Karim Rashid, Milan 2010
Egyptian-born designer now in New York, emanating charisma from both person and product.
Karim Rashid emanates charisma, effortlessly attracting audiences, whether in intimate gatherings, as here (at an event to launch an installation of Corian in Milan) or talking to a larger audience. Never in a long life as a design journalist have I met a man who has so totally fabricated his image – from his pastel suits to his cropped hair and big specs. He has even designed his own signature – Karim with little kiss-cross instead of a dot over the "i". Then there are the staggering achievements. He's working in pushing 40 countries, and has over 3,000 items in production, for a string of brands, large and small. He has won over 300 award. Karim lives his life on speed dial - on the move around 180 days a year, he once told me. "All of my best work is created while I am travelling."
Karim grew up immersed in art and design. His father was an Egyptian abstract painter, his mother English. The family moved from Cairo to Paris to London to Canada, where Karim grew up. His home now is New York. Drawing is the foundation of everything he does, he says.
"I draw in bed, the office, restaurants, trains, planes, wherever ideas come to me." Then he used advanced CAD to turns his curvy ideas into product.