Asia is fast becoming a homewares hot spot, with design talent from Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong making their mark on the global stage. Now it’s mainland China’s turn, with ZaoZuo showing the way. Launched as a digital brand last September, the savvy label just unveiled its first bricks-and-mortar Beijing flagship, and it’s seriously easy on the eye.
One of just a handful of Chinese contemporary furniture makers – pioneering Shanghai practice Neri&Hu is another key player – ZaoZuo (which means ‘design and production’) was founded by entrepreneur Shu Wei with Venice-born industrial designer Luca Nichetto as creative director. The brand is targeting China’s growing middle-class with original, stylish and affordable pieces by global design names. More than 40 new products are in the pipeline, due to launch at September’s Beijing Design Week, including work by French star Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance and Italian duo Palomba Serafini.
Set in Chaoyang’s 798 Art District, the striking space is divided into three sections, showcasing the label’s furniture, accessories and lighting collections. Designs hang from walls on a floor-to-ceiling white grid like a chic fashion store. Standout buys include Form Us With Love’s curvy ‘Pebble’ sofa, Note Design Studio’s dusky-pink ‘Jellyfish’ table light, Studio Inma Bermúdez’s graphic ‘Linksys’ coffee tables and Z-Inhouse’s vibrant ‘Blocks’ storage boxes. ZaoZuo’s unusual colour palette spans turquoise, coral, yellow, pink and red. This is one Chinese design brand with universal appeal…ZaoZuo / 798 Art District / 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu / Chaoyang / zaozuo.com