Everyday Art for the Everyday Human: a Lesson in Innovation

From Milo & Dexter’s season-less fashion to ECARPETGALLERY’s affordable luxury rugs, unexpected business models are redefining the future of retail.

There is a unique state of mind that comes with picking out clothes to buy, or even browsing through furniture—we tend to visualize ourselves in different scenarios wondering how we would look. In these moments, we imaginatively project ourselves into the future; do I see myself shaking hands in this dark grey blazer? Do I see myself hosting friends on this Persian rug? Do I see these items accurately representing who I am and how I would want to be perceived by others?

But there are those of us who use our creativity to look beyond our own identities. There are those of us who look to the past as well. Where did this piece of art come from? Who were the people involved in its creation? How many hands and feet worked tirelessly to bring it to life? How did they feel?

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It’s easier to contemplate such questions when considering the well-known and intricately designed Persian rug for instance. Traditional carpet weavers draw on generations of knowledge and expertise when designing these art pieces, tying every knot of sheep’s wool with the care and attention it deserves.

For that reason, it is well-established that purchasing high-end rugs for your home can be a sound financial investment. As such, it becomes hard to fault the mission behind online retailer ECARPETGALLERY. The Montreal-born institution promises to use its global knowledge to sell artisanal carpets without any mark-ups, making internationally sourced hand-crafted rugs more accessible to North American homes.

The fashion industry is more disposable, as a change in seasons can render clothing items outdated or obsolete, no matter the price tag. But why do we choose to adorn our homes with handmade, long-lasting products more readily than our bodies? While most fashion brands distract us with big-budget marketing campaigns and celebrity endorsements, others want to challenge this consumerist norm and openly celebrate the best practices of garment-making that have been honed and perfected over time.

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Based in Montreal and working solely with Canadian suppliers, Milo & Dexter’s foundation was built on placing their workers and their wearers before their financials. Their ethical code promises quality and longevity in everything they make. To hold themselves accountable for this ambitious philosophy, Milo & Dexter commit to season-less and collection-less production cycles. While also allowing for economies of scale, this unique formula allows them to create timeless and functional designs meant to be worn on the long-term and passed on to future generations.  

To make a lasting change in their respective fields, these two brands have had to think creatively about their unique production strategies. Although drawing from the past has inspired them to dream of simpler business practices, it is their outlook on the future that moved them to invest so confidently in the innovative concepts they have created.

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The idea of innovation brings to mind sci-fi movie scenes filled with cold structures and lifeless beings. But perhaps innovation lies instead in the ability to outsmart current supply chains and imagine a more sustainable existence, rather than relying on outdated ways of doing business while disproportionately investing in showy technologies.

Spotting the two brands’ products side-by-side brings to light their shared aesthetics. Where you expect to see a clash between the straight lines or neutral tones of the fashion pieces versus the patterned and more brightly colored rugs, there seems to be inexplicable harmony. The two design-first brands merge into one charming image, proving that tried-and-tested artistry blends seamlessly into the aesthetics of our modern world.

In the same way artisanal carpets vividly decorate the home, clothes play an age-old role in intimately decorating the body, perhaps making fashion the most blatant manifestation of functional art in our society. And much like rug design, fashion design does not need to defy the rules of functionality to be aesthetically exciting.

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These pieces are not only functional in their daily usage, but they are also functional within the context of a more sustainable world system, one that places the human at its center and boasts more interesting and engaging aesthetics as a result.

To honor the human behind the piece is to inspire more artistic creation—for what is art but human self-expression? And what better way to visualize yourself owning a piece than by acquainting yourself with the human behind it?

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Photos: Joseph Dahdah
Rugs: ECARPETGALLERY
Styling: Milo & Dexter