By Bea Elle
It’s not every day you meet someone as nice as Christopher Guy Harrison, the visionary behind the lifestyle brand Christopher Guy. As luck would have it, we had the absolute pleasure of sitting down and chatting with the man himself at the Summer 2017 Las Vegas Market.
Our plan was to learn a little about Christopher and his designs, but he amazed us with wonderful stories and phenomenal insight on the industry and his part in helping shape it.
By the end of our conversation, we had a better understanding of Christopher, his company, and his fabulous designs — and we were genuinely bowled over by what we saw and heard.
Here are some of the reasons why Christopher Guy is a brand to watch:
Design came into Christopher’s life at an early age. At 16, while others were in school, Christopher left his program to build a home in Provence, France with his stepfather. This was when he first became interested in design.
But it wasn’t just his building experience that fueled his fire to create. In fact, it was a common influence that motivated him: movies and television. Christopher fell in love with the lifestyles portrayed in movies like James Bond and the show “The Persuaders!” starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. He’d take notice of the cars, the furniture, and the portrayal of wealth, and decided that he wanted to design around that lifestyle.
That influence has carried Christopher into the present. Today, he still takes into account that luxurious lifestyle he admired as a kid.
When asked about his current design icon, he told us it is Coco Chanel, hands down.
Christopher said, “I try to design everything about what I think her home would look like.”
Mirrors & More
Christopher’s first true foray into the fast-paced world of design began with mirrors. Why mirrors? Because he believed they should be considered the jewel of a room. You don’t need many, just one, and it must be beautiful.
Over time, his mirror designs have evolved to match consumer demand. We really adore the Adinantum mirror, which resembles a bird’s nest, as well as the serene design of Constellation. Regardless of your preferred style, there’s a Christopher Guy mirror out there for you.
Modern or classic? It’s a question many designers here at “Market” are asked. At first glance, many Christopher Guy designs appear classic, especially because Christopher uses a number of curves in his pieces.
But according to Christopher, he’s neither modern or classic. He’s something completely different. He’s timeless.
“Timeless” really is a great way to describe his work.
According to Christopher, “I’m trying to be viable, today, tomorrow, and in the future. It’s like politics. You don’t want to go too far left or right. You just have to keep in the middle.”
One of Christopher Guy’s signature pieces is actually his Chris-X dining chair. Truth be told, even if this wasn’t one of his defining design, this chair immediately caught our eye. We couldn’t wait to know more about the inspiration behind the design.
Christopher described the idea of Chris-X by talking about how we all look at dining room chairs—which is from the back. Because you don’t look at this chairs from the front, he wanted the design to start from the back of the chair.
“I wanted it to have a tight waistline, like a woman, with crisscrossed legs,” he said.
And voila! Chris-X.
Like consumers and retailers worldwide, our House Tipster team agreed that the Chris-X chair legs are easily one of the most memorable furniture designs we’ve seen here at Market.
Christopher Guy Harrison is, in our eyes, one of the kings of the Las Vegas Market.
He was named the 2011 Market Design Icon and he continues to come to each bi-annual event. But you wouldn’t know he’s received this award as well as numerous others because he’s so humble. Indeed, Christopher’s favorite part of receiving this accolade wasn’t the attention, but the fact that he was able to talk with and hopefully inspire a new generation of emerging designers.
At this summer’s “Market,” Christopher plans to float around and chat with other designers, new friends and old, and enjoy some industry camaraderie.
What’s Next For Christopher Guy
Since Christopher Guy is a lifestyle brand, the company’s focus will continue to be on the consumer moving forward. Currently, Christopher and his team are working on ways to revitalize some key designs to meet demands for a “cleaner” look with less curvature. Of course, his designs aren’t going to stray too far away from the fabulous curves we love in the Chris-X chairs, they’re simply adapting to stay timeless!
In addition, Christopher is diving into the world of technology. He’s in the process of creating programs to help retailers and consumers create room plans and proposals.
“We’re trying to make sales convenient for the retailer and the consumer,” said Christopher.
This part of the business is set to launch in 2018.
When you consider what Christopher Guy Harrison has brought to the design world thus far, and then factor in how he’ll continue to transform the industry, it’s obvious that Christopher should remain on all our radars.
We can’t wait to see Christopher Guy Harrison again at future design events. Until then, we’ll have to keep on the lookout for his new software venture and up-and-coming design offerings.