Olivia Cognet is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Nice in the South of France. She attended the renowned contemporary art school La Villa Arson in Nice before setting out for Paris where she started to print her illustrations on T-shirts and was discovered by fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. “He hired me as an illustrator. I worked for a year on various design projects, including the Christmas windows for Les Galeries Lafayette, before he promoted me to lead the accessories department,” she says. “That is where I really started to learn everything about shoes and bag.”
Cognet worked as an accessory designer for luxury fashion brands such as Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Carven, Isabel Marant, before moving to LA with her husband three years ago. “I started to take ceramic classes to meet new people and after just few months I found myself obsessed!” she says. “I quickly decided to invest in a wheel after making the first fifty pieces. I also bought a kiln.” Her artistic vision, however, remains the same: creating art incorporating a sensual mix of modern brutalism and absolute femininity.
Fitted Sheet: Vale of Tempe/ Flat Sheet: Perugia/ Duvet Cover: Collioure /Pillowcases: Collioure
FLANEUR: Explain your Flaneur bedding color selections…
Olivia Cognet: I chose a terracotta palette that matches back to the clay I use on some of my sculptures. I like the very deep and vibrant colors of this bedding arrangement. They help me escape my everyday routine and take me to another realm.
How does your French upbringing influence your approach to style?
I grew up in the south of France – Nice… I’ve been influenced all my life by the French Riviera culture and Provencale still-life. Vallauris is the mecca of ceramics in France and is very close to Nice – it has always been a big inspiration for me. Picasso and so many different artists have lived there and created a large amount of amazing ceramics – their work continues to inspire me everyday. Today I fuse my roots from Southern France with the mid-century Californian style that I have embraced since we moved to the US 3 years ago.
How did you become interested in ceramics?
I worked all my life in fashion, designing shoes and bags for big luxury brands. I love to design, create and model stuff. I love to work with my hands. I am the kind of creative person who prefers an actual physical medium to execute what is going on in my head, otherwise I feel too bottled up. Fashion is amazing but it is very business-oriented. With ceramics I have 100% freedom, tying back to the art world. At Maison Bisous I create all pieces from scratch, with the only constraints being the chemistry and technicalities of ceramics.
Where do you find inspiration for your design aesthetic?
Some major artists inspiring me at the moment are Jean Arp, Valentine Shleigel, Alexander Calder and Picasso.
How would you define your interior design style?
What’s the last thing you bought for your home?
What’s your favorite room in your house?
If you were a color, which one would you be and why?
Terracotta – for all the love I have for clay.
Do you have a night time or morning ritual?
No, when I go to bed I always pass out in five seconds. Every morning I have the good fortune of cuddling with my kid in bed – it is the sweetest time of the day for me.
What’s on your bedside table?
Ceramics and the books I am reading at the moment: Commune: Designed in California; Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors: Things We Made ; Design As Art by Bruno Munari; and Je Dors, Je Travaille by Valentine Schlegel.
Where is your dream travel destination?
Any place where they are creating amazing ceramics. I have traveled a ton in the past so my dream destination is constantly changing every three months.