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Interior Designer Will Cooper, © Clément Pascal

On The Sofa With Will Cooper

Interior Designer For The Vanity Fair Oscar Party

We sat down with Will Cooper on the run up to The Vanity Fair Oscar Party to discuss what inspired him to partner with George Smith and the unique, innovative design perspective he brought.

    1. Hi Will! We are really excited for The Vanity Fair Oscar Party; can you tell us how you plan to bring a unique and innovative design perspective to the event?
    I approached the design with a narrative in mind, predicated on how the party functions. There are so many components to the party; from arrivals through dinner, through cocktails and dancing… and this year adding a dedicated screening area with a gigantic screen to watch the action before the winners make their way to the party. It felt naturally like checking in to a hotel for a night, so that was the starting point. Then creating the areas like a dining room, cocktail lounge, that would be found in some great old Hollywood establishments.

    2. George Smith is thrilled to be involved! What inspired you to partner with George Smith, and what role will George Smith furniture play in elevating the guest experience?
    I am thrilled to be able to have George Smith with us! Previously there has never been this calibre of furniture at the party. I am very excited to bring not only the heritage narrative but also the sheer quality of George Smith pieces into the party.The seating will have two lives during the night, first as the screen room, then magically turning into the cocktail lounge, so the narrative of comfort and quality reign supreme here. And let’s not forget the kilim upholstery, which is going to make for some very glamorous memories.
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George Smith Standard Arm Signature Sofa in Kilim
    3. Can you walk me through how you’re going to integrate functionality and aesthetics with the space at the Oscar Party?
    The furniture will have two different arrangements throughout the evening and will ingratiate itself with the overwhelmingly red aesthetic that will be captured through sumptuous and sinuous drapery treatments throughout.

    4. In what ways do you believe George Smith aligns with the image of Vanity Fair Magazine and its demographic?
    One word comes to mind: iconic. I think George Smith is the modern icon of the very storied world of English upholstery, and Vanity Fair is the publishing icon that delivers the most important cultural narrative today. Two icons, one space – what more could you ask for?
    5. We have partnered with you for many years now, and are always so inspired by your projects. Can you tell us about your up-and-coming plans and any exciting projects on the horizon?
    I love using George Smith because I know the pieces will be around for lifetimes to come. The team really is the best at making dreams comes true – from the most classic English silhouette to a wild fantasy dreamt up in my mind. I have a few tricks up my sleeve, really running the gamut…some genres you would expect, like a local residential project that has a smattering of GS pieces, of course… and some new areas of exploration which have been very fun, albeit with a steep learning curve.
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George Smith Bespoke Banquette, ashnyc - Will Cooper, @brettwoodwould
    6. Please can you tell us about your design philosophy, and how this has shaped your approach towards your projects?
    I like to create an overarching narrative when designing, whether loose or extremely detailed. Considering people are the users of space, who are these people inhabiting a space? is it permanent or temporary? All of that is the starting point for an idea that then unfurls through the gyri of my brain, picking up influences along the way from places I have been, experiences I have had, which then gets us somewhere (hopefully) interesting. I like context to inform content, with a lot of twists and turns so it is not a pastiche nor too straight laced.

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The Siren Hotel Candy Bar, Designer Will Cooper, Photographer Christian Harder
    7. Are there any recurring inspirations that consistently drive your designs?
    Multiple different historic eras compressed into an interpretation of all of them together.

    8. How do you keep your designs fresh and up to date with changing trends, while still maintaining their timeless appeal?
    Read books, see with my eyes, travel the world…it’s all been done before. And no social media.
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The Siren Hotel Lobby, Designer Will Cooper, Photographer Christian Harder

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