Designer Profile: Raphaëlle H’limi of Hellopillow

10.09.13

I am always interested in the process behind a product and getting behind the scenes with creatives and their designs. Do you remember the recent giveaway I ran with my friends over at Nu interieur|ontwerp featuring Hellopillow? Well, I loved the products so much that today I am excited to share the person behind the brand, the lovely Raphaëlle H’limi. This talented lady is delving into her past, present and future for you today to give you a glimpse into the brains and beauty behind Hellopillow as an exclusive brand.

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Holly: You launched Hellopillow in 2009. How has your concept developed over the last four years? Was it a long-standing dream for you to have a homewares label?

Raphaëlle: I started with a simple idea of a modular textile system, which I discovered while I was working on a fashion collection. I decided to give life to this project in a autonomous way beside my work in fashion design. Hellopillow directly links to my other passions for graphic design and home design. I have long dreamt of a designer homewares label.

Holly: How would you describe your products? What makes Hellopillow unique?

Raphaëlle: My products are mostly pillows collection with 3 specifications. They are all made in France, they are exclusive patterns and are an original shape. Hellopillow is a small parisian brand trying to bring something unique in home design.

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Holly: You’re obviously passionate about textiles and design. What inspires your creative process?

Raphaëlle: I am obsessed by the beauty that surrounds me. I look in every direction to find it: the homes of friends, flea markets, blogs, magazines, museums. My eyes need to be fed with creative, colourful and meaningful inspitations. To create I need to sketch, to experiment. I trust my intuition for the guidelines of a new collection, and am always willing to try something new.

Holly: When did you start taking an interest in textiles and design and what is your background?

Raphaëlle: As my father is a painter and my mother is a graphic designer, I have always loved art and design. Both of my grandmothers were needlewomen. When I was 15 years old, my mother offered me the chance to have sur mesure dress and for the first time I entered a fashion workshop. I fell in love with her job, all the fabrics and patterns around us. I knew back then that that was going to be my life.

Holly: What inspired you to experiment with the folding technique that characterises your pillows?

Raphaëlle: In 2009, I was working on a fashion collection called Overenlighted, inspired by the disparition of the body and the melancholia embodied by the charater of Zelda Fitzgerald. The entire collection was about the 20’s Années Folles and the geometric shapes that were able to open, to change. It was then that I discovered the pattern that was going to become my pillow. One night, I was working late in my studio before heading to a friend’s housewarming. I decided to create for him the very first Hellopillow. As I didn’t know what his new house was like I made a two colour options.

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Holly: How do you select your fabrics?

Raphaëlle: I work with a moodboard and select my fabrics to follow the trends I love.

Holly: What are you working on for your next collection and when will it become available?

Raphaëlle: I have just finished my new collection called Polygon Sky. I have decided to merge my fashion collection and my pillow collection, using the same print and inspiration. This collection is inspired by architecture, minimalism and poetry. We are working on the catalogue at the moment. It will be available in one week.

Holly: What does a normal day at the office look at the Hellopillow headquarters?

Raphaëlle: There is not a normal day, because every day is different: research, prototype, working on the e-shop, shooting, graphic design for catalogue, sending an order to Japan or to the street next door. That’s what keeps this job exciting!

Holly: What designers of today inspire you?

Raphaëlle: I love all the designers that are looking to the future and always bringing something new to the world, with eco-consciousness and a sense of reality. I admire, for example, the Bourroulec Brothers.

Holly: You currently create primarily cushions and totes. Do you see yourself expanding into other areas in the future?

After creating a line of notebooks and pop-up cards, I would love to develop further a link between textiles and home, for example laser cut curtains or textiles to cover furniture.

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Thank you so much Raphaëlle for chatting to me about your work and sharing a bit about yourself for us here on AVENUE. I am always interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I just adore your creations and will keep an eye out for you in the future as you conquer the world of home wares and textile design.

Keen to find out more about Hellopillow and see more of the collection? Be sure to pay a visit to the website and have a good browse around. On her blog, Raphaëlle also shares some of her latest work and and inspiration.

Have a great day!

Holly x

Image credits: Hellopillow

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