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Furniture Aug 16, 2021

Spotlight: Meet Sandrine Fanchette From Roche Bobois

As we celebrate amazing women in design this month, we are so excited to introduce you to Sandrine Fanchette from Roche Bobois. As the co-owner of the brand franchise in Mauritius and South Africa, Sandrine is passionate about all things design. 

Sandrine Fanchette

Tell us about your background in the industry and how you came about as co-owner of Roche Bobois…

I am a French dynamic business woman, passionate about art and design. I’m also a mom of two unbelievable daughters. Furthermore, I have been living in SA for 8 years now (between Cape Town and Sandton)… and I started working for Roche Bobois about 11 years ago. I’ve travelled the world and I completed my MBA in International Business in San Francisco and a Bachelor of Interior Design from a university in France.

How did Roche Bobois come about? Can you tell us about the history of the brand?

Roche Bobois is the story of two families, the Roches and the Chouchans, not predestined to meet. In 1950, Jacques Roche purchased the old Alexandre Dumas theatre on rue de Lyon and built two stores. His sons, Philippe and François, joined the company and together established the company’s development strategy. They began to distribute the very best contemporary furniture, which was heavily inspired by Bauhaus designers, such as Minvielle, Steiner and Airbourne, and equally inspired by renowned designers such as Pierre Paulin and Marc Berthier. At this time, the Chouchans were selling furniture in Paris on Boulevard Sébastopol at “Au Beau Bois” (which later became Bobois). 60 years later, Roche Bobois is one of the leading luxury brands for furniture and décor worldwide with about 250 showrooms in 50 countries.

What does the name mean?

The name tells us about the history of the company. Roche is the last name of one of the two initial owners of the group and Bobois is the name of the shop of the second owner.

What inspires you most?

Pristine nature and animals in general, as well as the beauty of ART.

Roche Bobois believes in empowering the design and décor industry with inspirational pieces . Can you tell us more?

The Roche Bobois motto is ‘’design’’. The brand is spending a lot of resources on designing and developing new products every year but also developing new concepts (like our 3 D Corail Table), new materials (like for our Informel outdoor) and new patterns (with our Haute Couture Maisons).

Tell us about the creative team behind the brand.

Behind the creative team of Roche Bobois international we have Nicolas Roche. We also have very talented designers like Sacha Lakic, Bruno MOinard, Jean Nouvel… And of course, also our Haute Couture Maisons (collaboration mostly for patterned fabrics and few pieces of furniture) and hundreds of designers in our showrooms working daily on our customer’s projects.

Any exciting projects or collaborations you are involved in presently?

Plenty of exciting projects for the next months, as we are furnishing some high luxury villas in SA, Mauritius and abroad… We’re also opening a new showroom in Cape Town (corner De Waterkant and Hudson Streets in Green Point) early October 2021.

Furthermore, we will be participating in Design Joburg in October. The previous event was very successful! We also have some news artists on board in our showrooms… and we are recruiting highly qualified new colleagues to help us with our expansion in Africa.

You have a vast portfolio. What are you most proud of?

Every customer is different and important for us. Each of them is a VIP.

Do you have any new exciting pieces that you have recently launched or anything in the pipeline?

Plenty of very exciting new pieces / concepts for the next months. 2021 is the 50th anniversary of our iconic sofa the MAH JONG (designed by Hans Hopfer). We will shortly be releasing two beautiful variations of this historic model. In our new showroom in Cape Town we will have all the main new collections.

The perfect place in your home to indulge?

My kitchen always. I love to cook for family and friends.

We know very few of us are travelling right now but if you could where would you go?

I have been lucky to travel to Europe twice in the last 3 months. Now I am really expecting to be able to go back to Mauritius to see my team and showroom.

What are your current favourite restaurants/shops?

In Cape Town: Fynn, Villa 47, CobFather. I also recently discovered the Tintswalo restaurant in Hout Bay – a beautiful experience. However, in Johannesburg our favourite family restaurant is a family Portuguese restaurant around the corner where we live called ‘1920’.

I have also been lucky enough to visit the new LA SAMARITAINE shop in Paris in July… a little jewel of a place.

What’s your personal Motto?

Learn , discover, share.

A place you visit to unwind in Africa?

Difficult to say … I love so many places in SA and Africa and I have so many of them to discover still… but Madagascar, Namibia and Tanzania are really special for me.

Any awards Roche Bobois have won?

Internationally we won the Red Dot Award in 2014 with the Ora Ito collection; the Young Talent Award for best IPO in 2019, and various awards linked to Press Magazines and Design Awards in Luxembourg for the Bubble sofa.

Locally we won the Best furniture stand award from Decorex in 2019. For me, the best awards we can get are from happy customers. The best projects are sometimes also the best kept secret achievements.

For more visit Roche Bobois and discover the amazing collections that make this brand stand out.

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