Aiveen Daly: The Art of Luxury Upholstery

By Oliver Burns

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May 13, 2016|Guest Editorials

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  • a href="">London Craft Week is an annual celebration of the skill and expertise that lies behind the artisans and craftsmen who uphold a rich and long legacy. Aiveen Daly is one such example, who in the past 10 years has carved a reputation as an acclaimed upholsterer. Renowned for her complicated couture standard work, which alludes to Saville Row tailoring, Aiveen describes her work as ‘tailoring for furniture;’ effortlessly bridging the gap between fashion and interiors. Featuring exquisite detailing such as fine beading, pleating, stitching and fabric manipulation techniques executed on the finest fabrics and butter soft leathers, Aiveen’s designs are thoughtful luxury exemplified.
Image via Aiveen Daly

Aiveen specialised in traditional upholstery at London’s Metropolitan University where she developed a love of craftsmanship from deconstructing antique furniture dating back centuries. Here she learnt of the tradition of writing notes in the upholstery for the next generation to find and signing the initials of the maker. The 18th century was an age where furniture was seen as a luxury item and the finest fabrics and craft techniques were used as a sign of wealth and privilege before mass manufacturing took hold. The values of the handmade, thoughtfully considered and bespoke are once more being recognised in favour of mass produced goods by a discerning clientele.

Image via Aiveen Daly

Since many of Aiveen’s pieces take more than 12 months to complete from concept to creation, the end result is wholly unique. One example is the ‘Paradise’ chair which takes seven specialist craftspeople over four months to finish by hand. Furthermore, many pieces are the result of a collaborative effort whereby Aiveen works with some of the finest names in fabrics and woodwork to lovingly craft pieces here in England. We have incorporated several of her designs into our schemes including her elegant Stiletto chairs swathed in satin.

Image via Aiveen Daly

Aiveen employs a specialist team of artist upholsterers at her North West London studio. With decades of experience between them they have the minds of both engineer and inventor to work on complex commissions with acute precision. The quality required is of the highest calibre using specialist instruments to position pleats, seams and metal details within one tenth of a millimetre.  Furthermore, the artisan team are accustomed to working with materials from the couture industry ranging from the hand dyed feathers used by Alexander McQueen and Givenchy to metal chains, clasps and buckles which would be at home on a Bottega Veneta or Burberry bag.

Image via Aiveen Daly

It is this meticulous attention to detail that sets the work of Aiveen Daly apart from the mass produced goods on offer today. As well as bespoke pieces, which form the main body of her work, Aiveen also offers an edited collection of accessories and furniture to choose from.  Having spent years working with some of the finest designers, Aiveen is also versed in designing sensibly; producing exquisite decorative beading on the backs of dining chairs rather than the backrest for example. Longevity of the pieces is very important to her.

Today that level of luxury is loved by an international clientele spanning architects, interior designers, celebrities and aesthetes to discreetly become the little-black-book favourite with craft at its heart.



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