Jaime Hayon: a name synonymous with whimsy, Spain's enfant terrible, captaining a generation of designers that seek to steer us from the prosaic and inject commercial design with an air of wonderment.
His broad body of work is testament not only to his avant garde approach to aesthetics, materials and high-profile clients, but also serves to illustrate his own inherent eccentricities.
As the youngest ever Guest of Honour at the Interieur Biennale in Belgium in 2008, his regard amongst his peers is matched by his demand from clients and consumers - Hayon sells!
Hayon's furniture and textile work with US based Bernhardt Design is one such triumph. His predilection for designing pieces inspired by the golden age of Hollywood glamour, that revel in the shimmer of the silver screen, is seen in his Showtime collection for bd Barcelona and in his extravagant interiors at La Terraza del Casino in Madrid.
For Bernhardt Design he first collaborated with Dutch photographer Nienke Klunder on a textile collection titled "Serious Fun", in name a true reflection of his design ethos. The range consists of 33 colour combinations across four distinct patterns - all centring around playfulness toward colour and contrast.
We wanted to create a perfect mixture between the seriousness of Bernhardt Textiles and the more challenging and louder artistic character that is our focus.
In embarking on his second project for Bernhardt Design Jaime's task was straightforward: he wanted to create a sofa and lounging collection that whilst alluring in its comfort and appearance belied its true scale and minimal demands on space. In execution Hayon toyed with not only the form and footprint but the materials and tactile aspects that would make this range not only incredibly luxuriant but immediately practical. The result was Bardot: sofa and lounge chair
Many sofas are too big to actually use in city apartments, so I wanted to make one that looked big and felt generous, but would actually work in smaller spaces.
Hayon wanted the sofa to “feel like a fruit, tender to the touch,” while at the same time be extremely durable “like combining the lightness and strength of a ballerina.” The sinuous curves and the elegant upholstering - stretched velvet inner seat contrasted with an hexagonal knitted fabric on the exterior.
Bardot, like its namesake is a collection celebrated as much for its beauty (no edges here - all curves!) as it is for its refinement and practicality. Perhaps the assessment of the Bardot collection and in part Hayon's complete works, is best left to Bernhardt Design President, Jerry Helling:
Initially I thought I understood the design and now I’m not as sure. Some days I think it is baroque or classical and others I see it as pop or modern, so the only thing I’m sure of is that it’s good.