Studio Visit: Innit Designs

Posted by Drake, May 16, 2017
Innit Yacht

Pull up a chair because we went to Innit Designs studio in Toronto to chat with founder and principal designer, Paul Yacht, on how the chair of the moment got it's start before making its way to the picturesque setting of the Drake Devonshire!

How did Innit Designs start?
I opened a book store/cinema/surf shop/bar and I was at my shop and I saw a guy walking around with a bunch of chairs on his head, selling them. I had worked in the film industry before so I knew a little bit about furniture but I’d never seen anything like these before. What I saw was very colourful. So I bought a few and I ended up using them for my cinema seating and then I always had this idea of bringing them up to Canada.

Why the Acapulco chair?
I like functional art and this was the perfect product to bring back to Canada. This design has been in Mexico since the 40s but the original is much more rustic.
I brought up a two piece design I made and showed it in New York in 2009 and nobody had ever seen it before. I was biting my nails when I went into that show because I thought New Yorkers would’ve for sure seen it. They’ve seen everything as far as design goes. Since then the Acapulco chair is now an internationally recognized design.
From then we tried out different colours, different frames, finishes.

Where does the original Acapulco design come from?
Between legend and design schools in Mexico that have tried to get to the bottom of the design and who made the original, it’s totally unknown. What people seem to think is that it was developed in a few different parts of Mexico independently. The first thing that I thought was that I would just export the Acapulco chair and I went to two different manufacturers and asked them for the chair and they gave me two different versions when I thought there was only one.
It would’ve started out as round and it was made with rope and then when plastics became popular it evolved into that. If you go to Mexico now, you’ll typically see them in like 7 different colors and they’re often patched up in different spots because it’s made with cheaper material and the local guys go around fixing them up. So it’s funny when people ask for the original and I have to tell them that they don’t want it. The design we created is an elevated version of the original. The materials we use are stronger and anti-UV and anti-mould etc.


How has Innit evolved since you started the company?
I had to learn how to make them myself because there was one time when they arrived damaged. I spent about 3 days figuring it out and about 15 chairs in to really get it down. Now that I know the intricacies, I’m able to teach someone and once they’re onto their second, they know what they’re doing. All Innit chairs are made in Toronto and LA.

How long does it take to weave a single chair?
The first chair takes 2 and a half hours. An hour and a half for the second chair and then you should be able to shave off a little more time each time. Record time is probably 25 minutes. My personal best is about 45 minutes.

What makes it a good fit for the Devonshire?
The Drake has always since the beginning, knew what was coming. To say it’s had its finger on the pulse is an understatement I think. But for me, I think it’s a great fit because if you didn’t have this kind of chair, chances are you might have a Muskoka chair and those are everywhere. A hotel like the Drake can’t just do what is normal and what everybody else is doing. I think it’s a great fit because it brings a contemporary look to the country. If anybody’s going to be the one to do it first, it’s gonna be the Drake.

Sit back and relax in one of the Innit chairs IRL. Join us for $5 eats and summery beats w/ indie rock band Sun K + pop-ups from our fav local wineries at Drake Devonshire's Summer Kick-Off this Sunday, MAY 21 @ 2-6PM_FREE!

Posted in: Drake Devonshire

Tags: drake devonshire  innit designs  summer kick-off