Studio visit: Osborn Design
Down the street from my apartment is a small studio where a husband and wife are quietly doing very big things. Like any trained fine artists they draw and paint. Carla makes delicate and complex collage prints (she was recently commissioned by Anthropologie to do a toile wallpaper and it’s amazing) and Aaron frequently visits his old stomping ground in Guatemala City to oversee the production of their shoe line.
Shoes might seems an unlikely outlet for two fine artists, but Carla and Aaron are also designers who recognize that “there is becoming less of a distinction between fine and commercial art…and a greater awareness of good design in consumer goods.” Their shoes are not simply good design, but beautifully crafted objets d’arts in themselves. Made from recycled and traditional Guatemalan fabrics with leather soles from a local tannery, made by Guatemalan artisans, Carla and Aaron have fulfilled the initial goal of their studio, to create fair trade products. The shoes are not only an example of innovative design (have you ever seen a hi-top like that?) but a way for the Osborns to provide meaningful work for people who need it.