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B r a n d o n K e r s h n e r launched Dallas-based Azzurro Living outdoor furniture before the pandemic hit — but unlike a lot of small businesses, it's flourishing despite the odds. "We've witnessed the luxury outdoor furniture category boom during COVID," he says. Restaurants and hotels are expanding and renovating their outdoor areas to meet government guidelines, and as more people stay home, designers are helping clients rethink their outdoor spaces. Azzurro also has another advantage. "Since we own our own factory, we are also able to control our production and fulfill orders very efficiently. Those who don't have the benefit of owning their own factory are facing long production lead times." Kershner, an industrial product designer with a Master of Arts from London Metropolitan University, was independently designing outdoor furniture before he partnered with owners of a factory producing private label furniture in Asia. As Azzurro Living's VP of product development and design, Kershner brings his passion for materials and sculptural forms to everything he creates. He's designed around 30 collections, including the boho-inspired Montauk, which evolved after he researched and experimented with macramé-weaving techniques, geologic dome-formed architecture, and organic curves. His Brighton side tables fuse minimal lines and unconventional materials with Carrara marble tops framed by powder-coated aluminum and all-weather rope. The geometric patterns of Calamus were inspired by the Bauhaus design era and are constructed in natural teak. Business is booming, so in December Azzurro Living moved into spacious new quarters in the Dallas Design District, sharing space with LDF Silk flowers. Azzurro Living + LDF Silk Outdoor Design Studio, 1835 E. Levee St., 469.607.9019, Rebecca Sherman A PLACE IN THE SUN A SURREAL YEAR Octopus plate, Portuguese cutlery Brandon Kershner with his Montauk collection Montauk collection Azzurro Living's Calamus collection C reativity often surges during times of great crisis, so when Dallas photographer Shayna Fontana suddenly found herself with time on her hands during the pandemic, she put her imagination into high gear. Her friends Marisa Renfro and Caroline Adams were in a similar boat — both expats from Dallas living in Santa Monica, who had recently launched Casamia, a clever online company that offers curated boxes filled with everything needed to host dinner or drinks at home. When Fontana traveled to Santa Monica, ideas tumbled forth, and soon a Surrealist dinner-in-a- box, titled Beyond the World, was conceived. "I photographed some of the foods I often cook with," says Fontana, "because they're so ethereal." Eight of Fontana's limited-edition Surrealist-inspired images have been printed onto melamine plates, including octopi, Wagyu beef, enoki mushrooms, lychee fruit, and banana flowers. The Beyond the World box, serves four or eight people, and contains cloth dinner napkins with Fontana's fishtail designs, mirrored placemats, emerald acrylic tumblers, Portuguese stainless- steel cutlery in gold, and amber glass vases. Beyond the World box, four person $276, eight person $538, at Rebecca Sherman 44

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