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Guillaume Hinfray

  • Designer
  • Ambassador for Rouen, France
Guillaume Hinfray Ambassador for Rouen, France
©Pasquale Abbattista

When fashion meets design

Parisian by birth, Norman by heart and Milanese by adoption. Guillaume started his career by chance in a Haute Couture workshop. A 21-year-old graduate from the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, he continued his training in fashion and decoration. In 1992, he moved to Milan and discovered the world of shoes. He is passionate about the challenge of combining comfort, ergonomics and elegance. Shoes became the link he was looking for between fashion and design. In 2001, he launched with friends from all walks of life: architects, stylists, graphic designers, the collective When A meets B, when Fashion meets Design. In 2018, Guillaume returned to design, becoming the creative director of Duvivier Canapés 1840. The house produces armchairs and sofas, entirely handmade in France, combining tradition, modernity and respect for the environment.

What does craftsmanship signify for you?

Craftsmanship is the power of human beings to give soul to inert matter.

How does it feature in your work and life?

Throughout my professional life I have had the chance to work, and learn, from all kinds of craftsmen. I started in an Haute Couture workshop in Paris, I’ve collaborated with glassblowers in Belgium, I’ve worked with shoemakers in Italy or with carpenters and cabinet makers throughout Europe. The variety of knowledge is always a wonder and it inspires me to go further.

Do you work with craftspeople and how?

As a designer, my role is to create shapes. Without craftspeople, without hands, it would be impossible to bring an idea to life. I need them and I have to convey my thoughts to them, but I also have to know when to be silent so that they can improve it.

How would you define excellence?

It is the meeting point between the craftsperson's love for their craft and their humility to bring an object to perfection.

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