Colin King is one of the most influential stylists in the design industry. His work is regularly featured in top shelter publications, and top brands work with him to ensure their imagery has that “Colin King touch”—elegant and refined, with a sense of place and movement. His work shows that there is value in those finishing touches; a great stylist must be a master of visual storytelling.
He’s recently accepted the position of Artistic Director-at-Large for Beni Rugs, and their Spoken Lines collection debuted the partnership at Salone in June. The collection is hand-woven by a team of female weavers at the Beni Studio in Morocco and is inspired by the Rationalist architecture of Piero Portaluppi and Milan’s chic mosaic-clad entryways, with a color palette drawn from the facades of the city’s gorgeous apartment buildings.
Over email, Colin tells us more about his career and his new role.
Tell us about your career path. What is your experience, and what brought you to Beni Rugs?
My relationship with Beni Rugs grew naturally out of collaboration. I had been styling for different brands and publications over the years when the co-founders reached out to discuss collaborating on their first photo shoot for Beni Rugs. I was immediately drawn to their design ethos and intention of blending Moroccan artisanship with contemporary aesthetics.
Tell us about your new role with Beni Rugs. What does your job as Artistic Director-at-Large entail?
This role will continue in the same vein as that natural collaboration. After creating two collections for Beni, designing their New York showroom, and styling for many shoots, this felt like a natural progression of our creative evolution. I’ll continue to design my own collections for Beni throughout the year and cultivate the expansion of unique perspectives within this medium. With this new position, I’ll also experiment not only with the designs but with the way we can experience this work. The exhibition launch of Spoken Lines at Salone del Mobile was an exciting first step in that creative journey.
From inspiration to execution, what can you tell us about Spoken Lines? What makes this collection unique?
For Spoken Lines, we really had a clear directive for Italian rationalist architecture right from the start. This allowed an in-depth, research-based approach to developing a language that combined the forms of Milan with the craftsmanship of Moroccan traditions. We focused on intricate border details, repeating pattern motifs, and fields of color or negative space that helped lead the design process.
In a few words, how do you describe the style?
Grounding, graphic, and defining.
Do you have a favorite design within this collection?
Confine, Ancora, and Entrata [shown in the slideshow] are three of my favorites – these designs really speak to the virtuosic architecture of Milan. The scale and proportion really come into play across these three rugs in a straightforward but satisfying way.