Celebrity creative director and designer Willo Perron has released his first furniture collection, comprised of livable, modernist pieces that rebel against the notion that high-end furniture should need to be protected by things like stuffy drink coasters.
“I love simplicity and purity,” the French-Canadian-born artist says. “I have an aversion to clutter and I find minimalism somewhat oppressive. All these pieces are meant to be used and be playful and played with — nothing I make is precious or too fragile, it’s meant to be used. My mantra is ‘no coasters.’”
Debuting his seven household objects at the Lower Manhattan gallery Matter Projects from September 22nd to November 30th, this is the first time Perron has “actually physically showed things to people,” the first time that people can see and touch his work in person. As a creative director, he has made a name for himself working on video production, print, brand identity, and set design for stars like Jay Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Perhaps his most famous work is the floating Ferrari he was able to orchestrate for Drake’s 2018 concert series.
Furniture design, while a new arena for Perron, stays true to his enveloping dramatic style. For starters, his Sausage Sofa is an enormous 40-foot long “bean bag thing,” an “adult playground stoner dream.” His inspiration came from his younger days in Montreal. “My neighbors had this giant beanbag, and as kids we would all just jump around in this thing and just play in this thing all day long, so it’s kind of a nod to that,” the designer told Architectural Digest.
Also included in the collection is the Pillo Sofa, which appears to be constructed completely out of overstuffed cushions. Hailed as a “near instant classic,” Perron designed it and other pieces in his line simply because he couldn’t locate what he was looking for anywhere else.
“Some of the furniture pieces came from us trying to find pieces for interior projects that we were working on at my studio when we couldn’t quite find perfect options with the right energy. It was just developing pieces to put into projects. I like the idea that in doing people’s interiors or their homes a lot of the pieces are unique, and they’re not that commercially available.”
The “No Coasters” anthology incorporates the Dino surfaces trio: a table, bench, and coffee table. They all feature organically-round legs and softened table edges. The Vanessa seat is an ultra-comfy riff on a papasan chair. All the pieces are colored in the beige and brown tones of the arid landscapes near Perron’s Hollywood Hills home.
When asked if he’ll continue in furniture design, the artist he replied “absolutely.” Reiterating his design aesthetic, he says, “Objects, and clothes, and things in life don’t have to be uncomfortable to be beautiful, and it also doesn’t negate more visceral things, and doesn’t make it less attractive. They don’t need to have those constraints to be beautiful…. I like that idea of being able to live in the things that you have. They’re not museum pieces.”