O&A London celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! With a growing number of international projects, and with distinctive collections of furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper and rugs under its unique brand, the company develops collaborative projects with amazing and talented people. We are fortunate to work with leaders in their field: people who do not see boundaries and make the impossible possible. We proudly introduce these creators not just as partners but as co-designers and friends.
We are now delighted to announce the anniversary project «20 for 20». The project will consist of a series of exclusive interviews. Today we are delighted to share an interview with Antoine Six, the International Sales & Project Manager at Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne.
O&A: Antoine, what did you dream about when you were a child?
AS: To be an adult so I could be free to make my own decisions and tread my own path!
I used to move from one city to another with my parents: I grew up in Burgundy, then in the north of France and then in the French Riviera… and when I grew up I continued to travel further enjoying new experiences and new horizons.
I also had the chance to be surrounded by creativity and art, with all my senses stimulated from a young age though painting, drawing, making music or the culinary arts.
O&A: Could you please tell us about your career path that eventually led you to Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne?
AS: Before working in the Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne, I spent 8 years living in South America, in Bolivia and Peru. There I worked in the alpaca garments industry and I had the opportunity to create my own company.
I encountered incredible culture, people, and nature and since then I am (a little bit) Latino! And when I was back in France, my Burgundian roots led me to the Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne. I met the owners of this incredible company, Odile Dhavernas – who is also the CEO – Philippe Pascal and Tisca, and I joined the team.
Let’s say the key thread with my actual professional life is… threads, and creativity!
O&A: Was there a moment in your life that dramatically changed your destiny?
AS: The day I was born! Also, the day I took a plane to go to La Paz, Bolivia seeking adventure. I ended up staying for 8 years! And when I first tasted a ‘Montrachet Grand Cru’!
O&A: Tell us about a typical day at the Manufacture?
AS: I often juggle both a production workshop rhythm and client requirements. People in the workshop start early. We begin the day in Burgundy or in Paris with clients, and by mid-afternoon we start talking with our clients and partners in the USA… so it can be a never ending day.
And like in the fashion industry, we work producing current projects, while simultaneously preparing for the next ones, and thinking how to sow and harvest the future ones!
O&A: What is your favourite part of your job?
AS: Never doing the same project twice! For example, as we have more than 3000 colours in stock to work with, each project with each designer or client has its own shades and specific requirements so there is no routine.
We also have a great manufacturing team where everyone has a vital role and is a key part of the production process that produces ‘the best possible rugs.
From the design of the carpet, weaving on the loom, combing, gluing, finishing, carving, depilating and shaving – our artisans are guided by their hands.
O&A: The Manufacture crafted carpets and tapestries for the greatest artists, such as Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Kandinsky, Modigliani, Mondrian, Vasarely and Keith Haring. Could you please tell me about your recent collaborations or any bold plans for the near future?
AS: The Manufacture was founded in 1958 and has collaborated with great artists and designers, some of whom you mentioned.We still manufacture 100% of our carpets, rugs and tapestries in our own workshop in France. That differentiates us from a lot of competitors and allows us to be very fast and reactive in the development and production process. We work for a lot of private residential projects from Paris to New York, London, Moscow, Hong-Kong…
We also have high-end restaurants as clients such as, recently, The Connaught in London designed by Pierre Yovanovitch, or hotel suites such as Le Meurice in Paris, or luxurious stores such as Cartier, Hermes or Pucci, and also private jets and yachts.
We only do special custom projects and we can work with creative designers such as Anna and Oleg, Mathieu Lehanneur, Bruno Moinard or Damien Langlois-Meurinne.
We can also be a creative force. We have our own in-house design department and we can offer our own collection or translate an idea or a dream into a textile –object, such as a rug, tapestry or carpet.
We are collaborating with designers as we are lucky to host them frequently in our workshop. It is really a laboratory where they can create and develop their projects. There is a mutual and perpetual synergy between designers and crafts people.
O&A: Tell us about your collaboration with O&A London? Why is this project with Anna and Oleg of interest to your company?
AS: As with all good stories, a long road led us to this collaboration.
Our manufacture already worked with Anna and Oleg on projects in Russia and we appreciated each others’ projects and creations.
And so we started this creative trip from London – based at O&A London– to Moscow – Anna and Oleg’s native country – and to France, the home of Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne. There has been frequent interaction and synergy, and this is a complex and enriching experience.
It is a real pleasure to participate in such an adventure linking so many different people and cultures, and seeing development from our first contact, the numerous drawings, developments, samples, rugs, and then a real collection exhibited in projects around the world.
Anna and Oleg brought us into new creative fields. What is amazing in our job is that even though we have made thousands of rugs, there is always a new path to create something with a different perspective.
We hope we have been able to make Anna and Oleg’s creativity and vision into beautiful rugs!
O&A: What are the most important aspects of working with artists and designers?
AS: Working at the very top level, our clients are the most demanding people. We have to deliver the best quality, at the best price, with the best delivery time! So we have to be used to keep working under pressure all the time.
We have to be very reactive, never say «no», but always offer solutions and opening our doors and our expertise to creativity. We question ourselves all the time, and reinvent our business constantly!
Research and development is brought to bear through the whole production process and thanks to everybody in the workshop: it is the sum of all the small details at each step that allows our constant commitment to excellence.
O&A: In the 1970’s, the Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne developed a new technique. Are you working today on new production approaches? What needs to be changed for future development?
AS: Yes when the Manufacture was founded in 1958 we were producing hand woven rugs. In the 70s we start doing hand tufted rugs too. Iconic designers as Andree Putman, Pierre Paulin, Phillipe Starck and Peter Marino to name a few – have been visiting Moroges in order to realize their projects.
Some years ago we added robotuft in the workshop to be able to work much more for contract and hospitality projects. It is a commitment of the owners to keep going producing 100% in France with the same level of know-how and quality. We also work with glass, wood and metal inserts into the rugs, and we can do rugs with optic fibres!
In the Cityscape collection created with O&A, there is a rug – St Petersburg Snow – that is partially handwoven and partially hand tufted, and seamed together. The whole process uses handmade methods in our workshop in Burgundy.
This unique technical innovation could only be achieved as we ran the whole process in-house.
O&A: The Manufacture is labelled EPV and is famous around the globe. You are present in many countries. Tell me about your showroom in NY? How does the American market differ from the European?
AS: The USA is our second market after France and we do a lot of projects there, working with European and American designers.
We joined the team of PAR EXCELLENCE in NYC three years ago.
PAR EXCELLENCE is a group of the finest French artisans, using their exceptional know-how in different areas of craftsmanship. Last but not least it is a group of great human beings, all totally passionate and talented in their fields.
We are proud and happy to share this adventure with Ateliers Jouffre, Lison de Caunes, Ateliers Saint-Jacques, Declercq, Ozone, Meljac and Atelier de Ricou.
O&A: What are you dreaming about today?
AS: Burgundy is world famous for its unique wines, great food and Renaissance and medieval architecture, so let’s dream that soon it will be synonymous with the finest rugs in the world!
And of course regarding the period we all are living; let’s hope to soon open a nice bottle of wine on a sunny restaurant terrace in the company of good friends! What more could one wish for?!