The Aesthete: Paul Cocksedge talks personal taste

British designer Paul Cocksedge’s ingenious designs have been commissioned by institutions and brands from the V&A to Hermès

Paul Cocksedge at home in London
Paul Cocksedge at home in London | Image: Gabby Laurent

My personal style signifier is a pair of Adidas Originals Court Vantage trainers. They have a slightly raised sole, a nice gold logo and a little pink trim on the side to act as a flash of colour against my daily uniform of sombre-toned trousers and jacket. adidas.co.uk.

Van Moof S2 electric bike, £3,198
Van Moof S2 electric bike, £3,198

The last thing I bought and loved was a Victorian terraced house in east London. The location meets all my criteria – it’s on a quiet road close to the studio, the marshes and the busy street life of Chatsworth Road – and the house itself has great views of the beautiful arched windows of the house opposite. 

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a VanMoof S2 electric bike. I’m passionate about finding ways to make London more friendly, and one is to encourage people to walk and cycle more. This bike takes us into the future. £2,598; vanmoof.com.

Earl of East London Strand candle, £20 for 170ml
Earl of East London Strand candle, £20 for 170ml

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the “Monster Building” in Hong Kong. Properly known as Yick Cheong Building, it’s a housing development where the apartments are so densely packed that they look like pixels – walking around is like being in a computer game. I’ve never seen anything like it, but it proves that building at this density can work. 

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i headphones, £450
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i headphones, £450

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is Frank Cornelissen’s MunJebel Rosso 2016 from a trip to Mount Etna. I knew about his naturally produced wines already, so it was a real treat to meet him in person. His wine is, to my mind, some of the most intense and pure made anywhere in the world. £29.99; raeburnfinewines.com.

Ingo Maurer Lucellino lamp, €460
Ingo Maurer Lucellino lamp, €460 | Image: Gabby Laurent

The best gift I’ve received recently was a pair of Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i Bluetooth headphones – a thank-you for some work I’d done. The cool thing about them is that when you flick them off your head to speak to someone, they pause. Little details like that make technology outstanding. £450; bang-olufsen.com.

Manhattan Loft Gardens, east London
Manhattan Loft Gardens, east London

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose London Fields, where I live and work. It’s full of interesting independent cafés and shops such as Earl of East London. The people behind this lifestyle brand take a considered approach to the products they make and sell, and everything is driven by its sensory appeal – the candles [from £20] are incredible. The artisan bakery and café e5 Bakehouse sells wonderful food and they have classes too, encouraging people to engage with the making process. I run in Victoria Park in the mornings and often stop off at the Pavilion Café. Nothing beats sitting by the lake with a fresh coffee. E5 Bakehouse, 395 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 (e5bakehouse.com). Earl of East London, 5A Gransden Ave, London E8 (earlofeastlondon.com). The Pavilion Café, Victoria Park, London E9 (020-8980 0030). 

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An object I would never part with is my Lucellino table lamp, designed by Ingo Maurer. He gave it to me himself, and I love being reminded of a designer who has been important for me personally and has influenced so many others. €460; shop.ingo-maurer.com.

A recent find is Manhattan Loft Gardens, a 143m-tall apartment building in London’s Stratford. What’s remarkable about this place is how the developer has used the architecture to create a sense of community, carving three gardens into the building to create high-rise versions of the traditional garden square. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20-22 International Way, London E20 (thestratford.com). 

My favourite apps are Monzo, which means my bank is in the cloud rather than a physical branch, so there are no phone calls, no queues and I can use it wherever I am in the world; and Freetrade, which takes all the mystery out of buying shares.

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