Last week Thursday we were fortunate enough to experience the launch of the Studio H collection by Hertex, in collaboration with the talented and passionate John Jacob Zwiegelaar, of John Jacob Interiors.

Hosted by various Hertex showrooms around the country, we were invited into the beautiful Morningside venue on a balmy Durban morning.  We were greeted by the lovely staff members with champagne and orange juice in the garden, setting the tone for what was rapidly becoming an altogether fantastic launch.
The showroom was rearranged into a presentation space, complete with camera’s and technical teams, with sample hangers and paint samples on display.  John was such a pleasure to listen to – his talent was glaring and his passion infectious.  We walked out inspired, with our perceptions of colour having been thoroughly challenged.

John began his presentation by explaining that Studio H was an “editor’s collection” – the nine fabric books and ten paint colours are a result of being reworked many times.  He describes fabric houses as having different languages and buying philosophies, filtering down to the buyer.  He wanted a fabric to appeal to all customers, but understands that one vehicle cannot satisfy all needs.  He set out to create a platform for Hertex to signal more than just “Hertex.”  John was very complimentary of the Hertex value system, mentioning their efficiency – however, he did jump at the opportunity to improve the product.  He aims for Studio H to appeal to more than one market on every level, from the packaging right to the application.  He believes that a holistic approach is the key to brand power.

After having attended many trade shows, John noticed that there were only so many fabric mills in the world, each with their own specialities.  All designers buy from the same mills, from niche market designs right through to the mainstream.  John beat out Bernie de Le Cuona herself for the Heavy Linens range, allowing an exclusive quality fabric to become more accessible to everyday buyers.

The John Jacob approach to decorating seems to be centered around implementing the power of neutrals.  He is quick to explain that while most people, when confronted with the term “neutrals,” immediately retreat to “this beige place,” it was definitely not the case.  Decorators and designers try to create serenity, calm and harmony, but not dullness.  He stated that dullness can be prevented by powerful architectural intervention, and that he believes in an ordered approach to design that first defines the architectural features of a room.  Neutral schemes allow for this, exposing forms to establish the best possible relationships between the various elements in a space.
He made reference to Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren’s recent collections, drawing our attention to an increased exploration of neutrals in the design world at large.  Studio H is about neutralising the colour palette in its entirety, adding yellow oxides and an umber base to create what has now become the completed 2012 collection.  Each fabric in the various books, as well as all of the paint colours relate to each other to best achieve cohesive design schemes.
According to Hertex staff members, there are plans to continue the collaboration with a 2013 fabric collection, as well as possibly extending the paint collection to include exterior paints.

{Above mood board source: Conde Nast House & Garden August 2012 Issue Page 60}

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