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Hind Rabii - The guests of the Salone Design - 13 May 2015

Hind Rabii at Euroluce ©Nicolas Schimp

Looking for a lamp and dissatisfied with the products that were out there, Hind Rabii decided to develop her own lamp, with a helping hand from her husband. Just under twenty years down the road and here they are, guest exhibitors at the most prestigious event on the international design calendar, the Salone in Milan.

You have just participated in the Milan Furniture Fair...

Yes, for the first time. The organisers had spotted us in Paris and loved the spirit of our product, found that the collection offered something different and therefore invited us to exhibit. Milan is still the most difficult fair to get into, but we had a large stand and saw the whole world walk past. It was an incredible opportunity, an extraordinary experience.

Especially as the Salone also hosted the lighting biennial, Euroluce, right bang in the middle of International Year of Light.

It was a huge honour for us. The organisers selected us because we had something different to offer, and it’s true that we did stand out compared to other exhibitors. This reflects our vision of design, which attempts to convey a timeless spirit, a certain idea of ​​chic, of taking things back to their essence. We are far removed from a so-called "pure" all white and minimalist design. That is not at all our thing. We just try to get across an emotion and a personality.

Is this your way of setting yourself apart from the competition?

Absolutely. Alongside us were well-known and renowned exhibitors such as Ingo Maurer or LucePlan, very big names. But not having a trendy or fashionable collection - these words are banished from my vocabulary – meant that we could make a name for ourselves, forge our identity to be visible on such a competitive market.

How do you look back on this Milanese experience?

Very, very positively. It was beyond our wildest dreams. Just seeing the people on our stand and hearing their compliments, it was amazing. As creators, we are constantly wracked by doubt and at the end of the day the customer is the only judge. So to see so many visitors attracted by our products, while being surrounded by renowned brands, was a real privilege.

How would you describe your production?

It’s never easy to judge oneself. In short, I would say “emotion, essential and feminine”. Actually, those aren’t my words, but those of a designer that I work with.

You seem proud to be able to claim a 100% Belgian production...

It’s something that is close to our hearts. It’s an essential attitude in this age of globalisation, when we see so many brands succumb to the lure of money by opting for low-cost production. Our products have a certain price, but are manufactured with respect for the human condition, they are subject to European quality and ecological standards - and that is no trivial matter when working with dyes or varnishes. While other, even well-known, brands manufacture on the other side of the world in unknown conditions, we prefer to cultivate the idea of ​​"Made in Dignity".

Does this emphasis on Belgian production carry any weight in your customers’ choices?

Yes, I think people are swayed by it. Belgium’s creative reputation is well established, our country can take centre stage with its head held high. This is something we see every year with the increasing number of Belgian exhibitors at Maison & Objet.

You are based "in an industrial estate in the countryside" in the Verviers region. Why this rather unusual choice of location?

Simply because that’s where I come from. We have peace and quiet to work. We don’t need a shop, so we didn’t have to be particularly accessible. But our business has grown quicker than we expected, and space is starting to be in short supply.

What are you working on today? A little well-deserved rest after the adventure in Lombardy?

Oh no, on the contrary. We never stop, now we are preparing the next Maison & Objet fair in September, where we will be joining the Scènes d’intérieur, a more prestigious sector. Yet another step forward.


Maxime Fischer

Hind Rabii 2015 ©Nicolas Schimp

Hind Rabii 2015 ©Nicolas Schimp

Hind Rabii 2015 ©Nicolas Schimp

Hind Rabii 2015 ©Nicolas Schimp

Hind Rabii 2015 ©Nicolas Schimp

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