The Obi is a luxuriously comfortable bed-like sofa designed by Rafa Garcia. With Spanish siestas in mind, Rafa looked to Japan and translated elements of the kimono into a sofa that embraces the user, much like the traditional dress itself. “I like to find inspiration in photography and found some pictures of Japanese women dressed in kimonos – clothes that seem to hug you,” Rafa says. “I wanted to design a sofa in this style, where you could feel comfortable, embraced.”
The Obi takes is names from the quilted bow that secures a kimono at the back of the wearer. Wanting the seating to be comfortable enough for napping, Rafa covered the pillowy seat, back and arm cushions in a thick quilted fabric with a down-like fibre (Fiberdream). It not only gives the sofa texture and richness, but also “greater body and presence,” Rafa explains.
The shape of the Obi is also inspired by the symmetry and form of the kimono. If you picture a geisha holding her arms out wide, then the long draping sleeves (known as sode for the whole sleeve, or furi for the portion of the sleeve below the arm hole) become the armrests that wrap around each side of the sofa.
Rafa’s inspiration doesn’t end there. Set low to the ground, the Obi almost appears to levitate above the floor, and here Rafa looked to the traditional wooden shoe (known as okobo) for the sofa’s slimline legs. Okobo are simple sandals constructed from blocks of willow wood that are shaped to elevate wearers, up to about 14 centimeters, so their kimonos don’t touch the ground. Thus the Obi legs are available in ash, which references the natural wood finish of the okobo, as well as clear acrylic, inspired by the elevation that creates sense of transparency between the wearer and the ground.
The Obi range comprises an extensive array of modules, including two and three seaters, long corner pieces, chaise longues and poufs.