Photograph by Francois Halard
Fast-fashion retailer Zara is best known for its ability to deliver runway trends almost instantly, right into your closet, at prices that won’t break the bank. As such, the brand’s homeware arm, Zara Home, isn’t typically a go-to place for creating an upscale home. But that’s about to change with a new collaboration: a line of furniture designed by all-star architect Vincent Van Duysen.
Van Duysen’s designs mark a higher price point for the otherwise affordable house brand, with sofas starting at $6,300, desks at $2,500 and rugs at $500. To reflect this loftier claim, the new line – which also includes lamps, cocktail tables, side tables and loveseat – will be branded as ZARAHOME+. While there are no physical Zara Home stores in the US, the products can be ordered online as well as in the many stores across Europe.
ZARAHOME+ is hardly the first major collaboration for the Belgian architect, whose long résumé includes products for Flos, B&B Italia and Paola Lenti, not to mention a stint as creative director at Molteni&C. But for Van Duysen, who is celebrating his 35th professional anniversary as well as his 60th birthday, the collection serves as a return to some of his earliest ideas.
“I started with my first home, which I moved into when I came back from Belgium after studying in Milan,” Van Duysen tells ELLE DECOR. “This particular house was first published in ELLE Decoration UK. Ilse Crawford was the one who discovered me.”
The space and its furniture felt very natural, classic and linear – an aesthetic purity that went well with Zara’s design focus. The collection too draws inspiration from longtime muses such as Jean-Michel Frank, Alvar Aalto and Luis Barragán. These ideas are even reflected in the color palette of the Zara Home collection, which mainly consists of soft neutrals.
The overall concept, according to Van Duysen, was simple: create pieces that could exist in any home – no matter how big or small – and that would stand the test of time. “I cut away everything superfluous to create the purest forms, whether it’s a sofa, a rug or a side table,” he says.
These latest novelties will be available on Zara Home’s website from June 30th, and in October another Van Duysen collection will be launched, focused on food. By then, the first round of furnishing seems to have already shaped its designer. “Every time we did the layouts and checked the prototypes, it felt like coming home,” he says. “It was really nice. It really confirmed where it all started and what I want to share with the world.”
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