designer's guide | Oct 8, 2019 |
High fashion meets High Point: Model Miranda Kerr launches a furniture line

Among the new collections debuting at High Point Market is Miranda Kerr’s collaboration with Universal, titled Love.Joy.Bliss. “For our retailer partners, Miranda Kerr truly represents the type of customer we are working to connect to their stores—a 36-year-old mother who has a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces,” says Universal furniture director of marketing Neil MacKenzie. “Miranda had a vision for what she hoped to achieve with this collection based on her career in fashion and her travels around the world. We are both really pleased with the end result, and are excited to share it this fall.”

BOH caught up with the supermodel and entrepreneur at her home in Malibu to talk about her design process and priorities.

In addition to your modeling career, you have long cultivated other business interests. How did you decide you wanted to create a home collection of your own, and what inspired you?
I’ve always been interested in design and fashion. I’ve designed teacups for Royal Albert, jewelry for Swarovski, and denim for Mother Denim. When I launched my skincare line, Kora Organics, I designed all the packaging. Of course, having been in the fashion industry since I was 13—and being around some of the most creative people in the world—has played a big role. I think subtly, even when you don’t realize it, what your eyes are exposed to plays a part. Then from all of my travels around the world—from Japan and Paris to New York and Morocco—and experiencing different cultures, different ways of life, different fabrics, it’s all influenced me.

But I’ve always had a love of interiors, which started when I was very young. My dad is a builder, and I would go to work with him—I had a little builder’s belt—and I just found it fascinating the way things are built and put together. I decorated my homes in New York, Paris, Malibu and Brentwood, and even a little apartment I lived in in Japan. Creating my own collection was a way to incorporate so many of my passions into practical pieces that I felt could go in lots of different places.

You took a pretty unconventional approach to your first meeting with the Universal team.
When I first met with Universal [about collaborating on a furniture line], it was supposed to be an initial meeting to discuss how we both felt about each other and to explore the opportunity. But I came to the meeting with a whole set of ideas, vision boards and layouts. When I’m involved and invested in something, I’m all in. There’s no 98 percent—it’s 100 percent or nothing. Everyone on the Universal team understood that from the first moment we met. They nurtured that creativity within me and have been able to help me express what I felt and what I wanted to bring into people's homes.

What did that collaboration look like? What was the process?
It started with those vision boards. Working with Universal, I wanted their input because of their expertise in the industry, but at the same time I’m very strong—if I don’t like something or it doesn’t feel right to me, I’m not going to pretend. It was a real collaboration; it had to be a genuine connection for me with the pieces, the fabrics, the finishes, everything.

The collection is called Love.Joy.Bliss., which is a concept that carried through from that very first vision board. What does it mean, and why was it so essential to you?
These pieces are so subtle and elegant, but have a timeless quality. Originally, the Love collection would be for the bedroom, the Joy collection would be for the kitchen and dining area, and the Bliss collection would be for the living space. But in the end, all of the pieces are interchangeable, even ones specifically designed for the dining room or the hallway—something like the Runway console, it can really go anywhere. I think we all want love, joy and bliss in every corner of our home.

High fashion meets High Point: Model Miranda Kerr launches a furniture line
The Runway console and a Love.Joy.Bliss. poufCourtesy of Universal Furniture

I know you focused a lot on the collection’s finishes. Can you tell me a little bit about those?
There’s the grain in the wood, mother-of-pearl, lacquer, stone and gold—they all work well together, but they are quite neutral, so they can go with what you already have at home. You can see that it’s beautiful, but then you look a little closer and you’re like, “Oh, wow, there’s so much more intricacy here than I first realized.” You can make it your own, but it has its own personality.

You have a lot of faceted details also. What was the inspiration there?
I’m naturally drawn to the geometric shapes of raw crystals and the flower of life, and all of the sacred geometry and positivities surrounding it. That influenced the shape of the side tables and the base of the dining tables. It’s versatile, interesting, but not in your face—the way I wanted every piece to be.

How did you bake functionality and livability into each of the pieces?
Because I’m a mother—I’m about to have my third baby any minute now—I want the pieces to be practical for my life. I believe that they can be practical and also aesthetically pleasing. I really put my heart and soul into it and created pieces that I feel are timeless and that people will hopefully feel nurtured by.

We chose very functional materials and fabrics. With the lacquer pieces and the stone, you can wipe things off very easily. For the sofa, I love the texture of it, the detailed herringbone—but if something spilled on here, it has that wipeability. And if it went to a really bad stage with the kids making a real mess, it just needs to be cleaned with soap and water.

What has the reception been so far?
Just from little snippets that we posted on social media, people have been contacting us from all over the world wanting to get these pieces in their homes. People are excited about it.

What do you want designers to know when they see the collection for the first time?
I want designers to feel inspired by the collection. The whole purpose of this collection is to create a sense of ease and nurturing when you walk in the door at home. That’s my aim, to bring positivity into people’s homes—things that feel good to look at, to touch, to interact with. 

Header image: Courtesy of Universal Furniture

This article originally appeared in Fall 2019 issue of the Designer's Guide, High Point Market. Subscribe or become a BOH Insider for more.

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