When Philippe Starck, who dressed casually as a big boy walked into the meeting room, this genius designer completely subverted my impression of him. I thought I would see a man put on a head to toe black-look as other designers and in one pair of expensive casual shoes; walking unconcernedly into the room with chin up and chest out. However, he was just like a man who lives beside my house and acted not pretentious. I thought he would be fancy and quibble in talking; however, he apologized firstly for his English.
Although I am not a diehard fan of Philippe, I know some of his worldwide popular designs. Just some days before I received the invitation to join his presentation, I showed my friend and told him, “look at this juice machine, how pretty it is.” during our shopping in the downtown.
He learns all experiences and knowledge from his father who worked for an Aircraft Manufacturer. From all reports, we know that Philippe involves all kinds of design widely; from a toothbrush, a chair, even interior design or architectural design. How come Philippe Starck knows so many things that we need to learn for an entire life?
“Live in a simple life,” he told us. He always looks for a fundamental way, either in his private life or design. “then, you see the essence of everything.” When you see the essence, then you understand also the focal point. He tries to give explanatory notes to his design with humble
to reach his highest goal, elegance.
He thinks about his design and inspiration in the same way; the best way to create is to empty your mind. Set a piece of paper in a large, clean, empty table, start with a concept, develop a project and then produce a product. However, his view was not comprehensive than now; “day by day, we grow not only our age but also a wider field of vision. ” Philippe told us.
However, make it simple does not mean to take it unceremoniously. When everything is so simple, then every detail becomes very important.
During our conversation, Philippe always emphasized that the interaction between the Community and himself. “When we face ourselves honestly, we see how small we are. We only exist when we give service to the community.” He emphasized that a designer is not a God or a doctor; designers cannot save lives. However, designers can make life better. This is also an expectation to himself.
The presentation was hosted by the newest business partner whom Philippe Starck designed for. “I never judge a product of its selling price; instead, I see if this design can bring a better life to more people. Many people live in the circle of equator need Sandals.” First of all, Philippe achieved one of his goals, to serve the community. Second, shoes are life necessities, not accessories; therefore to make shoes comfortable is more important than to make them beautiful. Moreover, an affordable price for everyone to buy is also a focal point.
“I am not here to make shoes fashionable but to let people feel comfortable and beautiful who put the shoes on,” Philippe admitted that he could not help but not stop designing at the beginning of creation process. In the end, we see all 48 different styles he created for every type of people. “I hope people find their favorite shoes of my collection easily.”
I was curious, from his impression of Munich, which shoes present the best of an image of this city. In this picture below was his answer for me, black sandals.
“Elegant yet simple is my impression of Munich. However, for a fresh day as today, I would put on one pair of socks,” he told us with a smile.
As the designer who created the collection, when he reviewed the products, he truly showed his honest and sincere side again. The Sandals in the image above that has a black Button and a thin strap on the instep actually had no stripe at the beginning. However, due to the security reason, Philippe had to add one thin line to it.
“I will think about how to achieve a minimalist style to this model.” he murmured.
During the presentation, there was a woman who arranged details and watched all the time quietly, she is Philippe’s wife, Jasmin. From Philippe’s conversation, I understood that he is responsible for the design and she is connecting with people whom he works with. They work together, travel together and live together simply.
I was wondering, through her eyes, what kind of person Philippe is. Could she describe her husband in three words?
“Over Human, although it is not a single word, for me, he is like a Superman as this word says. Then, Humanist; last, Visionary.” She praised her husband without tweaking but love. In the photo, you can see a special tattoo on Jasmin’s arm, Philippe has the same one in the same place. I asked the story about it; both of them smiled.
“This is a signal of our relationship process. Hollow circles show the first two years we stayed together before our marriage; two years. Solid circles show the time after our wedding; actually, there are still three Solid circles to be made. The third year after the wedding, we have our first child; that is the line.” Jasmin told me.
“For me, a ring does not mean anything; it could be removed any time. However, a tattoo is forever.” Philippe added immediately.
If you are a fan of Philippe Starck, you know that he never changes his concept to design; and the concept is even more huge that he would like to offer more effort to the community (people) and let people have a better life. For me, through his point of view and then compare to what he said and what he did, I know that his words are real. He tries his best to do every single thing, no matter a building, space, one car or a juice machine, a toothbrush or shoes.