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Are carpets the new sneakers?

From Virgil Abloh to TikTok, the rise of the new fashion fetish

Are carpets the new sneakers? From Virgil Abloh to TikTok, the rise of the new fashion fetish
'Collision' by Faig Ahmed

To understand why carpets are the new fashion fetish, we have to start at the beginning. The interest in designer objects can be traced back to the desire that each designer secretly cultivates, that of creating a pervasive universe around their brand that involves every aspect of human life, from clothing to lifestyle. Buyers' interest in designer objects, on the other hand, starts from an assumption effectively expressed by Daniel Arsham in a recent interview with nss magazine: "People are selling trainers because they want space in their homes to buy art and design". The streetwear culture, the inordinate interest in each new release, the hype, the queues outside shops, and the flexing on social was based on collecting, a fetishization of objects that has by no means died out, it has just changed scope. The ennobling of the carpet object to a new passion of fashion lovers can be traced back to a specific moment, the release of the 2019 collabo between Ikea and Off White™, from the most famous "Keep Off" evocative warning printed white on Persian-like (on Stock X you can find it for €2,700), to "Receipt", an Ikea receipt in the Dadaist manner.

Thus, with the contribution of brands such as Supreme, Stussy, and Carhartt, as well as the canonical Missoni, Ferragamo, and Schiaparelli, but above all thanks to the heritage of Virgil Abloh and his innovative design idea, the ancient art of knotting carpets from the steppes of Central Asia have landed on TikTok, but above all has arrived in our homes. The intricate process of making a carpet, once considered an unapproachable art form, is now a common passion thanks to young creatives who are reinventing the niche art in a fun and new way on the Chinese platform, where the hashtag #rugs counts almost 462 million views, along with #rugtok, #tufting, and #rugmaking, in the wake of the DIY passion that has sprung up thanks to the possibility of buying everything you need online to start making your carpets right at home.

Contemporary carpets are colorful, flamboyant, and imaginative, capable of changing an entire environment, whether they are the work of renowned brands in the environment such as @okejstudio@cc_tapis, or @mushstudiosny, or are the result of some creative person who has founded an emerging brand on a passion. This is the case of the film scenes and animal faces imprinted on fabric by @juicyrugs, or the fabric reproductions of famous records such as Lil Kim's Hard Core by @curves. In the case of @spaghettirugs, the rug becomes a representation of the topical elements of Italianness, with the faces of Sandra Mondaini and Raimondo Vianello and their famous "che barba che noia", while for @affirmationrug it can even become a political statement when it carries feminist and inclusive slogans. Young people are rediscovering handicrafts thanks to social media, but not only that, the idea of making an object entirely with one's own hands is more rewarding than ever in a society where everything is temporary and even the most precious object becomes disposable. Carpets are just one of the best examples of a process that is leading Gen Z to take possession of their own space and time by rediscovering ancient and forgotten arts.