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who has built her own empire and isn’t embarrassed of the pitfalls encountered
on the road that got her there.
In many ways, her rugs display this same level of realness. Each Malene B. carpet
is custom and handmade—from spinning the yarn to dyeing it, weaving, and finishing
by hand. Although the result is a stunning luxe product, each is one-of-a-kind due to
natural variations that result when the process involves human labor.
It’s no surprise that Kravet jumped at the opportunity to include Barnett’s work as
part of its 100-year-old legacy in high-quality products. Established in 1918 by Samuel
Kravet and his four sons, the company is a fifth-generation, family-owned business.
Over the years, Barnett got to know Nick Lomangino, who was Kravet’s vice
president of floorcovering. He suggested a collaboration and the first Kravet-produced Malene B. collection was released Fall 2016.
The two most recent collections—one hand-tufted and the other hand-knotted—
are inspired by Barnett’s international travels, heritage, and life experiences. What’s
particularly notable about the hand-knotted line is it will be available in stock, widening
her already impressive design reach by reducing wait time. Often when interior designers
are on a time crunch from their clients, the wait can mean eliminating a product.
Kravet’s in-stock program allows Malene B. carpets to fit into project time constraints.
“I’m really proud of having the in-stock program [with Kravet] because that’s really
going to change things,” Barnett explained. “I’m known for custom, made-to-order, and
now people will be able to get a Malene B. carpet at Kravet right away. [Instead of] waiting
months to get a carpet, [customers will be] waiting just a week or two for shipping.”
The collaboration, she added, was seamless. “They really trusted me because
I come from the carpet world, so it was about developing a collection with my
aesthetic and then also keeping in mind their clientele.” Of working with Kravet’s
design team, she noted, “We all speak the same language, so if I missed something,
they caught it; if they missed something, I caught it.”
The most challenging part of the collaboration? According to Barnett, “Just
She continued, “There’s a process. Waiting for samples. Waiting for production.
The in-stock promo has been in the works for more than a year now. It’s about
waiting to get everything in stock: all the sizes, selecting designs, selecting the
Although a custom Malene B. carpet can run the gamut of colors—paint
chips, yarn poms, and fabric swatches can be matched with her ARS Color
System—creating the collections required some editing. The hand-tufted
collection was narrowed down to between one and three colorways per pattern,
while the in-stock, hand-knotted collection has fewer patterns but a more diverse
The collections are currently available online and in select showrooms across
the country. Barnett hopes that the collaboration between Kravet and Malene B.
will extend beyond her carpet designs. “Kravet doesn’t just do carpet—they’re
known for fabric, wallpaper, and trim. There is an opportunity to grow in some of
their other categories as well.”