To many carpet researchers in Iran, Hussein Rezvani’s art works, make the identity of Persian carpet disappear in the world. Hussein Rezvani is not agree and he believes that in this fast changing world, if no one cares about today’s people taste, working with the same style and old designs is impossible and in order to remain in the market and the world and transfer Iranian carpets to the contemporary world, making changes into the plans fairly , must be taken into consideration. We will become more familiar with his views as follows.
- Mr. Rezvani, would you please tell us about yourself?
I was born in 1976 in Hamburg. Having grown up in a family of carpet connoisseurs, the idea of the Persian rug as a cultural and artistic traditional object originated quite early on.
After completing my business management studies, I decided to make a long desired dream come true: In 2009, I sketched my first own Persian rug collection. The idea behind my designs combines tradition with modern design standards: I have created the Persian rug of the 21st century.
Here, I attach the greatest importance to maximum quality – my carpets are woven exclusively in Iran, in Isfahan where the art of the carpet weaving is at home. The designs of my Persian rugs combine classical patterns and Centuries- old symbols with contemporary color schemes which fit today’s style of interior decoration. My desire is to create something new that lasts – a carpet which touches you emotionally and complements the home. As a designer, I find inspiration for good new patterns and color variations above all in my own social environment – on site in Iran, in the north of Germany or in the metropolises of this world.
- Many of your critics believe that your work is destroying the authentic motifs of Iran. What is your answer to these critics?
To me, every carpet is a unique piece – of stable value and charged with high emotionality. Made by Iranian carpet weavers in traditional craftsmanship, the Persian rugs embody a historical legacy which is provided with a new twist. Thus, modern classics originate that will remain in the family for generations.
It is a matter for me, not simply of making carpets – I would like to integrate the cultural heritage of Iran into today’s living space. Here, the Persian rug is residential accessory, piece of art and collector’s item at the same time, made from the finest materials: Cork and Highland wool from Iran and pure silk from China. The carpets are not subjected to any mechanical or chemical processes, but are dyed exclusively with natural colors – sustainably and environmentally friendly – because this is the only way that the natural and dynamic reflections and the lustre of the carpets can emerge.
These are designs like Tabriz und Bakhtiar, which have made me as an established designer and distinctively characterize my vision. Each carpet designed by me, is a unique specimen – made in Iran, more specifically, made in Isfahan, a place which stands with carpet experts worldwide for the highest quality and traditional weaving art. Thus, I could already win various prizes for my carpets, among the rest, the Red Dot Design Award 2011 and the German Design Award 2013 for Tabriz Lilac. The Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Design Award 2015 as ‚Best Textile Brand’, as well as 2016, the Carpet Design Award for Electric Taupe. And another Carpet Design Award in 2017 for Shiraz Sabz.
All models that are woven in meticulous handiwork were designed by me– the designs which are created on the computer are afterwards placed on paper by a pattern maker and serve as a template for 500 carpet weavers who are working for me.
- Tell us about important points you care in working, from caring to employee salaries to other issues?
To me, it is especially important during the production that my employees in Iran work under good conditions – their income is higher than the average wage and it is always seen to it that the everyday weaving work does not exceed a certain number of hours.
In my art works, exclusively the finest materials and natural colors are used and are therefore particularly sustainable. Moreover, the color system allows that a customer can get any selected pattern in his desirable colors and desirable sizes – therefore, a bespoke carpet that meets every requirement. Finally, about 65% of my carpets are made especially according to customer specification – in Europe, Germany is the strongest market, worldwide the carpets have high popularity above all in China, Canada and the Middle East, but also the USA and Australia since this year.
The production process lasts according to size of the carpet from three to eight months, up to six artisans work on a loom at the same time. The denser the nodes are set, the more complex the work and the more precious the Persian rug becomes. The carpets are created with up to a million nodes per square metre – a unique selling point in its industry, and thus supreme craftsmanship of real value.
It is the interplay of exceptional design, fair production and outstanding quality that makes my carpets a unique product on the market – into the Persian rug of the 21st Century.
- Mr. Rezvani, How do you evaluate Domotex 2018?
Domotex 2018 was a good show for us. We have gained new retailers and are now represented on every continent. The last 7 years, we had a growth ratio of 10-15% every year, almost every client of ours comes to Domotex, so our attendance is a must and I think that the new set up of the show is great and we will see a lot of new customers coming to the show in the future. Domotex needed a change and Deutsche Messe did a great job, so we are very happy with these years show and are looking forward to the 2019 show.
- How did the idea of combining design and color and Iranian figure with modern design formed?
Well as my roots are Iranian, I always loved traditional Persian carpets very much, my father and grandfather have been in this business, so carpets always have played a major role in our lives. After finishing university in economics in 2004, I started to work as a banker but knew right away that that wasn’t my cup of tea. So I started to work with my father and always asked myself why every other country like Nepal, India is evolving, are being innovative but Iran is not. As the markets where already shifting towards modern designs in 2005 I just could not understand why Iran does not offer contemporary carpets. So that is how my idea grew and I supported by my father started this journey in 2007.
I think no matter what you do, innovation is a key to success. Without innovation, you cannot remain and position yourself in a changing market. Coming from economics I have learned that markets change, some faster some slower, but change always happens. I had the privilege to travel with my father when he went to buy carpets all over the world, Iran, India, Russia, US and so on… While these trips I always saw something new and that showed me that nothing remains the same. Taste and styles change. So adapting to these changes is a key to maintain and be successful long term.
- Where does the combination of colors used in your works come from? Does it is in coordination of the colors used, that is, the colors used in each region, or is it the market that encourages you to use a color?
I can answer this very easy. It is simply my personal taste. Every carpet that I design, every color combination you can find in my collection is made by me. It is the colors that I think fit the design. Of course, every market has their preferences but in general I design and combine the way I want to. I love to mix traditional patterns with modern colors. It’s the contemporary twist that makes my pieces timeless. It’s not only about being modern, for me it’s more important to create something that will remain trends. I am looking for a modern classic yet to be.
- What are the criteria and components you need to choose the target market?
I think the markets/ retailers choose what they sell. We cannot make markets buy our products. But we can provide products that we know might work. You will not find anyone who does not know Persian carpets, so Persian carpets are known worldwide. That’s why the markets love my products so much because first of all, they are made in Isfahan, Iran, so they stand for quality. Made in Iran is one of the biggest assets for carpets. So having my pieces is a unique selling point for my retailers. The combination of Made in Iran quality combined with contemporary designs just fits today’s living spaces.