EXCLUSIVE: RH Releases Biggest Modern Sourcebook in Nearly 10 Years, a Tribute to Modernism With Pieces From the Past

MILAN RH will release its biggest RH Modern Sourcebook in nearly 10 years on Tuesday, shining a light on rising international names like Milan’s Pietro Franceschini and bygone ones like Dan Johnson and Harvey Probber. RH launched RH Modern in 2015 to cater to the growing number of people who were drawn to modernist design.

The 364-page source book, previewed by WWD, is a tribute to 20th-century modernism and features exclusive reissues of iconic pieces from the past as well as an expanded portfolio of visionary designers, including new partnerships with Barcelona-based designers Kar Durán and Miguel López, Belgium’s Emilie Ceriez and Milan’s Filippo Piotti, and New Orleans-based designer Julie Neill.

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RH chairman and chief executive officer Gary Friedman said in the sourcebook’s opening letter that the company spent years imagining the new modern, searching for inspiring designers from both past and present.

“Editing and integrating their work in spaces both classic and contemporary. Crafting environments with a sense of clarity and continuity, resulting in an authentic expression of our combined creativity,” he wrote, quoting Steve Jobs who said, “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Filippo Piotti’s Isola modular sofa and lighting by New Orleans-based designer Julie Neill.

Last August, the American furnishings retailer released its very first print interiors source book since 2020 with an expanded roster of international collaborations with names like Sonoma, California’s Ron Mann, the Netherlands’ Nils Verhoeven, as well as Italy’s Francesco Crivellari and U.K.’s Oliver Oulton. There also were returning collaborators, such as Sydney’s Nicholas and Harrison Condos, master glass designer Los Angeles-based Alison Berger and San Francisco-based artisan Jonathan Browning.

The sourcebook was the culmination of Friedman’s goal to unite the world’s best-known designers and manufacturers to develop and showcase their work on RH’s expansive platform, and part of the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware‘s bid to turn itself into a true U.S. luxury brand. The book, envisioned for potential and current customers, as well as interior designers, is fueled by RH’s ethos of: “There Are Pieces That Furnish a Home and Those That Define It.”

In the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, RH had sales of $3.03 billion, down from $3.59 billion a year earlier. When the results were released in March, the company said revenue was negatively impacted by $40 million in the fourth quarter due to the severe January weather and shipping delays caused by the ongoing Red Sea conflict, amid one of the most challenging climates for the housing market in three decades.

The new RH Modern Sourcebook includes Isola, a convivial modular model designed by Piotti, inspired by a collection of islands and arranged in poetic fashion to facilitate conversation. Neill designed the Talia statement lighting characterized by individually glass-blown orbs, recalling her flair for custom design. Patrick Norguet from Paris designed the Boson chair, a wingback design that he originally designed for Artifort. Norguet’s work is currently in the permanent collection of the MoMA in New York. “We believe the Boson chair is his next piece of modern art,” RH said in the book.

Harvey Probber, who died in 2003, is credited as being the first to introduce modular seating. RH resurrected three of his models: the Deep Tuft, designed in 1972 defined by rhythmic rows of sculpted curves; the Cubo Raked designed in 1974, and the Mayan, designed in the ’80s. They have all been crafted in Italy and reissued from the Probber Family Estate.

“Design has a fourth dimension, the intangible quality of aging gracefully,” Probber once said, according to RH.

The Arno chair is another piece that draws on midcentury flair and in particular American designer Dan Johnson’s modern approach influenced by his years living in Rome, and his Viscount chair. His design career began in the late ’40s and he rose to fame for bringing his modern American vision to life with the help of Italian artisans and furniture makers. He died in 1979. Johnson’s Gazelle chair is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection. “We, too, have carefully tried to infuse a modern sensibility into what we believe will breathe new life into Johnson’s iconic designs,” RH said.

The collections are available on RH.com and will soon be available in the brand’s design galleries across North America and in Europe.

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