When a product feels as though it’s been part of our lives all along, we know we’ve found something special. Such is the case with Sir/Madam’s homewares: every piece imparts both love-worn familiarity and inspired functionality. This seems to be the mission of the brand, an off-shoot of the all-encompassing creative agency Aesthetic Movement. Its “ethos” begins,
“We believe that considered design and frequent brushes with beauty can enhance the overall quality of life”
The first Sir/Madam collection, debuted last year, drew inspiration from the teeming pantries co-founder Jesse James remembers exploring in his grandmother’s centuries-old Connecticut farmhouse. “We set out to make some useful objects that tap into fond memories as they help create new ones,” James says. The line James designed with fellow Aesthetic Movement director Kostas “Gus” Anagnopoulos aims to conjure “a favorite meal, a market you discovered on holiday, a trip to the sea, or your grandmother.”
Focusing on meals – the making and sharing of them – Sir/Madam evokes classic motifs in effortlessly modern forms. Consider their Vintage Stripe Au Lait Bowls, perfect vessels for cereal or coffee, hand-painted with rings of color, as chic stacked on display as they are in use. Or their Found Cotton Cloths, multi-purpose, all-cotton towels sourced in India in a riot of colors and patterns. We assembled them in mismatched sets of four. Draped around the house, they add cheery pops of color to any countertop assemblage.
Perhaps our most beloved Sir/Madam product is the Vintage Letter Napkins which borrow correspondences from history’s greatest wordsmiths – Thomas Jefferson, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte – transcribed in vintage typewriter font and hand-screened in Karnataka, India on cotton voile (incidentally, the name Sir/Madam comes from the salutations used by their vendors in India). The napkins come packaged in manila envelopes, fastened with red string. When unfurled at dinner parties, the napkins become conversation starters. How fun would it be to unfold F. Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to his daughter Scottie at camp?
Things to worry about: Worry about courage. Worry about cleanliness. Worry about efficiency. Worry about horsemanship…
Things not to worry about: Don’t worry about popular opinion. Don’t worry about dolls. Don’t worry about the past. Don’t worry about the future. Don’t worry about growing up. Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you. Don’t worry about triumph. Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault. Don’t worry about mosquitoes. Don’t worry about flies. Don’t worry about insects in general. Don’t worry about parents. Don’t worry about boys. Don’t worry about disappointments. Don’t worry about pleasures. Don’t worry about satisfactions.
No need to worry about satisfactions when Sir/Madam satisfies our domestic design desires so completely.