Kyle Bunting is coined the creator of the original decorative hide rug, but this is not his first entrepreneurial rodeo. The Texas-native turned decorative hide creative comes from a family interested in, well just about everything.
His father was a versatile salesman, selling everything from Church supplies to framed prints and sports memorabilia and it is said that his brother could sell ice to an Eskimo. Kyle Bunting was born into a home of independent, business-oriented minds.
“It was always, what are we going to do, not who are we going to work for,” Bunting said.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Bunting was fairly certain he wanted to be a Talent Agent, living on the coast of Southern California. Instead, he went into consulting and sales, making presentations for business seminars. Eventually, Bunting did reach the Sunshine State and became an executive television producer. However, ultimately it was Northern California that brought him into the mysterious world of ‘to the trade.’
In 1998, as he was buying and renovating real estate while living in San Francisco, Bunting became aware of artisanal design and the Pacific Design Center in LA. Back then artisanal couture offerings were small, almost secretive operations, with less marketing and brand management resources.
As an executive producer, Bunting was accustomed to managing creative people and saw an opportunity within the world of artisanal design for a new business-forward mindset.
“One night, I woke up in the middle of the night and was looking at my father’s cut piece of hide art, and I saw what I wanted to do,” Bunting said.
Bunting created a category of design and a new genre of floor covering, using some of his father’s intellectual property, licenses and royalties, for hide. Passing these down gratis, his father had just one paternal stipulation.
He looked at me and said, “There’s just one thing… If you don’t put your heart and soul into it, I want it all back.” Bunting’s father celebrated his 80th birthday last week and hasn’t rescinded his deal.
Naysayers thought this new ‘project’ would be just that, a hobby or a side-job. But, Bunting knew it was more. “Plenty of people work hard and have good ideas, but something about this idea, I knew this was it.”
Bunting’s passion for hide, evident in his speech, and his company’s focused product, helps designers make innovative and beautiful experiences. Bunting calls designers, “artists, just as much as painters or sculptors, with arguably higher technical skills, balancing budgets and client needs, along with the overall design aesthetic.”
Bunting believes that designing without limitation is the ultimate expression of luxury, and with that has expanded his original offering of decorative hide rugs to include bespoke wall coverings, hung art and furniture upholstery, using the finest Italian hides outfitted in a spectrum of rich colors.
Bunting has worked with designers such as Amy Lau, to create collaborative collections and now looks toward the new hide trend of layering with an Edelman Leather collaboration. A new shift to multi-layers and multi-color and juxtaposition for negative space, is begging for mixed services such as leather and hide together.
Art collaborations also make Bunting’s products unique and ever-fresh. A recent project with Nigerian-born artist, Abidemi explores the nuances of storytelling influenced by nature and space. Abidemi’s artwork using scraps of leather tossed aside in Nigeria, is repurposed as thin strips of hide woven together to create an artistic theme of controlled chaos.
Another project with artist Spencer “MAR” Guilburt, explores the sea and geometric curvature, contemporary graffiti reimagined into a colorful and powerful Kyle Bunting Collection.
Within the next year, Bunting teases over 100 new designs and collaborations for Kyle Bunting, including an unforgettable Spring Collection. Insider Hint: It involves a very interesting set of killer cool animals.
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Meet Kyle Bunting today at Edelman Leather’s DDB Showroom, Suite 207, for a chance to learn something, shake hands and grab a cocktail. From 3pm-5pm explore his latest collections and converse with the ultimate collaborator.
Be sure to check out Kyle Bunting’s January 2018 Ideabook for more inspiration!