Launched in Hong Kong just 18 months ago and now boasting operations in Shanghai, Tokyo and Macau, Asia’s first designer furniture rental service IROCO is continuing on its quest to lead the world of design with the introduction of its sales arm. Hong Kong homemakers with an eye for unique style will soon be able to purchase practically new showpiece furniture, as well as fresh-from-the-box beauties, shipped in straight from Europe’s hottest designers.
Since 2011, IROCO, based in Kowloon, has been sourcing stunning contemporary furniture from Europe’s best designers, including Ron Arad, Philippe Stark, Thomas Heatherwick and Ross Lovegrove. Boasting everything from spinning-top rocking chairs to pouting lip sofas and light-up bars, IROCO’s iconic, unusual and playful pieces have proved endlessly popular with the world’s biggest brands, with none other than Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Porsche, Apple and Jaguar all snapping up the for-hire furniture for their star-studded events. IROCO is the brainchild of husband and wife team Alex Henrich and Sonia Jackson, who noticed a gap in the market for original contemporary design when looking to furnish their own Hong Kong home. Recognising our city as a dynamic international melting pot where East meets West, they saw Hong Kong as the perfect place to introduce European design to Asia. Sonia, who could be described as somewhat of a superwoman, having climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, run the London Marathon and hiked the Maclehose Trail, has happily embraced the new challenge of conveying to Asia the importance design can play in corporate branding. Having seen a huge demand for their rental furniture, Sonia says both the brands and IROCO customers are now pushing for a sales arm. “It’s a real evolution from design-to-rent to design-for-sale,” Sonia told Localiiz. “Our designs are very popular here since many have never been seen in Asia before. At the same time the brands lack representatives in Asia, so it’s the perfect marriage.” Sonia and Alex handpick their pieces each year at the Milan Design Week and update their collection every month with the latest European offerings. They currently hold Asia’s largest illuminated furniture range from Milan-based designers SLIDE and boast the sole rights to sell many of their brands in Hong Kong. “We focus on European furniture because of its quality, design and unending variety, whereas the Chinese just copy the most popular designs,” said Sonia. “Often the designs in Asia are already a couple of years old, whereas we go straight to the source to guarantee quality and the latest lines. We want to spearhead the idea of quality of design into Asia.” Whether you’re looking to rent furniture to brighten up a special event or have beautiful design as a mainstay in your home, the creative consultancy team at IROCO can assist with everything from style selection to transport and set up. Their huge San Po Kong studio can also be hired for parties, media events and photo shoots.