Q&A: Fine Rug Designer Ben Soleimani Launches a New Venture
View Photos

Q&A: Fine Rug Designer Ben Soleimani Launches a New Venture

Add to
Like
Share
By Sheila Kim
Fourth-generation rug purveyor Ben Soleimani’s direct-to-consumer brand aims to change the way we shop for home furnishings.

Jet-setter, developer, and ardent polo player, Ben Soleimani is also an author of high-end, contemporary rugs that are sought after by celebrated interior designers and savvy consumers alike—but he’s not resting on his laurels. In a move that might very well disrupt the luxury furnishings market, Soleimani launched his direct-to-consumer brand and online emporium earlier this year, with plans to offer more than rugs. The impresario teases furniture, textiles, and upholstered goods to come this fall, essentially making his website a one-stop shop for high-end home goods while removing the showroom and middleman quotient. 

Ben Soleimani comes from four generations of fine rug makers.

Ben Soleimani comes from four generations of fine rug makers.

Newsletter
Join the Daily Dose Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design

As the adage goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: Soleimani grew up in and learned from a family of fine rug purveyors going back four generations. He launched his family business Mansour (which, by the way, holds a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales) in the United States at the tender age of 16.

In 2011, he partnered with Restoration Hardware to launch the Ben Soleimani collection. Defined by a clean, minimalist, and timeless aesthetic—as well as an exploration of textures and weaving techniques—these designs bore his name but were exclusively sold through the upscale home furnishings brand. That is, until now. 

These cashmere throws, among the new offerings from Ben Soleimani, are available in three designs.

These cashmere throws, among the new offerings from Ben Soleimani, are available in three designs.

Shop Ben Soleimani Throws
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Oversized Throw
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Oversized Throw
Our interpretation of the classic cashmere throw. We use only the finest 550-gram cashmere yarns, chosen expressly for their extraordinary softness. Soothing neutral tones with twisted fringe-edging make this the perfect finishing touch to your room. Size 80"x 90".
Ben Soleimani Ribbed Cashmere Throw
Ben Soleimani Ribbed Cashmere Throw
Our ribbed cashmere throw offers a modern take on a classic piece.
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Chevron Throw
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Chevron Throw
Sumptuous cashmere yarns are woven with a subtly graphic chevron pattern creating the perfect pop of interest to your space. Size 50" x 60".

What sparked the idea for you to launch a direct-to-consumer business?

I have actually been thinking about this for years. This is not about a moment—it is something that I believe is a hole in the market and I hope to fill that hole. We are creating a destination for the entire home. And once the furniture launches, I can really spread my wings. It’s an exciting new chapter!

Do you conceive every design yourself or with a studio team?

It is me. I joke that my studio is in my head. I take in my environment wherever I go and catalogue palettes and textures. Nature is a huge inspiration, as is travel.

A playful take on wood planks, the Desmi rug comes in a sand or graphite colorway.

A playful take on wood planks, the Desmi rug comes in a sand or graphite colorway.

Nature as inspiration seems a common thread in design.

There is always an element of surprise in nature, the unexpected that works so well. I love to try to interpret that into home design—without being literal.

Do trends ever factor in?

I don’t believe in following trends, only making them.

Kata rug is a flatwoven ikat realized in soft-spun wool.

Kata rug is a flatwoven ikat realized in soft-spun wool.

Shop Ben Soleimani Rugs
Ben Soleimani Banna Rug
Ben Soleimani Banna Rug
Master artisans hand-weave our nubby natural rug from strands of high-quality jute. Banna's pattern of bold, handsome stripes has an iconoclastic vertical orientation, while the thick, substantial body feels smooth underfoot.
Ben Soleimani Silver Kata Rug
Ben Soleimani Silver Kata Rug
Master artisans hand-weave this striking ikat design from soft handspun wool. The finely detailed weave is richly multi-textured. Ben is inspired by the natural variations within fibers, textures and weaves; each one of our handcrafted rugs is slightly unique.
Ben Soleimani Nickel Cirra Rug
Ben Soleimani Nickel Cirra Rug
Expertly hand-knotted from soft, fine New Zealand wool and silken fibers, this abstract design makes a striking impression in shape and sheen: A multi-textural expanse of solid color subtly shifts tones as the light changes. The luxurious pile feels soft underfoot.

You split your time between your home in London and the U.S., mainly in Los Angeles, when you’re not globetrotting. Which side of the pond influences your design insights more?

It is a balance. I have a love for heritage and craftsmanship from growing up in Europe, but I appreciate the warm casualness of things in the [United] States.

How much of your own home features your designs?

I am particular. I always need to be part of the design process and I am very hands on. 

Wool loops of varying thickness form the pebble-like ground of Ria rug.

Wool loops of varying thickness form the pebble-like ground of Ria rug.

What has impacted your work in a positive way?

Having my twins. It changed everything for me, it made every decision clearer, made my life more robust and my creativity soar. It is the reason I am doing what I am now.

And negative?

I never dwell on the negative.

This Chevron pattern is one of six pillow-cover styles.

This Chevron pattern is one of six pillow-cover styles.

Shop Ben Soleimani Pillow Covers
Ben Soleimani Basketweave Pillow Cover
Ben Soleimani Basketweave Pillow Cover
Adding texture to your space brings your design to life. Our basketweave pillows are rich with texture, their nubby variegated tones in our signature neutral palette make them the perfect accent to your space. Pillow insert sold separately. Photo Courtesy of Ben Soleimani.
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Pillow Cover
Ben Soleimani Cashmere Pillow Cover
Our pure cashmere pillows are the perfect blend of beauty and function, the luxe softness of cashmere paired with a soothing neutral palette elevate any space. Pillow insert sold separately. Photo Courtesy of Ben Soleimani.
Ben Soleimani Textured Pillow Cover
Ben Soleimani Textured Pillow Cover
A finely woven nubby texture adds depth to your design. Subtly variegated tones, in a classic palette, add a touch of warmth to any room. Layer with our solid cashmere pillows for contrast. Pillow insert sold separately.

Favorite colors? 

Grey for decorating. It’s an elegant color and goes well with most everything. Blue to wear. It’s extraordinarily versatile, can be modern or classic and everything in between.

Now that you’re in your 40s, what advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

I don’t know about my 20-year-old self, but I would tell young designers to look to themselves for inspiration. Don’t try to copy and be a second-rate version of someone else. Gain experiences, see the world, make mistakes so that you can translate those experiences into a creative bounty.

Shop Ben Soleimani Rugs
Ben Soleimani Heathered Grey Iona Rug
Ben Soleimani Heathered Grey Iona Rug
Large sketched diamonds lend this rug a bold, expressionistic appeal. hand-knotted from pure New Zealand wool by master artisans, the Iona pairs a sumptuous feel with durable performance. The wool's natural shading creates endless variations in color.
Ben Soleimani Double Diamond Silver Moroccan Rug
Ben Soleimani Double Diamond Silver Moroccan Rug
Hand-knotted by master artisans from soft, smooth New Zealand wool, a sketched diamond design runs through this luxurious rug. The undyed fibers are naturally multicolored and have a sumptuous heathered appearance.
Ben Soleimani Carbon Performance Distressed Rug
Ben Soleimani Carbon Performance Distressed Rug
Hand-knotted by expert artisans from finely spun yarns, our ultramodern rug has lush softness and a rich, striated texture. Its high-performance fibers resist stains and moisture. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, including dining areas, the rug is easy to clean and maintain.