Catherine Fouchard, creator of the Cocobohème brand, tells us about her career and the creation of her brand, now essential in the world of decoration.
Catherine Fouchard, can you tell us about your background?
I passed my scientific baccalaureate at 17 years old and decided to go on a 6-month trip across the United States and Canada. Back in France, I joined the Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris. I start at Lanvin where I learn to work with beautiful materials and cultivate attention to detail. Then I joined the Alain Carré agency where I acquire solid experience in brand identity before collaborating with Dinand, a famous perfume bottle workshop, where I am responsible for the packaging sector. In 1993, I created my graphic design studio 485C (in reference to the pantone color which I particularly like) and counted as customers Printemps, the SNCF, Médecins sans Frontières or ADEME…
How was Cocobohème born?
I always wanted to create objects. Cocobohème was in my drawers and in my head for years with projects of glasses or plates. This dream came true with the birth of my daughter Juliette, when with my companion Christian Mégevand, scenographer, we worked on the furniture in his room. We have created a universe of fantasy and dreams conducive to awakening. So I gradually swapped my graphic director's hat for that of a designer. And in 2006, Cocobohème was born with the creation of slate stickers, an innovation taken up by others since. Through my creations, I seek to surprise both by the mixture of styles where old decors rub shoulders with contemporary patterns and by the diversion of innovative materials in order to immerse buyers in a whimsical and minimalist world.
Ecology is at the center of your creations, can you tell us more?
Ecology invites itself in all sectors and is clearly visible in that of the home. For me, ecology is a natural part of my work as a designer, as is the concept of sustainable development, hence manufacturing in France. Having made in France is a choice that allows me to always be innovative in terms of materials and to create quality and durable objects. By discovering for example the bio-polymer (based on potato starch), Cocobohème proposed the first reusable AND compostable bib.
Which Cocobohème object do you prefer and why?
I like all the objects I have created because they correspond to an inspiration of the moment. But I believe that like all creators, I have a particular attachment for my latest achievements. The Barbès lamp is one of them because it corresponds to the moment when the idea for the store installed in the Goutte d'Or district in Paris (22 rue de Jessaint - 18th) was born. This lamp embodies the mixture of Afro styles and 19th century hangings.
So you've just opened a boutique in the Goutte d'Or district, why this choice?
I have lived in this neighborhood for years. It is an engaging, contrasting and rich neighborhood. He looks like me. The Cocobohème shop overlooks a small square between the mint seller and the sugarloaf seller wrapped in purple paper. It is a district of openness and discovery. This boutique-workshop naturally found its place there. The direct link with customers allows me to decipher their desires. It is also a great laboratory, because I can test concepts, new things. Cocobohème being present in other points of sale, this also offers our resellers a beautiful showroom to come all year to discover the new creations.
What do you have in store for spring?
Faithful to my principle of diverting existing materials, I imagined a set of three aperitif plates with 60 'patterns printed on Formica which I called "Sunshine Lunches". I like the idea of “taking out” this material from the kitchens of the 1960s to make it an emblematic object of simple and joyful moments. And then, I want to make this shop a living place and a place of experience. We participated in the "Goutte d'Or au féminin" festival and opened our shop to Gaëlle Maddy, a promising young singer. We are preparing a surprise for Mother's Day and in terms of creations, we will have a sunny display case with “Sunshine Lunches”, aperitif plates, coaster and napkin rings, an ideal kit for picnics or evenings on the terrace.
And finally, can we know how your interior is?
My interior is like my Cocobohème house, a mixture of styles (African art, classic prints) and old and contemporary objects that illustrate moments of happy life.