Tent London is a trade fair beloved by the design cognoscenti for its innovative curation. However, for the last eight years the (mostly) emerging talent that the show champions could only be seen during the four days of the London Design Festival; and even then solely by ticket holders.
The arrival of Shop Tent changes all that. This recently launched e-store aims to connect current and previous exhibitors from Tent London and its sister show, Super Brands London, to bring interesting contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories direct to the design-loving public.
The site features eight main categories (ceramics, furniture, glass, interior accessories, fashion accessories, jewellery, lighting and textiles) plus “New In” and a long A-Z list of designers. Those looking specifically for, say, a ceramic pendant light by British brand Aditi Studios (I/O Pendant Light, £435, third picture) or one of Laura Fletcher’s beautifully understated cushions (Rye Stripe Woven cushion, £49), can simply click on the name and head straight to checkout.
However, what’s great about Tent London is that it celebrates new talent, and the site is well set up for shopping serendipitously. A browse through the categories might bring up a striking, patinated copper Elementi Cabinet by Andrea Felice (£9,850, first picture) or a chic dressing table (Avignon No 2 by Codolagni, £1,033), alongside a set of functional but sculptural whisky and water glasses by Vera & Kyte (£279, fourth picture). Elsewhere, a decorative reclaimed Welsh roof slate, engraved with swooping jays and gnarled apple branches (£80, second picture), comes courtesy of surface designer Daniel Heath.
The online version of Tent London may lack the buzz of the show itself, but retains all its impressive creativity.