The Aesthete: Ini Archibong talks more personal taste

The designer concludes his list of likes with underground hip-hop, sancerre and the work of British furniture guru Jasper Morrison

Ini Archibong at home in Neuchâtel
Ini Archibong at home in Neuchâtel | Image: Beat Schweizer

My style icon is the American rapper A$AP Rocky because he takes a lot of risks stylewise and he has the ability to go from smart to street with ease. 

American rapper A$AP Rocky
American rapper A$AP Rocky | Image: Getty Images

My favourite room in my house is the living space. I live in a renovated factory and when I moved in, I decided that the open-plan living area would simply be somewhere for me and my daughter to have a good time. It contains everything from my synthesisers and turntable, to my design tools, books and quite a lot of furniture by the British designer Jasper Morrison, including a pair of Basel chairs and a side table. His work is easy to love. jaspermorrison.com.  

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The person I rely on for my personal grooming is my hairdresser Brenton Lee. I haven’t let anyone else cut my hair since we met 10 years ago, so when I land in LA he is the first person I see. Brenton Lee Salon, 573 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101 (+1626-441 3400; brentonleesalon.com).

Ini Archibong’s Jasper Morrison Basel chairs
Ini Archibong’s Jasper Morrison Basel chairs | Image: Beat Schweizer

The best gift I’ve given recently was The Gospel of Thomas, which I gave to my best friend Marshall for Christmas; I like to give books that spark really long, interesting conversations. 

Ini Archibong’s favourite wine, sancerre
Ini Archibong’s favourite wine, sancerre | Image: Beat SchweIzer

And the best one I’ve received recently is a book from Marshall! He gave me the first part of The Law of One. It’s about ancient space travellers, which is pretty mind-bending. 

Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz
Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz

If I didn’t live in Neuchâtel, the city I would live in is Paris, because it’s teeming with energy, has a fantastic nightlife and is full of culture and food. I’m usually there on business, but I’ll always take an afternoon to get lost in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. There is so much to see and I always leave with inspiration for whatever project I’m working on. The restaurant there, Loulou, is very chic too. I like to go to Ristorante National for dinner; I was taken there by a friend and really enjoyed both the atmosphere and their bresaola. La Mano is my favourite nightlife venue. I love to dance and this is one of those places where the music is loud, everyone is dancing and I don’t feel strange wandering in alone and dancing the night away. Loulou, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (+331-4260 4196; loulou-paris.com). La Mano, 10 Rue Papillon, 75009 (+339-6750 5037). Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (+331-4455 5750; madparis.fr). Ristorante National, 243 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 (+331-8097 2280; hotelnational.paris). 

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In my fridge you’ll always find a giant bag of spinach, chicken breasts and a bottle of sancerre from Vin CD Crelier André et Fabienne in Neuchâtel. It never varies; I am the most boring, creature-of-habit eater ever. Grand-Rue 1, 2000 Neuchâtel (+4132-721 1230)

The last music I downloaded was the underground hip-hop album Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz. I love this kind of sound and the main rapper, Blu, is a friend. 

The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Seven Valleys by Bahá’u’lláh. I spend an hour reading spiritual texts every morning as preparation for the day ahead, and I found this allegorical description of the soul’s journey to transcendence in the form of a Sufi poem incredibly powerful. 

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a musician. When I’m not designing I make instrumental hip-hop – just for myself. 

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