You may recognize Berk for his impressively speedy home makeovers on the heartwarming Netflix show Queer Eye. A.R.T., too, is a fan. “We recognized very early that Bobby Berk has a sense of style and personal touch with people through his show,” says Doug Rozenboom, A.R.T.’s senior vice president of merchandising and marketing. Berk’s skyrocketing celebrity doesn’t hurt, either. “Since Queer Eye is shown in almost 200 countries, the brand exposure and outreach are immense,” he says.
That international appeal is particularly desirable for the Ontario, California–based brand, which in addition to its domestic presence has over 150 branded retail locations throughout China. “We definitely see the opportunity to expand not only in the U.S. but also in the burgeoning China home decor market,” Rozenboom says.
Though A.R.T.’s selection includes traditional styles, Berk’s collection skews modern. “I wanted to create something that was infused with elements of Art Deco and midcentury modern while keeping things inviting and comfortable,” he says. An interior designer with an L.A. practice, Berk created items that speak to his own sourcing needs. “From minimalist modern to rustic traditional, I wanted to develop something that would work with whatever style I’m designing in and for a wide range of clients.”
Warm materials like black walnut veneers and brass-plated metals pair with tactile upholsteries in velvet and vegan leather, while eye-catching details—such as the woven cane panels seen on the Bauer cabinet and Moller chair—add an on-trend touch. The sizing of the pieces deliberately falls on the smaller side. “The designs focus on a more human product scale that is greatly needed in the marketplace,” Rozenboom says. “It allows for more items to fit in room settings without being overwhelming, which helps new buyers make decisions quickly and more efficiently.”
The collection will be available to the trade in April following its debut at Markor’s new building at 122A N. Hamilton Street, High Point, North Carolina.