Vera & Kyte's Apparel.
Ian Volner Vera & Kyte's Apparel.

In the rush and scrum of Salone, there’s nothing quite like finding something that feels like your own:

One of last year’s more unforgettable offerings was Norwegian duo Vera & Kyte, who seemed to stand out from the pack at Salone Satellite. And no, it wasn’t just because the pair was wearing matching outfits. A full year before 1980s–nostalgia design graced the pages of The New York Times, their Apparel wardrobe and room divider (shown above) seemed to recall some of the witty pastiche of the PoMo decade but with a casual air that already, in retrospect, seems more mature than the work of more recent converts to the trend.

What a pleasure, then, to find that designers Vera Kleppe and Åshild Kyte hit the big time in 2015. Apparel was back again at Salone this year, only this time it was in the main fair in the booth of Italian furniture maker Opinion Ciatti. Only hours later, it was even more of a surprise to find the designers were celebrating in the Ventura Lambrate district at the Norwegian Presence show, an eclectic mix of past and present design from the only Scandinavian country that doesn’t get the design press it deserves.

Ian Volner Kleppe and Kyte in 2014 with Apparel.
Ian Volner Kleppe and Kyte in 2015 with Prop Up.

“Opinion Ciatti saw the piece last year at Satellite, and they liked it,” Kleppe says—proving, apparently, that the system works. Alongside quality pieces at Norwegian Presence from the likes of textile master Andreas Engesvik, the Kleppe and Kyte (wearing non-matching outfits this time) debuted their latest, the Prop Up armchair and footstool. With any luck, it set will be exhibited in Rho next year.

One hopes so, and not just for the designers’ sake. As curator Peppe Trulsen pointed out, promoting Norway’s design heritage and future is “about re-positioning the country away from just being an oil economy.” Sounds like a big job, but Kleppe and Kyte appear as though they can handle it.

We’re just proud to say we knew them when.