There have been very few positives to extract from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced us to spend most of 2020 cooped up inside. But one thing is for sure, creative minds have been given plenty of free time to make interesting things, and some of them are on the same wavelength.
A handful of people have been using their time is to create custom rugs from scratch. Rugs are obviously nothing new. Even the world of streetwear has offered its own variations of the home accessory over the years with names like Supreme and BAPE being some prime examples. But there definitely seems to be a trend bubbling on Instagram right now with creators making one-of-a-king pieces like Pharrell illustrations inspired by his debut album In My Mind, retro Nike logos, and even options honoring some of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
We decided to take a look at some of the creators who have been showing off their stellar creations on social media recently. Check out a detailed look at each designer below.
Based in Indonesia, LoCarpet Craft caught our attention after releasing KAWS “Companion” rugs that were 8 feet tall, which is larger than the actual Medicom toys themselves. The founder of the brand, Adi Puguh Pangeksi, has been producing rugs out of his factory for the past five years. But he only began fulfilling orders for custom rug designs within the last six months. “At that time I just thought that this was just an opportunity in my country, because no one here is focused on making custom rugs,” says Pangeksi. “Apparently, a lot of people want them.” What customers have asked LoCarpet to make includes everything from Kanye Graduation bears to piles of Nike x Sacai LDWaffle Daybreaks. Pangeksi says that it typically takes only 1-2 hours to make a 3 foot by 3 foot rug. The process includes drawing designs onto a canvas, selecting the right acrylic wool colors, tufting and weaving yarn, and adding a cotton mesh backing. LoCarpet’s prices vary based on size of the rugs, the complexity of the design, and how many colors are needed. A standard two-color door mat costs only $65. However, something like that giant “Companion” carpet will run you $450. Although it takes some work to make these, the details are priceless. —Lei Takanashi
One of rap’s illest producers is also behind some of the best throw blankets and rugs in the game right now. When LORDFUBU isn’t cheffing up slaps, he’s in the lab embroidering fitted caps or rare vintage pieces with dope artwork that references video games like Street Fighter and popular animes like Gundam. Only recently, has LORDFUBU brought his creative vision into the living room with Gundam rugs and throw blankets that reference classic rap albums like MF Doom’s Mm.. Food. “I usually come up with the ideas and get them outsourced by people and companies that complete the production. So the quality is insane,” says LORDFUBU. The rugs and blankets cost $200-$250 and are produced in limited quantities. —Lei Takanashi
Sean Brown’s CD Rugs
Earlier this year, Sean Brown—who is the creative director of the Toronto-based clothing brand NEEDS&WANTS—decided to make three rugs based on his favorite albums. The rugs, which feature physical CD art from Sade’s Love Deluxe, Jay Z’s Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, and Coldplay’s X&Y, quickly went viral on social media. Since then, Brown continued to release rugs which feature CD art from albums like My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West and The Love Below by Outkast. The hand tufted acrylic rugs sell for $250 each online. Recently, Brown revealed that after a three-year hiatus, NEEDS&WANTS will release a new collection this year. Outside of rugs and clothes, Brown is also behind the album art of Daniel Caesar’s albums. —Lei Takanashi
Eternal Youth is a young brand based out of Maryland that has been around since 2018. While other offerings have included items like workwear pants covered in butterflies and sublimated jackets, its custom rugs paying homage to Pharrell, which released earlier this year, have elicited the biggest response. Founder NoFaceNiah cites Pharrell as a big inspiration throughout her life, specifically his song “You Can Do It Too,” and wanted to honor him with the special release. Coincidentally, the rugs that mimic the cover art of In My Mind released on the project’s 14th anniversary.
“I want to do home decor too, so I was just thinking, ‘What's something that means a lot to me that I can have in my home and be reminded everyday why I do what I do?’ At the time I was listening to that album, so it just all made sense. Then it just exploded,” she tells Complex.
NoFaceNiah currently uses a factory to produce her ideas. More intricate details, like the Billionaire Boys Club logo on Pharrell’s shirt, had to be switched to keep the rugs a manageable size. The four foot rugs, which take the factory two to three weeks to complete and retail for $260, were initially limited to a run of 20, but that amount got closer to 200 following the social media attention. Lil Yachty even purchased two of his own. While this was only the first release, Eternal Youth will keep dropping rugs as part of its offering in the future.
“I definitely want to do more. A lot of people keep asking me to do more,” she says. “The most rewarding thing was people actually seeing my work.” —Mike DeStefano
Julian Armstrong’s Euphoric Supply has amassed a following of nearly 150,000 with his custom trading cards and toys inspired by rappers. He’s worked with ASAP Rocky and even produced one-of-one items for Drake. His handmade rugs, which he taught himself how to create, are the latest addition to his creative arsenal. Like previous work from the 23-year-old, the rugs reference popular artists such as Frank Ocean’s Blond cover or Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Records logo. Other examples include more nostalgic things like the Nintendo 64 logo or the Heartagram commonly linked to Bam Margera. Armstrong says he currently produces the rugs by hand at his home in San Antonio. Some take nine hours at a time to create—Armstrong says he sometimes stays up until some 5 a.m. to create them.
“I think it's a really cool hobby. It’s really fun. It's super time-consuming, but after working five or eight hours doing it, it's satisfying seeing the end product,” says Armstrong. “It's special because not so many people are doing it.”
Most of Euphoric Supply’s rugs use a premium New Zealand wool, while other times he simply makes a run to the local craft store to find the perfect color palette. He currently only produces one-of-ones for fun and to share on his Instagram page, but he’s made a few custom orders for popular Instagram mood board Hidden.NY and sold an AstroWorld rug. But Armstrong says that releases, or even a special pop-up event in the future, could be on the way. He also says he wants to up the size of his creations too and make six foot rugs, nearly double the average size of the ones he currently produces.
“I always try to one up myself every single time.” —Mike DeStefano
Australian-born and London-based designer Alexandra Hackett (aka Miniswoosh) has been showing off her re-purposed creations, like chairs made of white Nike socks for example, for years. She is the mind behind Studio ALCH, a menswear label that followed the same DIY aesthetic. But one of her most recent endeavors is her homemade tufted rugs, which have received a lot of buzz on Instagram. As her nickname suggests, most of the creations are focused on Nike. She’s created rugs modeled after NikeCourt, Air Max, and ACG logos. One of her most recent designs is the Nike adjacent Space Jam logo that was posted by her in early July, a nod to the cult classic film starring Michael Jordan. For the time being, it appears that Hackett’s creations are just for show, but don’t be surprised if they eventually release in limited batches given all of the attention they have been getting as of late. —Mike DeStefano