“The form of a pillow is so classic, yet almost comical,” says Will Cooper, chief creative officer of Ash New York. He’s describing the four components of the breezy Pillow Chair, a playful new piece that evokes the summertime mystique of the Italian Riviera. Classic, indeed: its striped upholstery, custom designed by Ash through Schumacher, resembles the towels dangling off sun loungers found throughout coastal Italy. In particular, Luchino Visconti’s seminal 1971 drama Death in Venice comes to mind. (“There are so many incredible scenes on the Venetian coast with striped cabanas and costumes.”) The chair’s deceptively simple form, meanwhile, references designer deep cuts à la Angelo Donghia’s Two-Tier chair and Billy Baldwin’s Turkish Ottoman. Yet it’s warm and inviting enough to make you want to dive right in.
Don’t mistake the chair’s poolside vibes for an outdoor piece—it’s intended to imbue interiors with the halcyon energy of days spent soaking up the sun. “We feel a collective shift in mood as winter draws to a close,” says Cooper, nodding to the excitement of dolce vita summertime glamour. The Pillow Chair rushes headlong into that feeling and signals even greater things to come from Ash, a burgeoning firm known for high-end residences, hospitality staging, and a growing portfolio of esoteric boutique hotels, but not yet its prowess with product design.