The French furniture brand will bring its unique take on art de vivre to its first store in Asia’s World City. Tamsin Bradshaw reports.
Top image: Roche Bobois showroom from around the world
Roche Bobois has its sights set on Hong Kong, and plans are afoot to open a store at Horizon Plaza at the end of the year. The French brand, which creates premium pieces that offer an eclectic and original take on modern design, already has 250 stores worldwide. Its showrooms are located in everywhere from the United States and Luxembourg to China and Dubai, and now the brand is focusing on the Special Administrative Region.
“We identified strong potential for Roche Bobois in Hong Kong quite some time ago,” says Wilson Tang, Sales Manager for Roche Bobois in Hong Kong. “The Hongkonger’s open-mindedness and modernity – something that is expressed particularly through architecture – are totally in line with the values of Roche Bobois.”
The brand’s connection with fashion is also something Tang sees as appealing to the Hong Kong market. Roche Bobois has collaborated with the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel Maison and Missoni Home, among others – something Tang feels will attract consumers here. “Consumers are exposed to and interested in fashion trends when creating their home concept,” he says.
Roche Bobois’ Hong Kong store will be located on the ground floor of Horizon Plaza, spread over 9,000 square feet. “One of the main features of the store is the view of Paris,” says Tang. “We have installed large, back-lit wallpaper to illustrate the origin of the brand. Each Roche Bobois store around the world has a piece of Paris on its walls.
“We will also highlight the brand’s name in a graphic and sculptural way, using back-lit mirrors,” he adds. “Each of our showrooms around the world is different because of the architecture features of the buildings they’re in. Despite this, there’s a common atmosphere in every Roche Bobois showroom – you can feel it no matter which showroom you visit. We use colourful and natural materials. Each showroom must be a jewellery box.”
Natural materials are particularly important to Roche Bobois, which in recent years has adopted Eco6 guidelines in order to make the entire furniture making process – from creation right through to shipping – as environmentally aware as possible. The brand uses natural colourings, soluble varnishes and recycled or recyclable materials wherever possible.
Roche Bobois has a strong heritage, having been founded in 1960 by two families. It was the force behind Eero Aarnio’s famous Ball chair in 1966, and in more recent years, it has probably become best known for the Mah Jong sofa. Designed by Hans Hopper, the sofa series is hand-sewn and padded, consisting of various modular pieces that can be combined to suit different settings, and for spaces of all sizes.
“Our brand has always been about bringing the French art de vivre to our furniture. There’s a je ne sais quoi about our designs that makes them different and special. Colours, comfort, diversity, creativity – these elements are what make Roche Bobois a lively yet luxurious brand.”