Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another one bites the dust

Do I still have a Habitat bag? How sad to learn this week of the company's demise. It was as much part of what made London swing in the sixties as... well, I found an article which gives a good summing up.

"The Beatles were wowing Ed Sullivan, Courrege's mini skirts were shocking the Paris catwalks, and an unknown furniture designer was opening his first store on London's Fulham Road, called simply... Habitat. It was May 1964, and the cultural shift that was taking music and fashion into a different league was demanding entry into British homes, thanks to Terence Conran, a young designer and restaurateur with extraordinary vision. It was out with the old, austere furnishings of Conran's parents' generation, and in with something cooler than a Vespa scooter.Conran tapped into a new interest in interior design on the back of the Festival of Britain, offering contemporary style at affordable prices."

The Independent also has a great story here.

When that first shop opened my little flat was a short walk distant.  I doubt if there was a single weekend when I failed to wander through the store to see what was new.

It wasn't until the late seventies, however, that I could afford to shop at Habitat and it was from the store in Montparnasse that I furnished... minimally... my first Paris digs.

Then when I moved from Berlin to Cologne in the mid-nineties I was overjoyed to find a Habitat store in a prime city centre location. And so there were a few more Habitat pieces which stood out against the inevitable Ikea.

Tear shed. Move on.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

I kinda lost interest in Habitat when BhS took it over. In Dubai there were a couple of stores named Falaknaz Habitat, and there's a 'Habitat' store in Madrid - neitherof these ever had the cachet of the Conran original, and I'm not even sure how (or if) they are related to it.