Iceland may not seem like a popular destination for the dead of winter, but Sruli Recht is one reason to consider a trip. True to his unconventional approach, the artist/designer opened his first outpost, The Armoury, in the abandoned fish-packing district in Reykjavik, Iceland, late last summer. Using this unexpected location and the gradual economy to his benefit, he has in turn built an innovative culture of what might be called “slow-fashion”—that is, fashion that demands slowed-down appreciation.
Recht explains that the isolated location of The Armoury is intended “to control client visits so as to allow for a one-on-one interaction with our attendants and to provide them all the time and attention needed.” Once a month, the store will also gradually present new non-products from Sruli Recht Studio—including practical and novel items, including umbrellas, belts, tables and even bulletproof scarves. The result combines improbable objects in improbable materials that incorporate concrete, diamonds, skin and wool, for an overall effect that makes wearers and passersby stop to admire the innovative craft. This range of unique items is, as Recht chooses to describe: “a gradually growing arsenal of accidents caught somewhere between product design, weapons manufacturing, corroded tailoring and shoemaking.”
Recht graduated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design in 2002, before receiving a Design Honors Degree in 2005 while working around Europe. Having since exhibited his products, garments and artwork throughout Asia, Australia, Scandinavia, Russia, the Americas and Europe, it’s safe to say that Recht has put his hands a bit into everything—and built a steady reputation in the process. Additionally, he has collaborated as a researcher with high-tech fabric developers for unique materials and has variously worked on film and video installations, while acting as a consultant and head designer for labels in Iceland and Australia, To top it off, he has also been a pattern cutter and show piece-maker for Alexander McQueen.
In addition to its exclusive fashion shopping opportunities and artistic platform, The Armoury hosts a series of illustrated “topo-graphic narratives” from Megan Herbert, inspired by old Czechoslovakian telegrams. The combined effect is well suited to the space and the pleasantly slowed style of Recht’s distinct aestethic.