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Inside Steven Alan

A Conversation with Gesa Hansen

  • We caught up with award-winning designer Gesa Hansen, founder of furniture label The Hansen Family, whose handcrafted mirrors recently arrived at our Home Shop.

    Gesa Hansen

    The name of your furniture company pays homage to your creative family, which includes a long line of carpenters, designers, and architects. What was it like to grow up with so much creative energy around you? Did you always know you would follow in their footsteps?
    I loved growing up in this atmosphere but, like everybody, I guess I wanted to do something on my own. Since everybody was quite successful in their designs I didn’t want to feel the pressure of being compared to them so I tried to become a graphic designer. But in school I met my professor, Axel Kufus, who still is my most important mentor. He made me change my mind and I started to study product design at the Bauhaus.

    Your background is Danish-German, and you’ve studied and worked in Japan and Paris. How do you feel these diverse environments and experiences have helped hone your aesthetic, or influenced the way you approach your work?
    The Danish design is like a base in my head; it’s the first line that one can see in my furniture. Germany made me do very straight and uncompromising design, while Paris loosened this up. I became much less “total look” in Paris and started more easily to mix materials and different styles. Japan was most important for the craftsmanship and at the same time minimalistic style. German craftsmanship will never be as simple and minimalistic as Japanese craftsmanship in my eyes.

    Can you tell us a bit about the materials and design process behind your handcrafted mirrors?
    I use local wood, which is German in my case. The mirror is a remix of the traditional Danish entry hall mirror, that is sometimes held by a leather belt.

    An old Hansen family photo

    We hear you have some Steven Alan in your wardrobe. What’s your favorite piece?
    The Oversized Stand Collar Shirt. I love this shirt because it looks like a traditional work shirt.

    What are you working on at the moment? Is there an upcoming project you are especially excited about? 
    With [my interior design company] Hansen Feutry Bihr we are working on some exciting apartment projects, and there is a huge design project for a bathroom company coming up.

    Between the Hansen Family and Hansen Feutry Bihr, we imagine work keeps you quite busy. What’s your ideal way to spend a day off in Paris?
    To visit Marie Antoinette’s farm in Versailles, with pastries from Thoraya, a Japanese restaurant close to the Palais Royal. If you are there in the early morning you feel like you own the place. And it’s the perfect place for kids with all the animals. I always go there with my little daughter. Also, the restaurant Le Richer. The name comes from the street where it’s situated. It’s our favorite place to have meetings with Pascaline [Feutry] and Ai [Bihr] when she is here in town because it’s the best place to have a great lunch but also the best one to drink wine at 6PM, French “apero” time. They have an amazing wine selection. I actually used to go to this restaurant with Hansen Feutry Bihr a lot for a year.  It became our canteen ’til I ended up falling in love with the owner. Typical example of “the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach.”

    Gesa’s mirrors at our Home Shop in Tribeca

    Many thanks to Gesa! You can check out her mirrors at our Home Shop at 158 Franklin Street in NYC.

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at 4:18 pm and is filed under Home, In Stock, New Arrivals. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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