The design maverick is turning home wares on its head with his magic carpet and throws
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Ben Soleimani can’t resist change. But rather than chaos, he craves order — meticulous, minimalist order. Born in Iran and raised in London, where his father founded Mansour (the storied antique rug company with a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales), the designer is charting a course to revolutionize high-end furniture with a click-centric model, starting with rugs.
His eponymous company launched online earlier this year with floor coverings, throws and pillows, and will expand to include modern furnishings by fall. While 365-degree product videos plus white-glove delivery for online orders may seem like logical digital steps, the 47-year-old, who splits his time between London and Los Angeles, says streamlining the home design business (traditionally rife with showrooms) is still provocative. In fact, he has been prepping for this since his youth. “I was always simplifying busy Persian rug designs in my head, drawing them without all the detail and leaves, less stylized more straight lines. I do that with everything I see; I automatically reduce details and clutter.”
A fourth-generation rug maker, Soleimani relocated to L.A. as a teenager, opened Mansour’s American outpost in 2003 and launched the Mansour Modern line of rugs, reinterpreting Persian styles with contemporary designs by the likes of Michael S. Smith and Jeff Andrews.
For the last nine years, he was Restoration Hardware’s rug partner, directing the company’s nuanced, neutral floor covering collections. And having refined his eye collaborating with top designers for the past 30 years, he stakes his name on the mantra that “good design is dimensional; it has depth and, most importantly, texture.”
His new site includes more than 1,000 items, ranging from Abra hand-knotted rugs made of silky yarns and organically dyed New Zealand wool to Angled Diamond pillow covers. Each is produced in accordance with GoodWeave, a nonprofit overseeing fair labor practices. “Every other industry has become direct to consumer, but high-end furniture hasn’t done it,” he says. “It’s time to do something on my own; it’s a legacy, it’s my name.” 888-216-4277.
Feature image: Designer BEN SOLEIMANI. Photo by Santi Turienzo.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of C Magazine.