How do Food52's buyers curate the items they add to the Shop? We asked Kristina Wasserman, our buyer & Shop merchandising manager, to give us a peek at the color and design inspirations they keep in mind as they seek out exciting and stylish new finds.
One of the best parts of being a buyer for Food 52 is exploring trend and color. Formulating a creative vision for work to come in the year ahead is not only gratifying, but also necessary—in the day-to-day mayhem, a mood board comes to serve you like a compass. In every meeting, trade show, and product review, it sits in the back of your mind, springboarding your thoughts into new points of focus and spurring new ideas.
Our team of buyers creates and finalizes our mood boards yearly with Amanda and Merrill; it takes about a month of image and idea collection overall. There is Pinning, word storms, discussion, and collaboration galore. As a buyer, I particularly enjoy it, because it’s a rare moment of abstraction—your everyday business priorities and logistics aren’t usually in sight yet. Then, as things do come to life over the course of many months, you are awash with the feeling of having finished a long race.
For this holiday season, we thought it would be fun to share a behind-the-scenes look at our 2017 mood board (which we keep tightly guarded all year!), and to show how things actually came to life based upon the ideas we had floating in our heads 12 months ago...
On the top of each slide, you’ll see one consistent color palette. Unlike fashion, the world of home design moves fairly slowly (which is how we like it!). The goal was to settle on colors we felt could shift and adapt to different moods and seasons in a chameleonic way. They include Peacock, Sage, Terracotta, Blush, Neutrals (core), and Black (as an accent).
The catalyst for our overall 2017 “mood” was Georgia O’Keeffe, both in terms of her art and the woman herself. This felt like a major year for her—between her retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum and her home in New Mexico popping up in tons of travel blogs, the world was abuzz with O’Keeffe fandom and appreciation. As creatives, we were inspired not only by her modernist approach to life and art and her minimalist, nature-fueled aesthetic, but also by her fierce independence and progressive persona. It mirrored a mood that resonated with us and our aesthetic predilections. It was austere and quiet, yet warm, feminine, natural, and comforting.
As far as our holiday planning specifically, we were excited to more fully focus on O’Keeffe and the creation of an ultra-textural world, inspired by nature. Think dusk in the desert, mud and adobe, fuzzy sage, charcoal and burnt wood, wrinkled linens, leather, mixed metals, matte cast iron, and woven natural fibers. It is minimalism inspired by rugged, imperfect landscapes, from the coastline of Japan to the American Southwest.