Its Golden Jubilee
LIGNE ROSET’S STATEMENT SEAT
1973 – 2023 Few pieces of furniture are quite as coveted and celebrated as the Togo by Ligne Roset. With its distinctive design, luxurious comfort, and enduring popularity, the seat has firmly secured its place in the pantheon of furniture icons. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this remarkable creation, from its inception to its current status as a design classic, let’s take a closer look at the secrets behind the Togo’s appeal and why it’s still as relevant today as it was half a century ago.
First things first, let’s start at the very beginning. The man behind the milestone is French designer Michel Ducaroy. He was born in Lyon in 1925 and raised in a family of designers and makers of contemporary furniture who were commissioned by the Chaleyssin factory, which most notably supplied furniture to the liner SS Normandie. Michel Ducaroy’s pivotal meeting with Jean Roset in 1960 and the creative explosion of the 1970s led to his appointment as head of the Roset design department, and ultimately down the brand’s road of success.
The era’s quest for new seating concepts, encouraged by swift changes in social attitudes and the advent of new materials (foams, polyester quilting, thermoformed plastics), drove Jean Roset and Michel Ducaroy to develop new production techniques in the years between 1960 and 1970. Yet it was the Togo ‘seat-cushion’, presented at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in Paris in 1973, that was to earn Michel Ducaroy his fame.
Its crumpled, ‘newborn’ appearance and Shar-Pei wrinkles garnered more than a few doubtful looks from professionals and public alike. The organisers of the fair, however, were sufficiently inspired to award Michel Ducaroy the René-Gabriel prize, which recognized ‘innovative and democratic furniture’, that is, pieces which offer a good price-to-quality ratio.
A symbol of the changing times post-1968, the hippie generation quickly seized on it as a place to curl up and enjoy their new idleness and aspirations to being different. A bête de mode (‘fashion behemoth’) for 50 years, acquiring no wrinkles along the way other than those in its fabric or leather covering, the Togo has turned up in many hotels and celebrity homes, including that of Lenny Kravitz, Bob Sinclar, Matt Sorum, Florence Foresti, Marc Rebillet to name a few.
The cult piece of the Seventies, with its floor-level seat emblematic of Ligne Roset’s revolutionary modernity, Togo has become the brand’s star product and uncontested bestseller. Its characteristic soft and pleated silhouette, in which two generations have comfortably snuggled, continues to beguile to this day.