There are thousands of designers working throughout the world but only a select few make the grade to become icons of their time. One such contemporary superstar is Kelly Hoppen, a designer who, throughout her forty-plus year career, seems to always be one step ahead and in fact creates, dare I say the word, trends while others trail far behind.
Kelly Hoppen was born in South Africa and grew up in England. She began her stellar career at the tender age of 16 ½ years old with a commission to design a family friends’ kitchen and the projects have kept coming since then. Her style is sublime; a fusion of clean lines and neutral tones that portray a timelessness that translates from residential to commercial through to hospitality projects and beyond. But perhaps the most fascinating thing about Kelly is her ability to participate within the entire spectrum of design, to make it her own and to then forge ahead creating an empire as multifaceted as it is today.
Tiles designed by Kelly Hoppen for Hakwood
Kelly has accomplished so much and it all began when the idea of an entrepreneurial woman was a rare species. All while organically growing her interiors practice to include product design – both for her own brand and a multitude of disparate companies – she’s authored books, appeared on television and in film, established an e-commerce destination as well as taking on the mantle as an ambassador for causes that mentor and nurture young people. Suffice it to say that her grasp of design and how it can impact life is impeccable.
With a portfolio of projects that touches every genre and working in virtually every corner of the world, Kelly has spread her wings and designed ships and yachts, hotels and resorts and, through her residential and commercial work, is now a driving force in China creating design that is sought after and desired.
The Perfect Naturals leather collection by Kelly Hoppen for Pavoni
Not afraid to put herself in the spotlight, Kelly has been a regular on television, an investor participant on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, and lately launched her own Podcast series, The Kelly Hoppen Show, where she interviewed a range of successful women about their career and life journeys.
In 2009 Kelly received an MBE for services to design and this year was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her work for the GREAT campaign, a marketing initiative to encourage visitors, business, investment and study in Britain and Northern Ireland. Of course there are other accolades as well – European Woman Of Achievement, ELLE Decoration Award and Grazia Designer of the Year, to name a few – however Kelly’s greatest achievement is in the strength of her practice and business, the diversity of her offerings and the sheer talent that she brings to each and every project and it is these attributes that set her aside from her peers.
Kelly Hoppen is a guest of Super Design and will be interviewed live by Jan Henderson on 20 November at 8pm.
Kelly Hoppen Interiors
Super Design Festival
Private London Apartment by Kelly Hoppens Interiors. Photography by Mel Yates.
Lux Grand Gaube resort by Kelly Hoppen