After seeing Terry Crews on the furniture scene earlier this year, I wanted to find out what he was up to. We interviewed him for our podcast, Clever, and discovered that he’d launched a new design label co-founded with fashion designer Nana Boetang. The firm, called Amen&Amen, debuted its first collection at Salone Satellite—a sofa, lighting sculpture, and set of tables designed by Switzerland-based American-born designer Ini Archibong.
The collection, called In The Secret Garden, was the result of both experimentation and freedom. Amen&Amen approached Ini with the proposition of creating something that expressed creative freedom and the ability to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Ini was inspired by stories—fairy tales, mythology, and fantasy—primarily derived from literature such as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bible, and Greco-Roman mythology.
The many hours of my youth spent escaping beyond the looking glass, a witness to heroic deeds and fantastical landscapes, have shaped who I am. A common theme with fantasy stories is the escape to the world beyond: a place where the nature that we are so accustomed to surrounding us operates with different rules. Referencing some of my favourite childhood fantasy books, the pieces in this collection are an attempt to bring an element of that vivid, larger-than-reality dream world to a living environment.
Having a design degree in Luxury Design and Craftsmanship from the prestigious École cantonal d’art Lausanne (ECAL), Ini is no stranger to quality craftsmanship and materials like marble, brass and glass. He worked with the most experienced craftspeople to create a luxurious series that sits on the border of art and design.
The Jadis lighting sculpture is an incredible as both a light and a sculpture. Made of crystalline flower buds hand-blown by famed Swiss glassblower Matteo Gonet falling like a waterfall from a giant hand-carved marble disc that appears to be dripping, it’s quite a sight to behold. The piece takes its name from the snow queen Jadis of Charn who doomed Narnia to eternal winter in C.S. Lewis’ tale. Jadis of Charn was 7 feet tall, and that sense of scale and overpowering presence is clear in the form.
Hand-carved Carrara marble sits atop colorful sold glass legs on both the Orion side table and Galilee coffee table. Both pieces reference stories of characters walking on water in both Greco-Roman mythology and the Bible and all of the elements of these two pieces are handmade by Swiss craftspeople. The glass is colored with a gradient, giving it a lightweight and ethereal feeling.
The Cheshire settee was inspired by the wide grin of the Cheshire cat in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which you can see best by looking at the back of the piece. The outer shell of the sofa is upholstered in a Vlisco Superwax batik print traditional to Western Africa and the seat and back are Alcantara ultra suede. The polished brass accents create an extra feeling of luxury.