Born in Spain in 1974, Jaime Hayon studied in Madrid and Paris before moving to Italy to become the director of the design department of Benetton's Fabrica Academy in Treviso. By the time he left that post in 2003, he had already set up his own studio. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, being feted by both Time and Wallpaper Magazine as one of the 100 most influential young designers of the last decade.
With its fondness for curves over straight lines and its bold use of materials, Hayon's work is in the great tradition of Catalan modernism that stretches back to Gaudi. But it also has a keenly contemporary polish, lightness of touch and sense of fun, and an ability to counterbalance different concerns and influences - stylishness and practicality, the artisanal and the industrial - into a harmonious whole.
His creations have been exhibited in such prestigious venues as the Design Museum, London, the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. Among prizes too numerous to mention, he has been the Elle Deco International Design Awards' Designer of the Year in 2006, 2012 and 2016, and Designer of the Year at the Maison and Objet trade fair in 2010.
Hayon has brought his relaxed, deceptively simple signature style to a range of glass and ceramic ware. Highlights in this area include his Fantasy Collection for Lladro and his Zoo of humorous crystal and porcelain animals for Baccarat. Notable among his furniture designs are the Sammen Dining Chair for the Danish firm Fritz Hansen and the witty, sculptural Gardenias collection of indoor and outdoor pieces for BD Barcelona, as well as several important commissions for the Italian company Magis. In 2013, Hayon co-founded the watch company OROLOG, immediately establishing a distinctive look with quilted watch-faces and bold, graphic numerals.
The designer has also undertaken a number of high profile interior décor projects. From the all-white Lladro store on Madison Avenue, New York, to the Octium jewellery store in Kuwait, with its accents of purple and gold, and the silk and marble of the Fabergé boutique in Geneva, Hayon's retail spaces are marked by flowing lines and lustrous surfaces. His restaurants vary in style from the informal cosiness of Le Sergent Recruiteur in Paris to the opulence of the La Terraza del Casino in Madrid, done in a near-monochrome palette of grey and white. In addition, Hayon has followed in the footsteps of famed Danish designer Arne Jacobsen by creating a suite at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen.
Jaime Hayon continues to be prolific and highly inventive. In 2016, he created the Magis Mila chair. Featuring an elegant, timeless outline expressed in cutting edge air-moulded polypropulene, it's a worthy follow-up to his highly successful Magis Pina chair family, with their organic shapes and steel lattice construction.