Malika Favre's striking, minimalist artwork is an industry favourite that has graced the pages of The New Yorker, Vogue and Metropolitan. In her latest collaboration with Alice Roux, her distinctive style is making the leap into the physical world by appearing on a set of unique furniture pieces called Nested Lines.
Growing out of her popular Instagram side account I Can't Afford This But Maybe She Can, which curates beautiful objects from around the internet, Nested Lines fulfils Malika's long-held ambition to create stunning items of her own.
"The two projects are inherently linked, of course," Malika tells Creative Boom. "As an artist, I have always loved objects and beautiful furniture pieces. Surrounding myself with beautiful finds was something I always did, but it was my little secret for a very long time.
"I started the I Can't Afford This But Maybe She Can account with a friend from London, George Wu, right in the middle of the lockdown as a way to stay inspired and share beautiful things with each other (and ultimately, the world). Surprisingly, it grew very fast organically, which motivated us to keep going. Today, this platform almost feels like a little community of beauty seekers and colour lovers, and I really feel it has found its place."
Malika discovered Alice's work back in 2020 while researching content for the account, and she instantly felt a strong connection to her work, "her relationship to shapes and colours is something that strongly resonated with me".
The idea of collaborating came naturally, but it took almost three years to turn their concept into a reality. "To be honest, designing Objects is something I have always wanted to do (and have talked about with my close friends for a long time). I didn't really know where to start."
We're glad the pair cracked it, though, as the Nested Lines collection is a gorgeous series including a marvellous curved table adorned with an interlocking image of toucans. "The first object we designed together was the table, and the idea of the birds came instinctively to me," Malika explains. "When it comes to illustrating covers or posters, I usually start from a very conceptual place, but in this case, it was the opposite.
"I knew I wanted to create a design that would stand somewhere between abstraction and figuration – something minimal, considered – that would attract the eye but fit in any space beautifully without being too overwhelming.
"I started with the iconic curved shape of the coffee table previously designed by Alice and proposed a duo of interlocking toucan birds that would live within the bounds of the table itself, thus turning it into a symbolic nest. Alice loved it, and we kept going with other pieces with the same concept of 'nesting' in mind."
The project was something of a change of pace for Malika and Alice, as the two had to work together on the collection as artists, as opposed to the more conventional setup of an artist and an artisan. "We each had to change how we work and make every creative decision together," Malika adds. "It was a new way for working for both of us and brought us closer together."
Their hard work was worth it, as Nested Lines is an amazingly crafted collection resplendent with Malika's iconic artwork. Due to their nature, each piece is a limited edition hand-painted by Alice in her Brussels workshop. Depending on the model, this results in a lead time of between six to ten weeks, but we think you'll agree just by looking at them that they're worth the wait.
"The table is an absolute stunner. I am saying it because I have mine in my living room as we speak, and it is now part of my personal collection of beauties," says Malika.
In fact, the collaboration has worked so well that more pieces could be on their way. "Alice and I are already talking about doing another collection together that involves new objects and techniques that combine both our worlds. When it comes to beauty, Alice and I are kindred spirits, and I have a feeling this is only the beginning…"