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Kamyar Moghadam: “I’m an aesthete who makes people’s lives more beautiful”

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Kamyar Moghadam created Fashion For Floors - © Alain Duprat

Fifteen years ago, after a successful career in fashion and cosmetics, Kamyar Moghadam created the famous Fashion For Floors designer boutique, which is about to become ‘Maison Moghadam’. We met up with the ultra-creative designer, whose expertise is recognised far beyond the Principality’s borders, and whose career path is inspiring to say the least. 

Decorator, architect, entrpreneur… When you ask Kamyar Moghadam to say what his profession is, it’s hard to pick just one. So the Fashion For Floors creator sums it up this way: “I’m an aesthete who makes people’s lives more beautiful.”

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Indeed. Kamyar Moghadam knows exactly how to fit out a space, thanks to his sharp eye and an extremely rich ‘materials library’ – with 64 major brands as preferred partners, 16,000 references for fabrics, 12,000 references for wall coverings and 2,000 floor coverings.

It’s my thing,” he says humbly. “It’s a playground for me. I walk into a room, I look around, I ask what the person wants to do and I find it very easy. If you ask me to fix an engine, I’m rubbish. But colours, shapes, materials, textures, the way it’s going to feel, projecting, that’s all very easy for me. I close my eyes and see the images in 5D. I see myself as someone who can take any space, and transform it into something different that will give you joy and power.”

Close to celebrities

And the best example of this rare talent can be found just a stone’s throw from Fashion For Floors, at Eichholtz by Moghadam. There is a hidden place at the back of the showroom, in the basement. A nightclub with a mellow, low-key atmosphere, frequented in particular by the Sovereign. A firm favourite with celebrities from Monaco and beyond, the club recently welcomed Bono and The Edge for their anniversary. “Jay-Z and Madonna have seen the club on video and will probably come too,” says Kamyar with a smile.

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The nightclub has seen its fair share of celebrities – all rights reserved

And while he maintains an air of mystery when talking about the stars who approach him to design their interior, Kamyar does mention one name: Shirley Bassey, his very first client in Monaco. His eyes light up at the mere mention.  He tells us: “she was my icon, and only two months after I arrived, I was lucky enough, with my father’s guidance, to do her bedroom. She was so happy with the result that she said to me “darling, I love you so much! I wanna sing a song for you.” And she sang three songs for me in a silk negligee, like something out of a film. It could only happen in Monaco.”

It was a memorable first order, to say the least, and marked the start of Kamyar’s successful career in the Principality. A path he never envisaged when he left his native Germany to study at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in Paris.

I was thinking of going into business, opening shops in general. I studied strategic marketing and design, which introduced me to the world of fashion, and especially Tom Ford, who was in my class. At the time, he was about to become Gucci’s creative director. By the way, the building that now houses Fashion For Floors is the former Maurizio Gucci building, and my mum used to shop there. I used to come with her when I was little,” says Kamyar, who a few years later joined Tom Ford on the Gucci adventure.

From fashion to design

This was his first foray into the world of fashion, and it enabled the young man, who is fluent in four languages, to gain a wealth of creative experience, particularly in cosmetics, working for the likes of John Frieda and Christophe Robin, now his closest friend.

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I’ve worked for a lot of brands, always in second or third position after the creative director. (…) I had an incredible life very, very early on. At the age of 23, I was already flying everywhere in a private jet. My life was almost more hectic then than it is now. (…) I learned a lot about the world of luxury, aesthetics, manufacturing, finesse, love of detail… I honed my taste, my aesthetic eye. I see the detail, I understand materials,  fabrics, textiles: all the things that give me so much enjoyment today. (…) I knew I had a creative side and fashion allowed me to express it. I like to make things sexy,” he says.

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Fashion For Floors has become a reference in decoration and design – © Alain Duprat

It’s no coincidence that the slogan at Fashion For Floors is “Make your home sexy.” It’s a direction that was taken despite the initial reluctance of Kamyar’s father, Alexander Moghadam, famous in the Principality for his Iranian carpets.

After Paris, I came to Monaco to help my father. But he didn’t want my help, so I created my own concept: Fashion For Floors. I opened the business about 15 years ago on my own, against my father’s advice and without any help from my family. For my father, only Persian carpets were respectful, unlike modern carpets. He even told me that I was ‘selling rags‘,” he laughs.

A major project in Mexico

Fortunately, Kamyar – who describes himself as “a very sensitive 4WD, but not fragile” – didn’t give up. And for the past 15 years, his success has been such that he was chosen to create the famous red carpet at the wedding of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. The decorator was even made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Grimaldi, becoming the youngest person to have received this prestigious distinction in 700 years.

But he has no intention of resting on his laurels. Deeply interested in every facet of a manufacturing process, and brimming with creativity, Kamyar is constantly undertaking new projects. In particular, he recently invested in a factory in Mexico, to give birth to a new brand: Marbellous.

The brand is aimed at professionals: it will be the first ever collection of dining furniture in pure onyx. We’re the only company in the world to do this,” he says happily. With a launch planned for next January, this new Monegasque brand will be created thanks to the largest onyx quarry in the world. Because for Kamyar, half measures are not an option: “I love the ‘ verticality’ of the product, having complete control over the whole process, from design to sale. I find manufacturing exciting. It’s the same with rugs: I go to Himalaya, I look at the herds, and I seek out the best wool to make the most beautiful carpets in the world. (…) I just love what I do. And I reinvest the money I make in the company. I have a very comfortable lifestyle, but it hasn’t changed much over the last 10 years. I have a beat-up car and scooter, I dress simply, I don’t own a Rolex… So what? I get a huge amount of joy out of what I do!”

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Fashion For Floors becomes Maison Moghadam

All these different projects have led Kamyar Moghadam to make a major decision: to change the name of Fashion For Floors, 15 years after its creation. “Today ‘Fashion For Floors’ no longer reflects our business: we do much more than that,” he says. “So I thought, why not use my family’s name? It’s been known in Monaco for 50 years.'”

The company is therefore rebranding to become ‘Maison Moghadam’ from now on. The aim is to become a true luxury brand, even if Kamyar already has a solid reputation in that field. “For wallpaper and fabrics, we work with 64 of the top brands in the world. We have the widest variety of fabrics in Europe, or perhaps beyond. Some brands even consult me before putting a product on the market. I am a great curator. (…) Generally speaking, we are the only ones to have so many products available, and this allows me to be ultra-creative and to provide the customer with a real simulation,” he says.

This energy and creativity are with him all the time. When he is not at work, Kamyar Moghadam indulges in his hobbies : botany and cooking. “All my homes have incredible vegetation, I love the soil. And I love cooking, whether it’s for one or for 30,” he says.

And without losing his unfailing smile, Kamyar invites anyone who is curious to go to his stores or to the club. “You are welcome to touch and feel the spaces that I have created, even if you don’t buy anything,” he says in conclusion, hoping that those who do step over the threshold will enjoy the tactile experience as much as he does.