Lenny Kravitz has taken a childhood compunction to decorate his bedroom and turned it into another creative endeavor.
To rocker, songwriter and actor, add designer.
Kravitz created a series of chairs for Kartell based on Philippe Starck’s iconic “Mademoiselle” armchair, clad, like, at times the rocker himself, in python, leather or fur. And he designed black and white tiles inspired by water drops and waves for Lea Ceramiche.
Both projects were unveiled this week against the squealing backdrop of adoring fans during Milan Furniture Fair, which runs through Sunday.
For Kravitz, it all goes back to childhood, to his drive to create an environment where he felt comfortable to create, to write songs.
“Since I was a kid, it was always important how my room was put together. I would buy all these posters, fabrics and lighting, and I would make the room the way I wanted it to be,” Kravitz said in an interview late Tuesday night as he perched on a leather version of his chair in a Kartell store window made to look like a stage.
Outside, fans held back by barriers snapped photos with smart phones, the eager hoard blocking traffic. The attention at a design event seemed to surprise Kravitz – despite his status as a rock venue veteran fresh off tour in Korea, whose most recent film appearance was in the box office hit “The Hunger Games.”
“The most important thing was to create a vibe,” he said. And once that vibe was achieved, “my world was set.”
Kravitz exercised his designer spirit decorating his home, and his first creation, an L-shaped sofa upholstered in crocodile, still adorns his New Orleans home.
“When I started getting my own homes, I found myself making pieces maybe I couldn’t find, or making pieces I couldn’t afford and copying them,” Kravitz said. “It was always about creating an atmosphere.”
Along the way, he drew the favorable attention of Starck, who got to know Kravitz through his musician daughter, Ara Starck, half of the band, “The Two.” Kartell’s unofficial designer emeritus introduced the rock star to the design house, and “Kartell goes Rock,” was born.
“It is just a beginning. But he did it well,” Starck said. “He is very, very smart guy. And like all musicians, with a very strong intuition. And also he can bring the air of the night, the fresh air of the night, in design. Design is creative, but always a little bit sleeping. We are cool guys, but we are not from the night.”
Kravitz said his aim was to give the chairs “feel, texture and plushness.”
“It is just about reinterpreting it and putting my spin on it. For me, it was about feel, texture and plushness,” he said.
Kravitz arrived in Milan with design credentials of his own. He founded his own design company Kravitz Design Inc., in 2003, and has previously worked with Swarovski on a series of crystal chandeliers, designed a luxury recording studio in Miami Beach and conceived the Florida Room lounge at the Delano hotel in Miami, among other projects. The two Milan debuts represent a step toward larger scale production.
His tile collection for Lea is called “Goccia,” Italian for drop. The tiles – in smooth anthracite black or sleekest white – create an undulating impression along a wall. Kravitz said he was able to realize the concept through trial and error – creating prototypes, getting samples and making improvements – until he achieved the effect he sought.
“They are really fluid,” Kravitz said.
Kravitz seems to be hitting his creative stride, and yet finding time for it all. He said he brings his design team on tour, and they work after shows, one endeavor fueling the other.
“I love that I am maturing. I am glad to be doing what it is that I love. I appreciate it now more than ever. When you are younger … I think I was running so fast, I didn’t get to take it all in,” Kravitz said. “I am really savoring being creative, I am really savoring each moment.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30