ROCHE BOBOIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADOR OF THE FRENCH ART OF LIVING, WITH MORE THAN 250 STORES IN 55 COUNTRIES. FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS, THEY HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT, WHEN YOU HAVE THE PASSION, YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND DREAM. WE PRESENT A PORTRAIT OF A CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY.
TWO CLANS, ONE COMMITMENT
Roche Bobois is, above all, the story of two families united in their love of beauty. The Roche family (Jacques and his sons, François and Philippe) and brothers, Patrick and Jean-Claude Chouchan, both had storefront enterprises in Paris: the former ran an eponymous business; the latter named their store “Au Beau Bois” (later, Bobois). Both sold contemporary furniture. Their paths eventually crossed at the Copenhagen furniture show in 1960, where they discovered a shared passion for Nordic design, which were seeing a major rise in popularity at the time. The two families decided to join forces and open a store on Boulevard St. Germain, specializing in Scandinavian furniture. The Roche Bobois adventure had begun.
Although the company has its roots in retail, it was as a manufacturer, franchisor and distributor that Roche Bobois grew to become an industry leader. Success was theirs right from the start, thanks in part to their collaboration with the man who would beome a legend of French design, Pierre Paulin. The production of original, exclusive and customized designs became the signature of the brand, which was exported to North America via franchising. In fact, Roche Bobois was the first furniture company to adopt the franchising model, resulting in the opening of their flagship Quebec store in 1973.
A series of successful partnerships followed with well-known designers and creative newcomers, the company’s visionary eclecticism revealing itself through its bold and clever collaborations. Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel Maison and Missoni Home are but just a few of names to have contributed to the Roche Bobois brand over the years.
MODERN, WITHIN REASON
What exactly is in the Roche Bobois DNA? “Art applied to life, with a little sensuality, some movement, and a hint of the feminine,” said François Roche, in Idéat magazine in 2006. In even fewer words: creativity, savoir-faire, innovation, and quality. Creativity, because every piece is unique; savoir-faire, because the finest talent in Europe and around the world is involved; innovation, because, despite a keen focus on aesthetics, function reigns supreme; and quality, because the most noble materials are used with the greatest respect.