Interview: Rhude Designer Rhuigi Villaseñor on His Debut Furniture Collection

Beyond his fashion label, Villaseñor wants to devote time to long-term design projects

Alongside American design mainstay James Perse, Rhude designer Rhuigi Villaseñor recently launched the latest facet of his brand: furniture. With a desire to slow down the world we live in, and design pieces for his fans’ most sacred spaces, Villaseñor and Perse created a series of chairs, billiard tables, benches and items that have been infused with the old California- and vintage rock-influenced aesthetic that Rhude has become known for. This, coupled with the quality and craftsmanship that Perse has always brought to his collections, results in a collection that’s pared back by Villaseñor’s standards, but luxurious nonetheless. Coming off the heels of his latest collaboration with Maxfield LA, where you can find the new furniture designs, we were able to catch up with Villaseñor and chat about why he’s moved into furniture.

How did the decision to go into furniture come about? 

As focused as we are on the aesthetics of Rhude, I think [that] as we expand it’s very important to have a component that is focused on purely emotion—a sort of my couture in my business. To me it’s a personal venture to create a product that can live and breathe in a place that’s most sacred: the home.

You often talk about your love of acquiring interesting furniture pieces. Is that what led to you wanting to create your own collection?

No, I think my passion for collecting is based on whether something gave me a feeling or [if] it just looks good. Some things are just because they made me laugh, but for my furniture it’s an extension of my techniques, ideas and memories.

What is the intent and direction of the collection?

It’s to slow down the pace that I feel our world is in. With the tech advancements and composition of tools available to humans developing as rapidly as they are, we’re losing this intimacy of natural tools and what can be created. I think it’s about capturing a moment and creating a piece that is beyond a mass-produced item.

What are some of the inspirations behind the furniture and how does the collection relate to your clothing?

I think the collection is subjective to the consumer but in reality the only thing synonymous with the clothes is that they’re designed to stand the test of time and [are] an homage to craftsmanship.

What is the manufacturing process and how did you choose the materials?

My whole focus is human error and the importance of man, emotions, and wood. But really, the focus is unlearning the mass production thinking and taking it further to celebrate that it’s a piece made by hand, with emotions channeled into the project.

Why James Perse? At this point, your name is big enough on its own to venture into any vertical you want so why partner with someone at all?

James Perse is an American standard name for luxury basics. To me this is a genre in and of its own. It’s wonderful that we’re also building a friendship. Everything [has been] organic, which is essentially the theme of all that I do.

Are we looking at something like the Off White + Ikea collection type of trajectory? Is there any plan to make this more readily available?

Ideally I’d love to be able to talk to everyone with this form of design, so perhaps. But as of now it’s about perfecting the imperfections and creating something substantial in a mass product-based world. This is my way to slow down the world for just one moment in time.

Images courtesy of Rhude