Why are celebrities so obsessed with interior designer Axel Vervoordt? – CR Fashion Book


What do the homes of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Robert De Niro, Sting and Calvin Klein have in common? They teamed up with interior designer Axel Vervoordt. The Belgian interior designer, gallery owner, foundation owner and antique dealer was born in Vlaeykensgang, the old historic quarter of Antwerp, in 1947. The birthplace of painters Anthony Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens played an important role for Vervoordt because his mother encouraged his artistic development by allowing him to paint the windows of his room and to learn about the arts of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. His father traded horses for a living and socialized with the sophisticated classes of Europe, where Vervoordt from a young age learned antiques from books to money. Vervoordt began his journey in interior design from his early days as a young art collector at the age of 14 when he attended an exhibition featuring Tinguely’s machines. He couldn’t afford it, but the same day he found a 16th century iron chest where it was one-tenth of Tinguely’s price. Thus, achieving the achievement of bringing historical art and contemporary art into design in its own practice. He loves things that have an eternal message, that essence of being.

Axel Vervoordt

At first, Vervoordt didn’t see his interests in the arts as a potential profession until he left for college to study economics and was bored. He left school to do his national service in the army. He kept thinking about the arts, where he bought art and antiques for himself and his clients. At 21, he managed to get $ 50,000 for a 1948 Magritte painting, La Mémoire, for which he had paid $ 2,400. Later, Vervoordt set out to restore houses in his hometown and he decided to establish his house and showroom there. The company prospered, Vervoordt transformed many surrounding buildings into workshops and warehouses. He befriended the Belgian painter Jef Verheyen who introduced him to the Zero movement – and a new way of seeing something with his eyes. This awakened Vervoordt to explore Eastern philosophies and he began to make shopping trips to Thailand, Cambodia and Japan. Vervoordt has developed the dialogue between Eastern and Western philosophy in his practice since the 1970s, when he worked with a range of artists who worked with the concepts of infinity and emptiness. Vervoordt considers himself a metaphysician instead of being obsessed with his own “style”, he questions himself about the objects which constrain him in relation to the philosophy of life. The concepts of space, time and the arrangement of objects join his vision of koan Zen where the truth is revealed in paradox and ambiguity.

calvin klein miami beach house
Calvin Klein’s Beach House in Miami

Axel Vervoordt

He was friends with Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Rudolf Nureyev. Ralph Lauren has acquired one of his Gothic tables. “Our philosophy is the belief that a house should be a personal expression of your soul. It should represent the way you want to live, the ideas that define your tastes, your perspectives and your connection to the world. Vervoordt’s design philosophy as it has been successfully implemented in all of its clients who become lifelong friends.

A favorite piece of Vervoordt is a 1970s-inspired wooden coffee table, or embracing a near-floor seating area spotted in Michael Bay’s Los Angeles home. Not only has the designer designed houses, but he is also known for his interior design in restaurants like the Bayerischer Hof, the list of luxury hotels in Munich, which is home to the three Michelin stars Atelier and The Garden and he has renovated his own house on 12e-th century Chateau Gravenwezel. The Greenwich Hotel – TriBeCa Penthouse was created by Vervoordt and Japanese architect Tatsuro Miki, in close collaboration with hotel partners Ira Drukier and Robert De Niro. He is recognized by the French Ministry of Culture and received the Officier des Arts et des Lettres as one of the greatest creators of taste in the world and received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement during the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition.

robert de niro penthouse at the greenwich hotel
Robert De Niro Penthouse at the Greenwich Hotel

Axel Vervoordt

Kardashian and West worked with Vervoordt for their Hidden Hills home, where the minimalist style is made up of rustic white tables with ancient carvings. It is a calming environment for a family. The minimalist approach inspired by history, where he uses fresh and uncluttered elements, combining modern architecture, crossing lighting and aged wood. The color scheme is purity with moving emotional simplicity, it is soft and not as harsh as a black and white look. The importance of Vervooft is the philosophy of imperfection, where it is down to earth. It is about harmony and the search for spiritual experience. Part of Vervoordt’s practice is to understand his clients on an interpersonal level, where his clients become his lifelong friends to help them discover themselves through interiors.

Axel Vervoordt
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at home

Axel Vervoordt

For Vervoordt, “Ancient art can be a source of inspiration for the future and contemporary art creates a new civilization. I consider it important to understand the art and to make it understood to others. Antiques in his eyes are modern and speak to us of the present and the future. The love for sustainability is conscious throughout his work as it makes it a philosophy focused on finding creative ways of reusing instead of throwing away. He loves humble things and makes things simple, he wants to make room for things in life. It is not about superficial beauty. Its aesthetic consists of remaking old things. The old is sacred, you add nothing to it. History cannot be imitated, everything is unique. It is a spiritual approach which consists in giving new life to old objects.

To give life a better place, like a museum. So that the materials with which Vervoordt works exist, they exist thanks to patience, which is the basis of his relationship to simplicity and proportion. Its sophistication when you respect the earth and preserve it. Instead of destroying to make something new. Rather, he takes inspiration from the old to create something new. It merges the old and the contemporary into one. He believes in the affinity of stones, where they are part of the origin of the world, “I have the impression that the stones themselves are like living animals. Even after millions of years of existence, they are still alive; they just live very, very slowly. They have that patience. said Vervoordt. He accepts that the Earth is precious and what controls human beings and design.

Sting's house in London
Sting’s House in London

Axel Vervoordt

Calm reflects positive energy. He has different expressions. It must be full and empty, it is the balance of yin-yang. A professional art dealer with a fusion of creativity, he is both free and open-minded. He buys with heart and intuition to feel the energy than what we see even if it is imperfect. It follows the Japanese principle of Wabi-sabi, where simplicity and humility are at the center in accepting things as they are. It is about respecting nature as it is naturally.

Time becomes art, how we are not perfect and not finished. He studies the power of proportions. We have to leave, open our minds and enter into a deep intuition. Respects the spirit of the architecture of each place.

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