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Charlotte Juillard, creative freedom as a guideline

Charlotte Juillard was one of four designers selected for “Talents So French”, a new stand specifically dedicated to designers and self-publishing at Maison & Objet in September 2022. A welcome spotlight, as this workaholic multiplies projects with publishers while juggling between her studio and the adventure of Hava, the company she co-founded. Notebook and pen always at hand, she draws without respite all the ideas that arise. A singular relationship with the line, which she considers essential to her creation.

Charlotte Juillard grew up in Gassin in the Var. Raised in a family of doctors, she quickly developed an interest in aesthetics. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have had this sensitivity to beauty and art has always attracted me. Moreover, I had the chance to travel a lot when I was younger, I think it forged my personality because today I am always on the move.” At the age of 18, with her baccalaureate S in her pocket, she left her native South for the capital, which had “always makes you fantasize.” She attended a preparatory course in Applied Arts before entering the Camondo school, in the interior architecture/design program. “I joined this school without knowing where it was going to take me. As someone who was fairly academic and didn’t like to think outside the box, it was a leap in the dark for me.”

From line to object


Reflecting on her journey, she realizes the importance of the line. “In school, my papers always had to be perfect, with every title well underlined. I’ve always had this very strong connection to aesthetics, which is still felt today.” All of his projects begin with a drawing, without exception. She has even developed the habit of always having the same pen, with a 0.38mm lead, with her everywhere. Without him, she is convinced, the rendering will not be good.
Despite a background in interior architecture, his attraction to design quickly stood out. So much so that she chose this specialty for her free subject of the diploma tests. Then began her adventure with the Manufacture de Sèvres, with whom she published the Morphose series, which remains a landmark experience in her career. “That was my first design emotion. It was the first time the drawings in my notebook came to life.”

Morphose collection, end of study project realized in partnership with the Manufacture de Sèvres, 2011

A visit to Fabrica and Ateliers de Paris


One year after her graduation, she was selected for a residency at Fabrica, the research and communication center of the Benetton group, located in Treviso, Italy and founded by Oliviero Toscani and Luciano Benetton. She conducted experiments there for a year and a half, under the direction of Sam Baron, with whom she still has a very good relationship. “He is a very generous personality to whom I owe a lot. I think that a career is made with many things. A little talent certainly, but especially thanks to our meetings” she confides about him. She also cites David Raffoul, from the Lebanese studio David & Nicolas, as one of her most important encounters of the time, as well as the designer Giorgia Zanellato, who owns the Zanellato/Bortotto studio in Italy, and who later became a witness at her wedding.

When she returned to Paris, this “colony spirit” gone, she felt the need to continue to evolve in a shared space. “After this experience and the creative freedom I had been able to acquire, it was impossible for me to imagine myself working in an agency.” She joined the Ateliers de Paris incubator for two years the following year. The collaborations with the publishing houses start at the same time.

Daybed, Lavastone collection, designed by Charlotte Juillard and edited by the Italian company Ranieri. Piece presented at Maison & Objet in 2016 © Morgane Le Gal

Creation of his studio


Graduated at 23 years old, she will accept some missions of interior design. “At that time, I had a lot of doubts. I felt that my style and my personality were not yet affirmed. I embarked on these projects, but I was quickly confronted with the reality of this job, which in the end did not correspond to me that much.” After this experience that has “wrung out”She decided to refocus on design and founded her studio in 2014, with the desire to self-publish her pieces. “Self-publishing allows me to have absolute freedom in my work.” In 2016, she participated in the Maison & Objet show as a Rising Talent. She will present the Lavastone lava stone collection, which will unveil her famous daybed, an important piece for her to gain notoriety. “With this project, I had managed to produce something sober that made sense with my designs and personality. It was a piece that I was able to stand behind and feel comfortable with right away.”

Diversified collaborations


As far back as she can remember, the starting point of her collaborations with publishing houses will be the sending of one of her drawings to Michel Roset (Ligne Roset) the Brina desk, which will be published thereafter. Charlotte Juillard has also been asked by Duvivier Canapés to enhance its traditional know-how with collections with a contemporary spirit: the Jules sofa and the Adèle coffee table will be created. In 2021, she joined forces with Parsua and created the Sirocca carpet for the 20th anniversary of the Galerie Chevalier. With, she aspires to offer a design “open to all” and imagines the Kasiani, Anakie and Toriko collections.

Meridienne from the Jules collection for Duvivier Canapés © Didier Delmas

This 360° freedom of action has now become ubiquitous. “Everything I do is with envy. I’m always enthusiastic, a real powerhouse! I am unable to dedicate a day to a single task. But that’s the way I operate and I don’t think I could do it any other way.” And if this freedom animates him, it does not prevent a real requirement on his part. “I am a perfectionist. When I’m not satisfied with a design or a piece, it shows right away.” Her creations, she imagines and sketches them in notebooks, always the same, with unbleached pages, with a black or blue leather pouch.

Sirocco rug, designed for the 20th anniversary of the Galerie Chevalier-Parsua, 2021
Inti mirror, edited by Hava with Thomas Castella (craftsman), 2019
Kasiani sofa for

The publishing experience… from A to Z


It was during an interview in 2014, that she met journalist Marie Farman. They quickly became friends and decided to start a publishing house, Hava (“wind” in Hindi), which was launched in 2019. A new way for the designer to be at the heart of the creation. “I think Hava is Charlotte’s breath of fresh air, a kind of escape from all her projects. She is a true creative, who loves to draw and create all the time. Since we don’t give ourselves any constraints, it allows her to express her full potential,” explains Marie Farman. Together, they present pieces like the ISO sconce in bent metal and the Hestia stool made of burnt wood, which were shown at M&O in September.

Hestia stool, in burnt wood, for Hava © Leonardo Denizo
Miscea, dish made by the ceramist Pascale Mestre in the Luberon © Hava Paris

Giving meaning to projects


Aware of the issues related to overconsumption, Charlotte Juillard is increasingly questioning the meaning of production. “We can no longer consume as we do today. Being at the forefront of creation allows me to think about alternatives.” This is notably what she does with Noma, a high-end furniture publisher that puts eco-design at the heart of its positioning, and with whom she has collaborated on the Laime, Art and Ghan collections. “From the first time we met, Charlotte was on board with the project. We were just starting out, but she trusted us. She is a very sunny person who knows how to listen and exchange on her work. At the beginning, she was supposed to draw us a chair but finally proposed two, which we kept and even decided to edit. says Bruce Ribay, co-founder of Noma.

Armchair from the ART collection © Noma Editions
Armchair from the LAIME collection © Noma Editions

This spontaneous and creative character that Charlotte Juillard translates through her drawings, is the main foundation of her reflection. “My drawings are pretty instinctive, but they always have the same line.” A coherence of her creative universe found notably in her scenography at Maison & Objet in September 2022, on the “Talents So French” stand, in which she participated, alongside Pierre Gonalons, Bina Baitel and Samuel Accoceberry. For this participation, Charlotte Juillard presented the Hestia collection in burnt wood, the Iso folded metal wall lamp and the Opus table in lava stone.

Iso wall lamp

An experience she is proud of, despite the tight deadlines for preparation and the learning of a delicate self-promotion exercise for her: “I’m not very familiar with selling myself, but I took this as an opportunity to get exposure and meet an audience I don’t usually interact with. I had some very interesting discussions about French craftsmanship, self-publishing and being a designer today. The public was quite varied, of quality, and the feedback is very positive.”
Maïa Pois