The Week of August 26th - September 1st


Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard


The Enigmatic Creative Universe of Raven Vanguard


Today’s Once-over purposely and enthusiastically abandons my usual looking-glass examinations of bewildering topics like God Herself, Trump, AOC, Boris and Brexit, atheists and believers, #metoo, trade wars with China, inverted yield curves, North Korea’s nuclear submarines, hashtag absurdity, truth as an afterthought, the senselessness surrounding Kashmir, plastics in our oceans, trafficked women, the pitfalls of social media, and men behaving badly with guns and bombs. Instead, today, I choose to revel in the notion and power of mysteriousness and exclusivity. Thank you, Lenny Belardo.

I originally titled this section – A Unique Archetype of Madness. In hindsight, perhaps this title is actually more befitting today’s Once-over. However, I use the word madness here not to indicate rage, insanity, or bat-shit irrationality, but to convey the idea that creative and unconventional minds are often misjudged by society at large because we view the world through an altogether different lens. And to think that at one time in our human history, if you expressed yourself differently, you could be burned at the stake, disemboweled, or stoned, quite literally. Sadly, come to think of it, are things really that different today? Moving on.

Almost every person who has received an invitation to tour our Studio and showrooms in advance of our grand opening has wondered aloud about our origins, ideologies, inspirations, and intentions. Admittedly, much of what we do is intentionally shrouded in secrecy. We have a solitary vision for communicating, through design, that which is utterly beautiful and singular.

Raven Vanguard is visionary; we are quite extraordinary. I do not mean this in a boastful sense, or to suggest that we are the best design team in the world (although, in my heart, I believe this to be true); what I do mean to make known is that we are beyond the usual and the ordinary in everything that we do.

I often say that certainty breeds confidence. And I believe it is possible to be confident, self-assured, and fearless without being presumptuous, arrogant, vain, or cocky. (Right now my Wife’s head is spinning as she reads this because she prefers modesty over the pretense of hubris, and she thinks I make Raven Vanguard a target by crossing over the imaginary line separating boldness and candor from braggadocio). Well, Wife, I am what I am, and I believe, without an ounce of apprehension or misgiving, that Raven Vanguard is the next wave in all that we do.

We are cultivators of interconnected and disparate ideas steeped in imagination, elegance, eroticism, ambiguity, poetry, femininity, theology, and exoticism. Our work references and explores both historical styles and classical forms, and we do so in a way that challenges convention. With an exacting eye for even the smallest of details, we bring light and understanding to the darkest hour. We curiously twist, pervert, and turn away from conventional interpretations of love, romance, seduction, religion, spirituality, death, shadow, and danger to reveal something entirely unforeseen and unexpected, but yet hypnotically approachable and captivating.

We believe sacrilege is the new sacred and that design should be implemented to challenge each one of us on a deeper, more psychological level. We do not align ourselves with complacency, trends, mass-produced goods, and sameness because they prevent the achievement of genuine and profound engagement. Design to be visionary and meaningful should invoke a narrative of mysteriousness by creating fantastical scenes, or by manifesting mind-altering impressions and images, or by striking a chord through casting a glow upon the margins of the unexpected, or by merely exploding the all-to-familiar to smithereens.

We have said many times that our goal is to create one-of-a-kind memories that transcend and endure the passage of time by applying a process of creative unorthodoxy. While there is no single formula that guarantees a perfectly designed space in every case, there are certain non-negotiable denominators. Unfortunately, most of today’s design community has either lost touch with or is entirely fearful when it comes to mastering this sacred craft.

So, what is our approach, and how is it different? In a word, anomaly. Stated differently, OMA. In two words, George Smith. And, in three words,  Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. And, in four words, it is happening again.

Lastly, lest you think I don’t take this mysteriousness thing seriously, you might want to have a conversation with Brooke and Dakota.