Monday, 22 June 2009

In Conversation with Alexandra Von Furstenberg

with AVFAlexandra Von Furstenberg


The name “Von Furstenberg” is synonymous with aristocracy, high-end design and fashion but Alexandra von Furstenberg is making her mark with her own collection of limited edition home furnishings that have dazzled design-geeks, consumers and critics alike. Alexandra’s 2008 collection was comprised of modern, light reflecting acrylic with high-impact, bold, neon-coloured edges. The 2008 collection was fun and pop-inspired with clean lines and a modern take on the art-deco style.


The 2009 collection from Alexandra von Furstenberg has similar lines to the previous collection but takes on new life with masculine, strong and sultry colours, reminiscent of gunmetal or a beautifully applied smoky eye. It is a more elegant and classic take on the fun, pop-colours of her previous collection and in combination with some new pieces with more rectilinear forms, these pieces are a real treat for homeowners with a more subdued or dramatic home.




Alexandra has a very strong background in the arts, she attended both Parsons School of Design and Brown University, majoring in costume design and art history. She began a career as Creative Director and later as Director of Image for her mother in-law, International fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and decided to change her focus to interiors in 2006. Her exclusive collections have been very well-received and are continuing to grow and thrive. Alexandra’s her work has graced many magazine pages and high-end homes, we can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next.


Please read on to find out more about this talented designer…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Alexandra von Furstenberg My first experience was designing costumes for the drama department at Brown University. My fashion portfolio continued as I worked alongside my mother-in-law for ten years. This unique experience in fashion was a great segue into a personal passion for designing my own living spaces. It was a natural transition into product design, beginning with the launch of the AVF collection in 2008.



  Gangster Console by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Alexandra von FurstenbergThe style of my current collection, Voltage, was influenced by 1940s Art Décor, Hollywood glamour mixed with 60s retro, and a space odyssey, futuristic vision.


image Bullet Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Alexandra von FurstenbergMy style embodies the sleek, modern lacquered design seen in both my 2008 and 2009 collections. The chic, elegant lines of the furniture and accessory pieces are matched with quality craftsmanship.


image imageM-!6 Cube End Tables by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What designers of past and present do you admire most?

Alexandra von Furstenberg There are so many designers I admire, but if I have to call out a couple I would have to say Pierre Cardin - Although he was most known for his work in fashion, he was so innovative during his short career in furniture design. Also, Charles Hollis Jones for being a pioneer in Lucite in the early 70s.


imageRevolver Occasional Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Alexandra von FurstenbergMy strength lies in the creative process and being able to bring my vision to three-dimensional form. The greatest challenge for me is to stick with my designs even when they are misunderstood.



Blacksmith Desk by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What was the transition like from fashion to interiors? Was it difficult to remove yourself from your successful career at Diane von Furstenberg?

Alexandra von FurstenbergThe creative process in fashion and interiors is very similar in that your sense of style is all around you - not only in the way your dress, but also in the way you decorate your home. It is a form of lifestyle. Of course it was difficult to walk away from a successful career in fashion, but it was a transition I was ready for.


image Soiree by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What compelled you to move into interiors from fashion?

Alexandra von FurstenbergIt was a natural progression for me.



image Axel Desk by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?

Alexandra von FurstenbergFrank Lloyd Wright: Complete Works and Helmet Newton are on my coffee table and by my bed I have Conversations with God.


image XOXO Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What attracts you to acrylic as your medium of choice in your designs?

Alexandra von FurstenbergI felt that acrylic had been so misunderstood and misused. I wanted to give it the design credit it deserved.


image Sledge Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design (this can be both fashion and interiors if you would like)?

Alexandra von FurstenbergConsumers seem to be less conservative than they once were, leaving room for diversity.


image Bootleg Trays by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What piece has given you the most satisfaction?

Alexandra von FurstenbergIt’s not really a particular piece, but the collection as a whole. When I launched my first and then second collection, the satisfaction of seeing all of my work come to life was indescribable. It was the birth of my brainchild, so to speak.


image Blindfold 4 Panel Screen by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Do you have a signature detail or design mantra that you apply to all of your pieces? If so, what is it?

Alexandra von FurstenbergEach design in my collection features the lip logo on a numbered, dated and signed plaque. In a sense, the pieces become functional art. As for a design mantra, the words Fearless hang in my Los Angeles showroom. I think it is the strength behind these words that drives my creative force in this challenging industry.


image Trillion by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Alexandra von FurstenbergI hope to someday grow AVF into a full blown lifestyle brand, reaching all levels of design.


image Sledge Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created stunning collections of furniture and accessories that show your talent and growth as a designer. What would you like your legacy to be?

Alexandra von FurstenbergTo continue to have collections that adapt to the changes in consumer’s lifestyles – from their homes, to their clothing, and their technology. I also hope to evolve in the same way, as a designer.




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Echito said...

Beautiful pieces, I hope she reaches her lifestyle brand goal - I look forward to seeing more from her!

Unknown said...

Ivan, This was clearly an exciting interview. I think Alexandra's collection of pieces are fantastic.

They do embody a reinvention of a time when design was just in it's infancy.

Very exciting!


Dale said...

Wow thanks for introducing a great design talent. I love the furniture...very chic, but timeless as well.

Unknown said...

I would buy this just for the fancy logo design! Love the signature bars on the furniture!

Brillante Interiors said...

Oh! yes...the Furstenberg...I grew up with their life stories when most of them were living in Italy (Diane is also related, by the first marriage, to the Agnelli family, which we considered in a way like our "royal family"...) Of course Alexandra absorbed so much style and sense of design from the whole family. Beautiful pieces, different,linear, simple, they can go everywhere. XOXO Table is my favourite.

Jaime Rogers said...

Congrats Ivan on, yet another, great interview!! Keep them coming big shot;)

Michelle said...

Wow Ivan, you really get the design her use of facets and those trays are such great tones...yum. Talent runs in the famlly :)

I'm impressed!!