Zak + Fox’s Latest Line of Textiles Plumbs Oceanic Depths

Sea Change, the New York fabric studio’s most expansive collection to date, renders marine-inspired scenes soaked with mystery and intrigue.

All photography by Stephen Kent Johnson

Zak Profera has always put his longing for adventure and discovery at the heart of his New York textile studio Zak + Fox, which has become a go-to source for artisan-made fabrics and traditionally printed wallpapers. Sea Change, the brand’s latest and most expansive collection yet, is no different. Across 16 new textiles and three wallpapers, references to maritime tales and mysterious oceanic depths manifest in a multitude of marine-inspired hues that Profera dreamed up over the past four years—a span of time in which change was a defining theme. 

To realize the new collection, which employs previously unused processes, yarns, and constructions for the studio, Profera relied on the expertise of the world’s premier mills and craftspeople. “Some of the mills and makers we work with are small and have been working to maintain their family businesses for three, four, or even five generations—their work is an incredibly intimate process,” he says. “Their techniques are quite traditional and use artisan looms rather than slick industrial machinery. There’s a tipping point in manufacturing and creation where something too new and shiny strips the product of its heart and character.” 

Sea Change, meanwhile, keeps the myth and fantasy underscoring its nautical themes front and center. One pattern mimics glimmering errant fronds floating through shallow waters; another suggests a train of lunar light shining from horizon to shore. Bringing the collection full circle, Profera teamed with interiors photographer Stephen Kent Johnson to recreate folkloric scenes from a forgotten era using artifacts and antiques from the Mystic Seaport Museum, one of the world’s premier maritime museums that preserves the disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past. “We chose this location because of its significance to New England’s nautical past,” Profera says, “and to illustrate humanity’s eternal relationship with the sea.” Sea Change is now available for view online and in Zak + Fox’s showroom.

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