Your Home Needs a Little More Edge
Bond Hardware's new furniture collection is the opposite of baby-proofing.
Courtesy Bond Houseware
"The world doesn't need any more landfill stuff." That's a hard lesson to learn three years into a degree from Pratt, but a 2011 internship sketching mass market jewelry for brands like Givenchy and Rachel Roy taught Bond Hardware's Dana Hurwitz what she didn't want to do: Spend a lifetime designing the rhinestone-studded shoplifter fodder that floods the counters at Macy's. "So now if I'm going to make stuff, it's with a do-no-harm mission," she says while turning over granite cinder blocks her creative partner, Mariah Pershadsingh, carries one by one down the basement steps of their East Williamsburg showroom.
The designers were preparing for last night's debut of Bond Houseware, a sustainable, architectural furniture collection of sharp edges borrowed from their accessories line —stone stacking tables with the arc of buzzsaw blades, pairs of marble consoles that double as decorative pillories, frosted resin bookcases —luxury elements that evoke Rachel Whiteread, and would look at home tethered to a houseguest of Cindy Gallop's Black Apartment. That's a level of luxury far from their studio on Woodpoint Road, where there's an independent gas station still on the corner and U-Haul rentals lining the block. But it's also a place where a delivery of marble objets d'arts can sit by the curb all day and go unmolested. Gentrification has given Bond Hardware an excuse to think big and hustle to keep up with both the economic maturity of the neighborhood and their clientele.
The brand began as a collection of club kid wearables, seatbelt harnesses and mouthguards that attracted collaborations with The Blonds and DKNY when their design was still in the thick of electroplated adolescent clunkiness, but two years ago Bond Hardware changed course. "When we relaunched, we thought more about experimenting and avoiding waste," Hurwitz says. Now they produce refined shapes in recycled silver and solid gold. The customers who once wielded Bond Hardware's 8" spike nail hairpins as a safety measure after walking home from a night at Rose Bar have grown up, and now can swing an UberX and a 3D printed engagement ring—or at least be the recipient of both.
Their clientele is so grown in fact, they're thriving in today's New York real estate market—one that's forcing Bond's own showroom to find a new address at the end of the year. But it's a market that's also afforded Hurwitz an opportunity to scale up from earrings-sized I-beams, getting her hands dirty furnishing encroaching high-rises with the building materials that long fascinated her as a Westchester teen obsessed with the city's industrial crust.
"My friend has the largest stone contracting company in New York, ten minutes from my parents house," Hurwitz notes. "He works on skyscrapers, and he had leftover pieces on projects, and the cost of cutting down and carting off is on his biggest expenses." Now instead of buying a slab, she can create with the leftovers, sharp edged conversation pieces that won't cause their owners to flinch when a stranger lays their hands on them.
Despite the name, Bond Hardware has as much to do with bondage as Richardson Hardware has to do with hardware, but sometimes lines get crossed. "My mom's friend will come up to me, to tell me she saw some S&M thing on TV and I'd say please, I don't want to have this conversation at Passover dinner," Hurwitz recalls.
There is one thing the Bond community shares with the BDSM community; their creations can often inform spontaneous lessons in consent. Pershadsingh holds up her door-knocker choker with its O-ring vibes, and demonstrates how strangers can't resist slipping in a finger. "Every time, I still never learn. I just breathe and wait for it to be over." That should be reason enough to ask before you touch. Then there's the price. Those cinder blocks alone start at $4000.