Karim Rashid talks personal taste: Part One

One of the most prolific product designers of his generation, Karim Rashid is known for his minimalist, sensually curved pieces in pop-art colours

Image: Dorothy Hong

My personal style signifiers are my Alain Mikli glasses – I own 50 pairs in all colours – and wearing white or pink head-to-toe. That could be J Brand skinny jeans with a Uniqlo HeatTech T-shirt, or slim-cut, custom-made suits by My Suit, which have a bit of stretch and don’t wrinkle. www.alainmikli.com. www.jbrandjeans.com. www.mysuitny.com. www.uniqlo.com.  

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6 headphones, £329
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H6 headphones, £329

The last thing I bought and loved was a pair of BeoPlay H6 noise-cancelling headphones. This particular set is beautiful – in a blue-stone colour with a grey leather trim – and produces the clearest sound. They are ideal for travelling as they are lightweight and compact. £329;www.bang-olufsen.com.

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And the thing I’m eyeing next is a piece of wooded land in New Jersey, about 40 minutes from my home in Manhattan. I have wanted to build a futuristic, sustainable house for the past 10 years and I’m finally going to do it. I am purposefully going in the opposite direction to the Hamptons.

Rashid’s collection of Ettore Sottsass vases and sculptures
Rashid’s collection of Ettore Sottsass vases and sculptures

An object I would never part with is my colourful collection of Ettore Sottsass sculptures and vases, which I bought in the early 1980s while living in Milan. They represent a major shift in design vocabulary. I broke one recently and was distraught, which was surprising as I’m not particularly materialistic.

 United Nude Men’s FLX desert boots, £165
 United Nude Men’s FLX desert boots, £165

The best gift I’ve received recently was a pair of United Nude limited-edition FLX desert boots in silver with thick white soles. They were an unexpected present from my friend and United Nude founder Rem Koolhaas and are a great mix of style and industrial design. £165; www.unitednude.com.

Shenzhen Bao’an Airport T3 in China
Shenzhen Bao’an Airport T3 in China

The best gift I’ve given recently is a pair of graphic, acid-green, black and white Y3 high-heeled trainers to my wife for her birthday. I love Yamamoto’s designs because they combine high performance and high fashion. $385; www.y-3.com.

Like a Machine by The Emperor Machine
Like a Machine by The Emperor Machine

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the Massimiliano and Fuksas-designed Terminal 3 at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in southern China. It had only been open for three days when I arrived, and I loved its beautiful, biomorphic shape and the amorphous spaces within, which I think reflect the lack of boundaries in this growing city.

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And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a set of intricately painted matryoshka dolls from Moscow. They feature Russia’s presidents and rulers, so they offer a history lesson as well as being an example of fine craftsmanship.

In my fridge you’ll always find incredible quantities of organic blueberries, strawberries and raspberries from Whole Foods; Wallaby Organic Greek Yogurt; and Anestasia Vodka, in a bottle of my own design. The one thing you won’t find is processed sugar, which I try to avoid wherever possible. Anestasia Vodka, $36 for 750ml; www.anestasiavodka.com. Wallaby Orgainic Greek Yogurt, $4.29; www.wallabyyogurt.com. www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

An indulgence I would never forego is good coffee. I drink at least six espressos a day, made using my Illy capsule machine. I love the precision of its system as it gets the heat and density right every time. I start my day with two shots of espresso with organic whole milk and decrease the amount of milk added throughout the day. Francis Francis X8 iperEspresso Machine, £180; www.illy.com.

The last music I bought was Drunken Sailor by Antientertainers and Like a Machine by The Emperor Machine, both on CD from the London-based online record store Juno. I like underground electronic music best, and Juno is great for making new discoveries. www.juno.co.uk.

My favourite websites are The New York Times and Huffington Post for news, and Designboom and Architizer for the latest ideas about architecture and design. www.architizer.com. www.designboom.com. www.huffingtonpost.com. www.nytimes.com.

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