Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq, the new faces of interior design
Kim and Florent met at the prestigious Camondo architecture and design school and haven’t separated since. Now at the head of their own studio, they represent the French new wave of interior design. Close-up.
Since graduating in 2015, Kim Haddou & Florent Dufourcq have worked on a range of products. Based in London and Paris, they created “Kim Haddou & Florent Dufourcq,” their interior design and scenography studio. An eponymous and modest signature that suits them to a tee. Revealed by “Grotto,” their first collaboration, they won the Grand Prize at the Design Parade Toulon in 2018, organized by the Villa Noailles in Hyères. In autumn of that same year, they staged the work of photographer Sarah Mei Herman in a selection of American Vintage stores.
What does it mean to be an “interior designer”?
It means that we are invited to appropriate existing spaces in order to make them comfortable, beautiful and practical. The idea is to give them a soul. So we spend a lot of time talking with our clients to understand what they want and why. Their lifestyle is very important to us. Then, our work consists of redesigning the space with blueprints in order to make the volumes and circulation more fluid. Only then do we look at the choice of materials, colors, furniture, etc.
How would you define your studio’s style?
“Songe d’un jour d’été” (“Summer day dream”) school project (2017).
For us, it’s vital to tell the right story and project the right atmosphere. Maybe this is why we are dreaming of hotels right now. You sleep there, you eat there… In short, you live there.
How do you get passionate about spaces and volumes?
The excitement of discovery! A new material, a traditional technique, an unexpected texture, a particular atmosphere, a singular space… Inspiration is everywhere. There’s room for unlimited curiosity in this world.
You founded your studio as a duo. Is collaboration important?
We like the configuration of our duo: we exchange our ideas, find solutions together, bounce ideas off each other… An interior design project is never done alone! Many people contribute to bringing a project to life and this is what we find interesting. The magic of our trade happens through teamwork.
“Grotto,” the project that earned you the Grand Prize at the Design Parade Toulon in 2018, is probably one of your greatest successes. What story does this room tell?
“Grotto.” Photograph, Luc Bertrand (2018).
It tells a story about us! It’s a small, intimate room that conjures up our memories and our fantasized vision of Southern France and the Mediterranean region. A place where you can recharge your batteries during your siesta, sheltered from the scorching rays of sunlight, with a bookcase dug out of the very wall, filled with souvenirs.
We find this “natural” state of mind in your scenography of Sarah Mei Herman’s photo exhibition in American Vintage stores…
It’s true that this “natural” aspect is part of our DNA, but we put less of “us” into this scenography in order to showcase Sarah’s work. The point was to tell her story, not ours! So we worked on relatively neutral staging to highlight her photos. We concentrated on the textures and materials: raw, without frills. A world that reflects the vision of Sarah Mei Herman, but also the values of American Vintage.
Your next project?
A house in the heart of the Auvergne region.
What advice would you give someone who wants to follow your path?
Stay creative, rigorous, passionate and curious. Our past experiences enrich our future projects and it’s important to actively do things. Whether it’s reading, looking or listening.
What clothing do you wear when you work?
We prefer comfortable clothing! We alternate between visits of worksites and days spent behind our computers, so we have to feel at ease in our clothes. Basics are a must: chinos, a button-up shirt, a T-shirt, a nice sweater…
Your favorite American Vintage piece?
The ultra-soft T-shirts, perfect to work in or relax in…
Discover our men’s and women’s T-shirt lines.
AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.