The Ploum sofa, part of a seating collection from Ligne Roset.
An assortment of Luca Soft chairs from Ligne Roset, shown here with a variety of bases.
The iconic Togo chair, upholstered in a new houndstooth fabric is part of the Spring 2013 collection.
Pierre Roset poses with his son Antoine, on left, and nephew Olivier, on right; both work for the company.

Design Celebrity Q&A

While on an East Coast tour, the CEO of Ligne Roset enjoys a stop in DC

Modern furniture favorite Ligne Roset has a lot to celebrate. With an expanding stable of stores worldwide and an export business that extends to 62 countries, this 150-year-old, family-owned company maintains its innovative vision. Another cause for celebration: The 40th anniversary of Togo, its classic all-foam chair, originally designed in 1973 and still a go-to product after all these years. On a recent trip through DC, Briord, France-based CEO Pierre Roset sat down with H&D in Ligne Roset’s Upper Georgetown showroom.

How did Ligne Roset originate? 
In 1860 my great grandfather made the sticks of parasols. After they went out of style, he used the same equipment to make chairs. When my father joined the company after World War II, he was making contract furniture for famous architects and designers and they were creating very modern designs. That was the start ofmodern design in Ligne Roset.

What is Ligne Roset’s design philosophy?
Design must be suitable for those who are using the product. That means comfort is one of the factors. People are not buying only for design if the functionality is not there.

What piece has had the most staying power? 
The Togo is our most iconic piece because it’s all foam. Before we made it, no one thought you could build a sofa or chair without a frame of steel or plastic or something. This year we are marking its anniversary with special edition Togo chairs in two exclusive new fabrics—houndstooth and velvet jacquard. 

How do trends differ from place to place?
In Europe versus America it’s a difference in fabric and colors. And in Florida or California you find a lot of flashy colors, while DC is more conservative. We adapt the colors for the market.