The basic shape of the clothes hanger—a flattened triangle with a hook—hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years. It’s perfectly serviceable for jackets and button-up shirts but fails miserably when it comes to T-shirts and crewneck sweaters, stretching and deforming their collars. Why hasn’t someone redesigned the hanger already?
Finally, someone has: Mehdi Mojtabavi, an industrial designer at Portland-based Ziba, ditched the rigid model and developed a hanger made from two polypropylene parts: a hook attached to a flexible cross-piece that, when squeezed with one hand, collapses to slip gently through a neck hole before releasing to support the garment’s shoulders. The concept won an IDSA award in 2008, and Ziba has since built a patent-pending prototype.
The studio is looking for a manufacturing partner or licensee and estimates that Eslimi won’t cost any more to produce than the nicer hangers one might find at a housewares store. "It’s the sort of thing that looks obvious once you’ve sort of built it," says Ziba’s senior writer, Carl Alviani. "And that’s basically how you know that it’s a beautiful solution."