holders, bed frames, small sculptures, so the idea of making furniture for oneself was never out of reach.

Anyway, there’s certainly a mutual appreciation of aesthetics there.

abel 1O: What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

A: The most rewarding thing about what I do, is being able to work alongside my partner Ruby. We met at the beginning of the year and have been working together ever since. Without having her with me, it would be much harder and I don’t think the business would be going in the direction that it is. We can be working and discussing what we’re going to make for dinner – or we can be cooking and discussing work – I enjoy that a lot. There’s no boundary with where work starts and leisure ends. To me they are in the same breath.

O: What is your favourite piece of clothing and why is it special to you?

 A: A pair of army surplus jeans. I think they’re Swiss. They’ve acted as a uniform for me and eliminate the need to decision about what to wear. I can put them on everyday (which I pretty much do!) for working in, driving in, and everything else. There’s nothing special about them and they’re very simply made. Comfortable and practical.

Visit Abel’s website here.
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