Kevin Torre debuted his career in Luxury design working for fashion houses in Paris. Installing catwalks and schmoozing with VIP clients ignited his ambition to work within the industry. Over the years he has worked for many notable design emporiums Chanel, Paco Rabanne and Armani to name but a few! He is currently Chief of Visual Merchandising at Heal’s in London. Here, he talks of his passion for the minutiae and his urgency to create.
What was your first foray into fashion and design?
Well, in terms of design my first experience was Fashion the Interior design came after. When I was searching for a job in Paris, I would stand outside the Metro handing out flyers, after that someone approached me to assist with the Dries Van Noten fashion show. I had to take care of the people who were invited and make sure that the décor was in place, so that the viewers were completely immersed into the experience of the brand, which is how luxury works.
So I was studying in the daytime and then gaining my schooling of Luxury on the evenings and weekends. I remember a very beautiful time when I met Paco Rabanne and worked on a private show for him in Rue Saint Honore, two weeks before we worked tirelessly to prepare and were trained to precision. From there on, I went up and up, to Chanel and to Armani.
Your brain never stops working as you work so prolifically, what is your favourite medium to work in? And what are your current pursuits?
If you look at my work, I use everything; I love using whatever I can find on the streets, especially in my paintings. I love the detail you can find last minute you know? I’m currently working in Photography because I think I can see lots of things that other people don’t see and I can see them quickly. I like to capture these images and use them later on in my other works. I am not a professional photographer but I feel the urge to capture everything around me. I want basically, to do everything, As a visual manager now my goal is to become a Creative Director so that I can create everything and design everything.
Currently you are working at Heal’s, what drew you to the eponymous Furniture store?
I think the link for me with Heal’s to be honest is, has grown up in France, there is such a strong Heritage of design, I strait away felt that something was special, with over 200 years of History and Innovation that Heal’s has. I am working to bring that story to life and make everyone appreciate the Brand.
You’ve also worked on some collaborative projects whilst at Heal’s, which has been your favourite so far?
It has to be my very first project, with Eley Kishimoto, for their Designer Nights talk. We wanted to explain visually how they build stories within Fashion and Interior spheres, we created windows for the store with Kites of fabrics which combined their Interior and Fashion prints, playing with scale and colour. I was invited to meet with Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto at their Brixton workshop, which was so inspiring.
You recently worked on the Heal’s stand for Design Junction, how was it?
It was such a fun project and full of emotions. We worked in a small amount of time, but had such a beautiful collection to promote. It was so emotional being at the Central Saint Martins Building, were so much talent has been born.