Gbenga Akinnagbe is best known for his role as the homicidal Chris Partlow on HBO’s The Wire. When in character, he murders, maims, hides bodies, and commits all manner of nefarious deeds as a drug dealer’s bodyguard. Off-screen, though, the American actor is making a mark in the world of interior design with vintage and antique furniture that he upholsters in the same Dutch wax-resist fabrics that are a fashion staple in West Africa, including his parents’ native Nigeria.
“When I started looking for fabrics to upholster an old chair, I was attracted to patterns that were not typically used on furniture,” says the actor, who also starred in Graceland and the 2016 movie Independence Day: Resurgence and is featured in the forthcoming film Starbright. “When the upholstery was done, I loved the look, and it sparked something in me. Other people saw it and it turned into something bigger.”
That something bigger is Enitan, Akinnagbe’s year-old Brooklyn-based design business. And what intrigues him is that each piece of furniture—all of it seating that ranges in style from Early American to 19th-century Renaissance Revival to Scandinavian Modern and is collected all over the United States—has been given a dramatic new narrative. Small wonder Enitan’s tagline is “Sit on a Story.”
To read more of the Arch Digest interview click HERE and visit his ENITAN VINTAGE for one-of-a-kind pieces.