On the occasion of International Women’s Day, GAN pays tribute to the impact of women in the world of design with a journey through the brand’s milestones, led by female creativity
Born as an independent brand in 2008, GAN’s story started to take shape with the arrival of Mapi Millet as Creative Director and her desire to innovate by putting craftsmanship at the service of world-class design. GAN, and its mostly female team, started to weave a network of creative collaborations with renowned designers, and leading the development of new manufacturing methods based on artisanal techniques that revolutionized the industry.
MANGAS ORIGINAL was the starting point. Conceived by Patricia Urquiola, it marked a before and an after in rug design: never-before-seen textures and organic shapes that move away from the conventional rectangular format and have the colorfulness and warmth of wool sweaters, key to the collection’s sensational impact.
The success of Mangas and the fruitful collaboration with Urquiola naturally lead to the second decisive moment in GAN’sjourney: the creation of the GAN Spaces concept. The collections conquer the three dimensions by including poufs and modular elements with which to articulate a complete space. A ground-breaking and also pioneering concept.
At the same time, Charlotte Lancelot was working with GAN to transfer traditional embroidery, like cross stitch and petit point, to rug collections and contemporary spaces. CANEVAS, SILAï and CHADDAR have updated these techniques, with extensive research and product development effort that makes them unique in the market, to adapt them to new environments and scales.
Shortly after BANDAS arrived, also designed by Patricia Urquiola, to take the concept of modularity to its very limit: narrow rugs or “bands” of different designs that can be joined thorugh Velcro strips and also function as coverings for poufs, chaise lounges and cushions, allowing infinite combinations that adapt to any space.
Bandas, by including embroidered rugs, also marked the beginning of the GAN Women Unit, a project with which the brand supports the empowerment and independence of women in rural India by creating a team of craftswomen who actively participate in the production of its products. Embroidery, needlepoint and crochet have since been included in the designs of other collections such as KNITTED STOOLS, by Claire Anne O’Brien; LAN, by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu; or BACKSTITCH, by Raw&Edges, composed of Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay, allowing the GAN Women Unit to keep growing steadily.
Throughout its journey, GAN has collaborated with designers with very distinctive visions of their work who have always enriched its catalogue. Creators like Sandra Figuerola, who has developed ethnic style and contemporary language pieces such as NDEBELE, GLAOUI, CATANIA or TASILI. Both on her own and with the firm Odosdesign, María Mengual has created unmistakable geometric designs such as THAY, MODICA, NAIDU, or ORYZA. And Front –composed by Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist–, with their PARQUET collection, has contributed to the evolution of the manual kilim technique, inspired by the patterns of traditional floors but innovating in shapes and colors to produce rugs that play with three-dimensionality and irregular silhouettes.
With almost two decades of history behind them and with many of its pages written by women, GAN has established itself as a reference in sustainable manufacturing thanks to the use of natural and biodegradable fibers, but also with the development of collections in recycled materials such as PET or the recycled wool felt, incorporated by Patricia Urquiola and Charlotte Lancelot in successful collections such as GARDEN LAYERS, DIAMOND and NUANCES.
This year, among its latest introductions, the creations of GAN‘s regular collaborators like Urquiola, Lancelot and Mengual are joined by those of designers new to the brand: Daria Zinovatnaya, author of the ZOE collection, and Brianda Fitz-James Stuart, who created the DREAMS series.
GAN will continue to move forward giving life to innovative products, increasingly sustainable, conscious and committed to the well-being of everyone, thanks to the irreplaceable contribution of each and every one of the female designers, craftswomen and professionals who are part of its project.
Happy International Women’s Day!