A child’s rocking horse in the form of a giant green chicken; ceramic table lamps shaped like big perky mushrooms; salmon-pink ceramic cacti; Yves Klein–blue credenzas with too many mismatched legs. Welcome to the whimsical world of 34-year-old Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. The work of the bearded, bespectacled wunderkind—appointed head of design at Benetton’s creative agency at just 24—brims with theatricality and humor: It’s equal parts Philippe Starck and Dorothy Draper, Salvador Dalí and Dr. Seuss, with a dose of old Hollywood glamour.
In fact, Hayon says the fanciful furniture he designed for BD Ediciones de Diseño in 2006 was inspired by classic MGM musicals. Aptly called Showtime, the collection features tufted Hollywood Regency–style armchairs and settees with exaggerated curves.
Recently Hayon, who splits time between London and Treviso, Italy, brought new life to the staid porcelain house Lladró. After taking over as art director two years ago (he’s now a consultant), Hayon began producing the company’s signature meninas and circus clown figurines in unexpected colors and materials.
He has also collaborated with the hip shoe company Camper, creating several concept stores in Europe. The interiors are pure Hayon—white and cotton-candy-pink display tables with irregular legs, giant golden pendant lamps, tiered checkout counters modeled on Olympic medal daises. And coming this spring: a collection of colorful Hayon-designed Camper lace-ups.