“I’d always been acutely sensitive to my surroundings—and aware that I could make them rather than just observe them. So I began by designing interiors for myself, for friends, for clients—I just felt that I’d discovered my element, and those who really looked at what I was doing liked it—and the rest followed,” recalls Anouska Hempel. These days the London-based designer applies her inventive style to couture, furnishings, products and packaging, as well as to residences, gardens, offices, hotels and yachts around the world.

“Design, refine and repeat, and keep learning all the way along,” is her unwavering philosophy. “It sounds bland and pedestrian, but in fact it’s the reverse,” she says. Order is of great importance too, “but it’s always undercut by a dialogue with the spontaneous.” She cites The Hempel hotel in London (“when it first opened, though—not as it is now”) and the Warapuru resort, which she describes as a “minimalist and monolithic state-of-the-art development” located in Brazil’s Bahia rain forest and due to open this year, as examples of her most visionary work. “I am unable to concede to my being anything else,” she insists. “It’s in the warp, the weft and the weave of the fabric of my being. I get up in the morning, look around, arrange and rearrange things and imagine how I might like them to look. Why doesn’t everybody?”

Anouska Hempel




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