The Garage Sales That Influenced Misha Kahn

Known for his “trash-turned-treasure” approach, the Brooklyn sculptor assembles a garage sale mise en scène for WANT Les Essentiels.

“The Extraordinary Journey” by Misha Kahn at WANT Apothecary, NoMad Hotel.

Misha Kahn grew up on garage sales. “As a kid, I’d wake up on Saturdays at 5 AM and pester my mom to take me to all the garage sales I’d circled in the paper,” says the 20-something Brooklyn artist, whose body of work encompasses sculptures made from recycled materials—in some cases, jetsam he scavenged from the Rockaways. His latest endeavor, outfitting the window displays at WANT Apothecary in Flatiron, New York, suggests he still loves this sort of shopping.

Called “The Extraordinary Journey,” the exhibition presents a sneak peek of the cult travel and fashion label’s Pre-Autumn 2019 collection alongside odds and ends collected from Kahn’s studio. “I like mixing weathered things with new materials,” Kahn says. “It creates some nice tension and reflects an important shift to a material culture that can value reusing.” Consider the display a convergence of where the natural world collides with art and fashion—sustainability as a study in refinement.

“The Extraordinary Journey” by Misha Kahn at WANT Apothecary, NoMad Hotel.

According to Kahn, creating “The Extraordinary Journey” was like coming full circle—his first job in New York City, after having studied furniture design at RISD, was working on the window displays at Bergdorf Goodman. Shane Ruth, the men’s store visual director, gave him some advice that stuck: “The window adds the gloss.” Kahn referenced that line more than a few times while working on this project. “We could make something really grungy because there’s this big glossy coat on the front.”

“An Extraordinary Journey” is on view at WANT Apothecary, NoMad Hotel, at 1170 Broadway until June 15.

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