Fashion Includes home: Kenzo Takada reinvents the Mah Jong Couch for Roche Bobois

The career route between furnishings and style is trodden as a Paris catwalk.

Most couture designers have dipped in homeware, from Pierre Cardin into Alessandro Michele, who launches Gucci Decor internationally next month. Not forgetting those superstars who’ve built lifestyle empires, allowing you to wear and dwell the appearance: believe Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and the late Gianni Versace.

However, Kenzo Takada abandoned handbags and gladrags’ pace supporting in 1999 when he retired by the house of beauty, fragrance and style that he founded, to paint whole time. Talking over the telephone out of his Saint-Germain flat in Paris, he says he is pleased to have left the frenzy supporting.

“I will always love fashion and follow it, but it’s tough and I did it for years. Today you need gigantic teams and it’s a very hardcore way of working. It’s an intense life. I don’t want to create new collections anymore, I’m too old!” He states.

But, French furniture manufacturer Roche Bobois has enticed him from retirement to design a selection of fabrics because of their bestselling Mah Jong couch, which was made by Hans Hopfer in 1971 – annually after Takada began Kenzo.

“I like that we both started then and I liked the idea of bringing modernity to the sofa,” he states. “It still feels very contemporary today. My designs are inspired by ancient kimonos worn for traditional Noh theatre. They have very floral and graphic patterns that I’ve revisited and remodelled to apply to something you can have at home.”

Takada follows in the footsteps of other style abilities Jean-Paul Gaultier and Sonia Rykiel (that died last August, aged 86), both of whom have previously revamped the modular couch in preceding decades. The Kenzo-founder handpainted his layouts in gouache, since he says it “brings more depth” – nor does he anticipate computers. His helper transferred the and then handed them at Roche Bobois, who changed them.

There are three “dawn to dusk” color schemes: Asa (dawn), composed of mild pastel tones; Hiru (midday), dominated by deeper rich reds; and Yoru (day), a symphony of blues – the concept is that customers can mix and match within every colourway that is diverse.

Takada enjoyed the process that he improved by golden or red copper leaf, and has expanded the collection to incorporate a selection of colored ceramics featuring themes from the fabrics. Additionally, there are an extra pair of scatter cushions that are complementary.

“I don’t live in a minimalist home,” states the designer and artist, “I like things to bring joy and happiness. Colour is so important to introduce harmony to a home.”

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