“My father is Persian and my mother is half Egyptian, half English. After my parents got married, they decided to take a tour around India for three months. I was conceived there and so they called me by that name” says India Mahdavi, an international interiors, furniture and objects designer and architect based in Paris.
Born in 1962 in Tehran, Iran, Mahdavi lived in Iran for the first year and a half of her life, then spent the rest of her childhood traveling with her parents, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and then Heideberg, Germany for a year, followed by boarding school in the south of France. Between 1980-1986, Mahdavi studied architecture at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, earning her Architect Diploma DPLG in 1987. In 1989, she spent a year in New York, studying graphic design at the School of Visual Arts, furniture design at Parsons, and industrial design at the Cooper Union. She then returned to Paris for a position as Art Director at Christian Liaigre’s design studio, where she remained for seven years. In 1999, Mahdavi opened her own firm in Paris, with a showroom following in 2003. The following year, Salon Maison & Objet elected her Designer of the Year.
You may not have known her by name, but you would certainly have known some of her work, and especially aboutSketch (above), the restaurant in London that has become a design marvel and instant Instagram phenomenon. Designed by Mahdavi, whose love of the films of Kubrick, Fellini and Visconti lead to a childhood dream of becoming a film set designer, the space is bold and bright and feminine and overflowing with happiness, all of which have come to be known as the designer’s signature. Click through for a glimpse . . .