Instagram and Pinterest are wonderful sources of treasures, best enjoyed when I go beyond a simple ‘like’ or ‘pin it’, and take the time to explore a  little.

This morning, thanks to @modernform on Instagram, I spotted this intriguing image of a design by Ray Komei – a name I’d never heard before.



Some Googling told me that Ray Komei was born and educated in Los Angeles, working as a graphic artist, and after WWII, when he’d been interned in a Japanese camp, he moved to New York, and opened his own design studio. Here, he created his ‘Masks’ design for Laverne Originals in 1948, clearly inspired by the primitivism in art of people like Klee and Picasso.

Ray Komei textile
Image from Esoteric Survey (who seems to have a lot of this fabric!)
Ray-Komei-Masks on Craft Horizons
On the cover of Craft Horizons, 1949

I could not find a lot more about Ray Komei online, but he is certainly best known for his molded walnut plywood Komei Side Chair (which, curiously enough, also has the appearance of a mask).

Ray Komei chair
Image: Brooklyn Museum

Thanks, @modernform, for sending me down the Ray Komei rabbit hole today!


Crazy Happy Thanks

We’ve had a truly odd assortment of things on the studio table lately, and I thought they were a perfect expression of what this time of the year is like. In a nutshell, it’s totally CRAZY, but there’s plenty of HAPPY underneath too! So let’s focus on the HAPPY as we go crazy and celebrate my birthday by giving YOU a gift. It is Thanksgiving in the US too, after all, and we are so, so grateful to all our supporters, customers and fans. If you shop online or in our Cape Town store on my birthday, 27 November, we’ll send… Continue reading


In the shop: Height Charts

I have three brothers, and clearly remember the rivalry and glee when our birthdays came around and we would compare our heights against our siblings’ at the same age. My mom still has the beautifully-painted wooden height chart at her home, which her grandchildren now love measuring themselves against their parents’ heights. I don’t know if the Wiggly and Giraffe height charts from Skinny laMinx will reach family heirloom status, but I’m sure your kids will enjoy the annual ritual of marking off their growth on them. Our little models, Finn and Emslie got the idea straight away! We’re selling our height… Continue reading

Week 2 Lasso-shoes-2

Collaboration with LASSO

This is something we’ve been keeping under our hat for a while, so we’re very excited to be able to reveal our collaboration with French-based brand LASSO Shoes, which launched at Maison et Objet in Paris in September. Meet the ingenious flat-pack, self-assembly LASSO shoe: I met Gaspard, the designer for LASSO last year, while he was in South Africa doing Sangoma training, and our meeting sparked the idea of putting Skinny laMinx designs onto LASSO Shoes in a limited edition release. Order your pair of Skinny laMinx ¦ LASSO shoes at the LASSO online shop.  


Heath Ceramics seasonal line

We’re not the only ones recommending Skinny laMinx for the festive table. Heath Ceramics has our Sway print on napkins, runners and pillows looking awfully alluring in their Classic Red seasonal collection this year.


In the Press: Rooi Rose’s festive tables

Way back in July, we were asked to style a Christmas table with Skinny laMinx for Rooi Rose magazine. Well, the feature is now on the shelf, and looks absolutely gorgeous! PS: See that cute little napkin we cleverly folded like a Christmas tree? Watch this space for a DIY tutorial…


Spoons again

Josh Vogel makes spoons. Lots and lots of beautiful carved wooden spoons, and in his new book, The Artful Wooden Spoon, the former architect and founder of Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. shows us what he does… as well as how you can do it too. It looks like a gorgeous book, and reminds me of when Paul got Jasper Morrison’s A Book of Spoons for his birthday, way back in 2007, and I got a little obsessed with spoons: I photographed all the spoons in our house (top pic), which prompted fellow bloggers Lena Corwin, Lisa Congdon and Kelly from Hoping… Continue reading