Brand Development - BLACKBARN
Brand Development - BLACKBARN
Mark Zeff launched his own lifestyle brand, BLACKBARN, in the spring of 2015, which includes real estate development, a restaurant, a book, and a workshop/retail store. The name comes from the home the South African-born designer built in the Northwest Harbor section of East Hampton. A sedate, sexy modern black barn that stands in contrast to the area’s myriad, out-of-place, oversized dwellings, BLACKBARN is a blend of industrial, artful, refined, and understated. BLACKBARN is a lifestyle that redefines luxury, where the cornerstone is finding the right location and creating a home that is authentic to its surroundings.
BLACKBARN Real Estate is a residential design service that creates bespoke homes for those who desire unconventional simplicity. The first residence was completed in October 2015 in Sag Harbor, and other properties in East Hampton and Sagaponack are in the works, with other locations to be announced.
For BLACKBARN Restaurant, Zeff partnered with John Doherty, former Executive Chef at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Opened September 2015 and located off Madison Square Park in New York City, the design ethos of the restaurant takes nomenclature from the construction methods of barns, and uses elements like trusses, barn roof structures, and cladding methods to build its design vocabulary.
BLACKBARN Book is a lavishly illustrated monograph that celebrates Zeff’s seminal project, BLACKBARN. The barn-inspired home has been over thirty years in the making and changed the equation for how he designs residences. Oro Editions published this book in December 2015.
BLACKBARN Shop is a home emporium of distinctive, sophisticated design finds from all over the world. Clients and designers will be able to buy found objects, art, and furniture, BLACKBARN-designed home products, as well as custom designed items. “The goal is for our clients to find beautiful found and new objects, but also be able to consult with one of our in-house designers to create a custom kitchen, dining table, light fixture, or anything else you might need for the home,” said Mark Zeff.
Mark and his wife Kristen have utilized items found on their extensive travels as the baseline for the collection on display, and have commissioned artists and artisans both locally and from places such as Morocco, Bali, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, and Italy to create pieces for the shop. From Mark’s native South Africa, there are antique Cape Dutch farmhouse furniture and objects, as well as handwoven baskets made by the Cape Town Society for the Blind. Balinese ceremonial necklaces made of cowry shells are displayed as objet d’art. Pieces from Morocco include antique, handmade kilim rugs, baskets, and blankets. From Italy, there are handcrafted ceramic lamps in white and bronze.
BLACKBARN Shop | Café | Bar just opened in the Chelsea Market in November 2017, so the brand is on the move.