Kevin O’Keefe is the show director of ICFF, North America’s premier showcase and exhibition of contemporary design, taking place annually for over 25 years. The ICFF showcases the latest trends and newest offerings from some of the world's most inspiring design and housing talent. Including Australia, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK - to name a few. 700 exhibitors take part annually, exhibiting their latest products and designs from furniture and materials to baths and kitchen accessories. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Kevin O’Keefe.
Image Credit: 1) Loll Designs 2) Ercol 3) Bedg 4) Loloey 5) Bernhardt Design
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
ICFF is all about what’s next and what’s best in design for better interiors. Over 30,000 architects, interior designers, developers and luxury retailers come to ICFF expecting to be inspired by hundreds of new and totally unique concepts and design expressions.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
We are working hard, traveling to design events and identifying those exhibitors that offer unique style, fresh contemporary concepts and beautiful aesthetics. Our growth is all coming from the introduction of great new innovative designers.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
One of the first people I met when I began working on ICFF was Karin Phillips from the British European Design Group, our longest tenured exhibitor. Karin impressed me with her dedication to bringing young design all over the world. In addition I admire her philanthropic work in Africa, marrying craftsmanship, contemporary design and assisting the locals in bettering their own lives. It’s this unique combination that makes Karin Phillips a true icon in the design community.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
I love visiting museums where art, style and design converge from centuries of human endeavour and inspiration. Walking through the Louvre for example always thrills me. We create such beautiful expressions in a range of mediums that enrich our lives and surroundings.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
I began my life in the design world developing concept and producing exhibits for the likes of Harry Winston, Ralph Lauren and Van Cleef & Arpels- after graduating from college with a history degree. If you like something enough or want to be doing something enough, you can envision it, actually see yourself doing it. When that happens, your mind, and your entire person starts to take the steps to achieve that vision. If you can see it happening, you will make it happen.