Promoting emerging talent can be a thankless task – and not always commercially successful. This has been the experience of Thorsten van Elten, who closed his wonderfully quirky London shop in January to promote independent designers in a different way.
His plans are still formulating – and his wares still available via his website – but he is enjoying the freedom of not being tied.
Though well established on the London – and, increasingly, the international – scene, van Elten was born in Germany and studied in Milan before moving to the UK in 1990. Once here, he worked as a buyer for furniture retailer SCP before setting up on his own, establishing a collection of furniture and accessories.
His motivation for going solo was his frustration at the amount of creative talent around with little opportunity to realise their designs. He has taken his collection to Milan during the furniture fair, and elsewhere, showing alongside more established companies.
Last year he worked with New Designers organiser Upper Street Events to put together the One Year On feature. We can expect to see more of him this year – at One Year On and beyond.