The Invisible Collection began life in 2016 as an online showcase for rare and unique pieces by esteemed French and international interior designers, which could be customised and made to order. Such has been its success that its founders, Anna Zaoui, an advisor who has worked with The Serpentine and is currently involved with the Hayward Gallery, and Isabelle Dubern, previously creative director at Dior Maison, feature the work of more than 40 architects and designers worldwide. Now, for the first time a British designer – rising star Sophie Ashby – has been invited into the fold.
Ashby’s collection entitled Piece by Piece was originally conceived for private residential projects, and comprises 17 pieces crafted by British artisans: including mohair dining benches (the Chubby Bench is priced from £3,350), an acrylic console table (£20,335) in Yves Klein blue, and a raw-edged Block-Face vanity mirror (£2,130). “I use so many antiques, art and vintage finds,” Ashby says. “All the pieces in the collection were born out of empty spaces – ones that I couldn’t furnish with existing furniture.”
The opportunity to sell bespoke, one-off pieces through theinvisiblecollection.com (available from March 26) was too good an opportunity to miss, according to the young designer who founded her eponymous studio in 2014. “I don’t want to tie myself to creating a collection each season and I’m years away from opening my own showroom,” she says. “This collaboration frees me from risk and investment. It’s a very modern way of thinking about and selling design.”
Ashby’s talent for combining vintage and new pieces with art, colour and textures attracted Dubern and Zaoui’s attention early on. “We instantly had a crush on Sophie Ashby,” says Dubern. “Growing up between South Africa and Devon, she creates projects that are cosmopolitan and seemingly effortless. She embodies the new generation of British interior design.”