"I think now with social media and everything being so accessible, when you launch a fashion collection on the runways, you instantly see what's going on," said Mobilia president Daniele Bergeron. "I think people are starting to dress their homes a lot more with the same personality."
Mobilia is taking the fashion fusion concept a step further through a new design partnership, as the company unveils several items that can be used to dress a space — or a person.
The home furnishings retailer teamed up with Mariouche Gagne, founder of Montreal-based label Harricana, for its first collaboration with a Canadian designer.
The Harricana for Mobilia collection features items crafted from materials including recycled fur, knits and leather with a palette of brown, black, grey and neutral tones. But what distinguishes some of the interior staples showcased in the made in Canada line is their function as wearable pieces.
"The throws, you can wear them as a cape but you can also put (them) on your bed....(or) on your sofa," said Bergeron.
Crafted from recycled Norwegian fox, recycled grey sweater knit and distressed graphite leather, the Natural collection within the collaborative line features removable braids or trims on each item.
"There's two long ones on the throw that you can wear as a big boa, and there's some shorter ones on the pillows and the stools that you can wear around your neck or on your head," said Gagne.
With her Harricana label, the ethically minded designer has transformed thousands of recycled furs, coats, scarves and even wedding gowns over the years into unique new apparel pieces.
Bergeron said Gagne had already been giving thought to incorporating home decor into her own collection when she was approached by Mobilia about the collaborative opportunity.
Harricana partnered with skiwear company Rossignol on creating fur and wool braids which accented parkas — similar to the detachable accents now incorporated in the home decor line, Bergeron noted.
Early on, Gagne realized that creating decor items was more labour-intensive than she'd anticipated.
"The first throw took three days to build, from finding the material to cleaning the material to cutting the material to matching it," she recalled. "I think in total, we recycled something like 500 sweaters for the collaboration because not all of them were matching well enough with the other ones." Crafting the long braids of fur and wool took roughly three hours each to make, she added.
Pillows in the line range from $179 to $399; stools from $399 to $499 and the throws are $999 to $1,499.
While the prices may be higher than some comparable items on the market, Bergeron said there is considerable workmanship that goes into their creation — work that's also helping to foster local talent creating the goods.
"You could buy fake fur for a fraction of the price. But you're getting a product that's something that's going to last."