A French Interior Designer Tries His Hand at Furniture

The renowned French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch has launched his debut furniture collection and opened his first public exhibition in the United States under the name “Oops,” of all monikers. He explains that word was his response when the R & Company gallery in TriBeCa, asked him to temporarily take over their space this fall (in French, “oops” often expresses surprise or being caught off guard). “The idea had been to create an installation using the furniture there and maybe some of my pieces,” Yovanovitch says. “But it became mostly my furniture — made especially for this. And, in the process, I realized you say ‘oops’ a lot of times during the day.”

His atelier’s one-of-a-kind works are also whimsically titled. There’s the walnut-framed, low and boxy Woody chair, after Woody Allen (“for French people, he’s very New York,” Yovanovitch remarks); the handcast blown-glass Zou chandelier (“zou” is a slangy French term for “go”); the James and Marsha floor lamps, named for the president and first lady in the film “Mars Attacks!”; a circular Donut bench put together without any nails or glue; and the designer’s signature Bear Armchairs — in Papa, Mama and Baby sizes, rendered in sheepskin and oak for this occasion.

“In doing a show, there’s more freedom — and it’s energizing for me to be free,” Yovanovitch says. “It’s different from designing a home, where clients have to live year-round in what I do. This isn’t permanent, it’s lighter, and people have to easily understand it because I’m not well-known here, like I am in Paris.” Although that stands to change: Yovanovitch plans to set up an NYC office later this year.

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