Shoptalk: Walter Knabe Studio

Walter Knabe’s fine art goes functional—in the form of flasks, leggings, and more.

Walter Knabe has always had a way of making art come to life, whether while covering the walls of a 14-room Manhattan apartment as an up-and-coming painter or, later, as an established talent designing a helmet for Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti. Today, Knabe shows no less enthusiasm for his craft, continuing to produce highly sought-after custom work while also delving into a more accessible medium for the masses—a retail operation in the front of his SoBro studio. With concrete floors and white walls, the space is a perfect backdrop for Knabe’s colorful creations. Shelves are lined with patterned pillows, screen-printed napkins, canvas cosmetics bags, and cuff bracelets. In addition to the funky wall coverings and fabric samples hanging from the wall ($137–$170 per roll), leggings and burnout tees display Knabe’s new and signature prints, from butterflies and Buddhas to skulls and florals. And, unlike with his fine art, you can take almost any item home for under $100.


1134 E. 54th St., 317-986-6900


Have your own vision? Custom-order fabrics, wall coverings, shawls, napkins, and more.