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Studio Truly Truly the new Leolux art directors

16-06-2020

“Leolux is a courageous brand. It has a long history of original and daring designs with brilliant colours and expressive shapes. We want to build on this tradition”, stated Joel Booy (1981). He and partner Kate Booy (1981) do not only head up design studio Truly Truly, they are also the new Leolux art directors. “But times are changing”, added Kate. “Not every item of furniture needs to be distinct. There’s now more space for nuance and detail.”

   

Video: Studio Truly Truly & Leolux

As Truly Truly, the Booy couple have created a furore over the past five years with understated furniture that captures your attention with its bright colours and sharp contours. Subtle details and intricate use of materials makes their designs much richer than they at first appear. “What Truly Truly has in common with Leolux is the pursuit of originality. Although our style is somewhat more reserved. But that’s great, because we take each other out of our comfort zones and create a surprising identity that you still recognise as a Leolux.”

Innovative living concept

The contact with Leolux came about after Truly Truly was asked to design Das Haus at the 2019 IMM furniture fair in Cologne. This prestigious assignment to present an innovative living concept made an impression on Leolux. “We designed everything ourselves for Das Haus; from the individual furniture, the staging and lighting to the folder, photography and even the bags. This was exactly what Leolux was seeking, an art director that considers every detail of the brand presentation as well as the collection.” 

That is also exactly how Kate and Joel view their role as art directors. “We keep an eye on everything. Which new items of furniture are missing from the collection? What will the communications look like?” explained Kate. And yes, of course, they’ll also add their own designs to the collection. Joel: “After all, first and foremost, we are designers.” That Leolux has its own factory adds that extra something to their role as art directors. “Every new design, even an initial idea, can be tested immediately. Can it be made? If so, what will it cost?”

Graphic designers

This holistic approach can only succeed with unconditional trust. “That’s why we had countless discussions that were completely open. Sometimes we wanted to progress quickly. But at the same time Leolux challenged us to really make clear why we make certain choices”, stated Joel. What plays a decisive role in this is that Leolux has been a family company for over seventy years. “The father of the current CEO positioned Leolux as a progressive brand in the 1990s. So, the desire to innovate is deeply embedded in the company.” Kate added: “Ultimately, as art directors we are never more than a link in a larger chain. Leolux is a family company and we’re now part of that family.”

Kate and Joel who with their young daughter also form a family, already had a career behind them when they relocated from the Australian city of Brisbane to Eindhoven in 2010. “We are both trained graphic designers and worked as colleagues at a design agency undertaking many assignments in the cultural sector. That offered us so much space for experimentation and expression”, explained Joel. “I wanted to study spatial design in depth. For me, there was just one place to do that: the Design Academy Eindhoven. I have a Dutch passport because my father is Dutch. That made the step a lot easier.” Kate quickly found work as graphic designer. “We started Truly Truly as soon as Joel graduated in 2014.”

Building stories

The Truly Truly portfolio is now diverse, from exclusive gallery pieces to commercial consumer furniture. “We’re inspired by combining artistic objects with a maximum level of sophistication and expression and products that are really practical, in which all aspects have been carefully considered to ensure accessibility for a large group of people”, stated Joel. Truly Truly still focuses on interiors. “Items of furniture are everyday objects and we have an intimate, physical connection with them. We sit or lie on them, feel them, even caress them. At the same time, with variations in form, material or colour an item of furniture can tell a range of stories.”

That is the core of Joel and Kate’s task as art directors: building the Leolux story. From photography for the catalogue to colours for the collection; nothing escapes their attention. “You could almost be forgiven for thinking that we have prepared ourselves for this particular job over the past ten years”, explained Joel. “It’s amazing that we can use all our knowledge and ideas in one assignment.”

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