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Todd Oldham: It’s A Colorful Life

His wow colors and pow design mean Modern with a capital M. Welcome to the universe of Dallas-born Todd Oldham. He’s been a fixture in the world of design with clothing, accessories, fragrances, and even a hotel in Miami. Now add furniture to that list. He’s single-handedly revived an American classic furniture line, La-Z-y Boy, with a vivid new collection. Inspired by strong mid-twentieth century lines with the same approach he’s taken to designing fashion, Oldham’s created the line’s several dozen pieces in bold tones, stripes, polka dots and geometric prints - just about everything that represents today’s fresh room looks. We learned more about his approach to sharp style, punchy colors and patterns, and what it is like to design furniture instead of clothes.

Todd Oldham on growing up around a lot of fun style here in Texas:

Of course, my family had a La-Z-Boy recliner. It functioned as a jungle gym for me and my sister. And it was green, which is my favorite color.

Todd Oldham on the reaction when he starting designing furniture:

It’s always nice when you throw everyone a curve ball and do something that is not exactly expected. I have sort of made a career of that and I think it’s cool.

Todd Oldham on representing a really young, skilled approach to design and creativity:

It’s a nifty trick when you make something look twice as expensive as it really is. I understand balance, ratio, proportion, and pattern volume from being a fashion designer, so it was easy for me to apply those sensibilities to furniture.

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Todd Oldham on why choice so important in his new furniture where line, color, patter and versatility are key. He has couches that can take many shapes, chairs that are also convertible:

I love bright, vivid colors. Color is the very most important aspect of what I do. I think I have sort of an unusual hand at it. I also wanted to create furniture pieces that were basically personality amplifiers, with patterns that look like the candies you’d eat off paper. We also created pieces that were very versatile, that change as customers redecorate their rooms or evolve decorations styles.

Todd Oldham on why women like the array of design options that he has have given them:

So many women I’ve talked to over the years have walked away from fashion shows feeling fat, short and poor. I don’t want to make people feel fat, short and poor.

Todd Oldham on how designing furniture, as opposed to designing clothing or furniture:

It’s not so much different designing a suit or a sofa. It’s just a different medium. It still has to be fitted. It’s designed to fit humans. It has to feel good and look good. But furniture has a different resonance in people’s lives.

Todd Oldham on how much of his furniture designs look as cool as the set of a 1960’s episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show:”

My favorite sensibility is sort of that mid-century modern aesthetic with beautiful, crisp clean lines. It always looks perennially fresh.

Todd Oldham’s best design advice:

I just want great options in the world. I would never say you needed anything I did. This is not about need. I don’t design for need. I design for want.