In a world where uniqueness and innovation are esteemed, Roche Bobois emerges as a beacon of impeccable French craftsmanship in furniture design. Guiding this prestigious brand is Nicolas Roche, the Creative Director, a man whose journey is rich with diverse experiences and a steadfast commitment to design superiority. Roche, with his profound knowledge in architecture and a deep appreciation for varied design philosophies, meticulously shapes the brand’s identity, traversing through both contemporary evolutions and enduring aesthetics.
Gen de Art: Could you delve a bit into your background and your journey to becoming the Creative Director at Roche Bobois? Roche: Born in 1960, my academic journey unfolded at the renowned Ecole du Louvre, and concurrently, I completed my architecture studies, graduating in 1985. My initial professional chapters were penned as a freelance architect and subsequently as a manager and partner in my own architecture firm from 1990 to 2005. In 2005, prompted by my father’s gradual retirement plans, I embraced the family business, steering the development of new collections.
Gen de Art: Roche Bobois is synonymous with design and innovation. Could you offer some insights into the company's approach to the creative process and its collaborations with designers to craft iconic furniture pieces? Roche: Certainly, innovation and impeccable design are our compass and catalyst. We’ve embarked on ventures, championing Scandinavian and Danish furniture in France during the 1960s, pioneering exclusive collections with then-emerging designers like Pierre Paulin and Marc Berthier, and unveiling revolutionary Italian designs ahead of the curve. Our pursuit of diversity, aligned with our brand DNA, manifests in a curated, eclectic collection representing the French spirit. It’s a harmonious dance between our values of quality, design, and contemporary trends in the ever-evolving global canvas we play in.
Gen de Art: Roche Bobois has a legacy of collaboration with esteemed designers. How have these collaborations sculpted the brand's identity and propelled its success? Roche: Collaborations are not an end but a means, a journey where we create symphonies with not just renowned maestros but also with emerging, discreet designers from around the globe. Engagements with remarkable talents like Jean Paul Gaultier and Marcel Wanders have been mutually enriching, reflecting our penchant for surprise and our synergy with diverse creative realms, from fashion to contemporary art.
Gen de Art: In light of the growing emphasis on sustainability in the furniture industry, could you illuminate us on Roche Bobois' initiatives in this regard and your vision for enhancing the brand’s environmental responsibility? Roche: Eco-design is an essential quality, akin to the craftsmanship, materials, and design of a piece. I regard it as the redefined essence of luxury, intertwining responsibility, value, and meaning. Upon joining Roche Bobois, transitioning personal environmental awareness into professional accountability was pivotal. Our instrument in this endeavour is Eco8, our qualitative assessment tool aiding in diminishing our environmental footprint and improving product sustainability.
Gen de Art: What emerging trends are shaping the home decor and furniture market, and how is Roche Bobois aligning its strategy with these evolving customer preferences? Roche: The advent of 3D printing is fascinating, representing an industrial metamorphosis allowing the production and large-scale distribution of previously impossible objects. It exemplifies revolutionary techniques redefining craftsmanship and forging a closer, more harmonious connection with individual needs and desires.
Gen de Art: Could you share any details about forthcoming design collaborations or collections that are sparking excitement for you? Roche: I am exhilarated about renewing collaboration with Christophe Delcourt, a designer whose creative ethos resonates with our values. This enduring partnership since 2005 is set to unveil mesmerising pieces in January 2024, alongside a captivating new collection.
Mah Jong Composition, designed by Hans Hopfer, dressed by Jean Paul Gaultier
Bombom Outdoor, designed by Joana Vasconcelos
Saga collection, designed by Christophe Delcourt
Montgolfière collection, designed by Marcel Wanders