A Cabinet of Chic Curiosities
Thomas Erber brings his annual selection of eccentric gifts to New York
During the Renaissance, scholars would fill cupboards with collections of oddities from the natural and manmade world—animal skeletons, ancient artifacts, unusual botanical specimens. Meant to represent the cosmos on an intimate scale, they were known as cabinets of curiosities. Thomas Erber co-opted the term four years ago, when he debuted his now annual Cabinet of Curiosities, a curated selection of specially commissioned one-off or very limited-edition objects and art works, at Colette in Paris. After three successive years in various European locales, Erber, along with Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki of Maison Kitsuné, has brought the concept to New York. December 2–23, Le Cabinet De Curiosités of Thomas Erber hosted by Maison Kitsuné will be at the Avant/Garde Diaries on Broome Street and on display in the windows of the Maison Kitsuné boutique at the NoMad Hotel. “I’m first a Parisian and then a European,” says Erber, a former journalist-turned-brand consultant. “But the place I like best after that is North America. And in North America, it had to be New York.” Keeping true to his ethos of working with friends and people he admires—i.e. those “who take time to follow their desires and make a beautiful piece”—each of the objects by the 50 or so designers, artists and brands in the Cabinet has a personal connection to Erber, whether it’s a scented candle in a handmade ceramic pot commissioned from a woman he met on the beach in Tulum; a pendant-cum-wall hanging crafted by Waris Ahulwalia; or a subversive baseball bat from the British Columbia-based menswear designer Raif Adelberg, whose cashmere knits Erber loves. For those in search of sui generis Christmas presents, this is one-stop shopping at its most refined.