Showroom Crush: Eve Forbord of DZINEAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. How did you get your start in the modern furnishings world and how did the decision to open DZINE come about?
I earned a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 1999, after which I worked for several architecture and design firms in San Francisco. Following that, I started my own design practice.
Returning often to Italy to source hard-to-find products, I was determined to find a more accessible way to share my passion for contemporary Italian design with the San Francisco design community. So, I opened DZINE in 2004 to do just that.
What started as a small 1,200 square foot boutique shop on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, has grown to become one of the largest (16,000 square feet), and most well-respected full-service design destinations in the US. I am proud of the reputation we have earned in the industry, and today, we represent leading Italian furniture manufacturers, including Boffi, Paola Lenti, Living Divani, FLOS, and Baxter, among others.
2. What distinguishes DZINE from other showrooms?
We are a full-service design destination and as far as we know, we are the only Bay Area company serving all aspects of the home. We sell contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture, accessories, and art; high-end kitchens, baths, and closets. In addition, we offer interior architecture and staging services and a fully curated art gallery program to support local artists in displaying and selling their work. We are committed to giving back and to supporting the community, so we make our 16,000 sf showroom available for nonprofit local organizations to host fundraising events.
We believe that design is becoming more-and-more important for consumers. Our comprehensive offering allows us to meet the needs of this growing market and to stay ahead of the curve.
3. How do you go about discovering new talents to feature?
We have developed longstanding relationships with the furniture manufacturers we represent. The new “talent” we look for is focused on expanding the furniture lines we currently have, to add new pieces based on what we think our clients will respond to. Since 95 percent of our business is in Italian furnishings, we go to the Salone del Mobile in Milan every year to see new products firsthand and to meet with our manufacturers. It also gives us the opportunity to explore smaller manufacturers and emerging designers who are not represented in the U.S.
4. Why the decision to transition from mostly Italian furnishings to an array of local and international makers?
In furniture, we haven’t changed where we source from (still mostly Italy). What we have shifted is our greater focus on the live-ability of our product selections. We want to offer comfort and beauty, luxurious and hard-working materials. It is important to us to showcase timeless design that is still cutting-edge. We are proud to offer our clients the best of both worlds from the manufacturers we represent.
In the past few years, we have devoted a lot of attention to developing our thriving art gallery program, where we feature mostly local Bay Area artists. We believe adding art to our showroom rounds out our offering in a very positive way and is relevant to how we live. We are committed to supporting artists in San Francisco and our showroom provides a spacious venue for them to show and sell their work.
5. How do the events, lectures, and exhibitions influence and support the DZINE philosophy?
We work together with our manufacturers to bring respected international talent to our showroom and share their expertise with our local design community. We like to offer these events because many local designers don’t have the opportunity to meet, view an exhibition of, or attend a talk by these inspiring design luminaries.
We also provide our showroom to non-profits to host fundraisers and benefits. In addition, upon seeing so many artists leave San Francisco due to high costs, we set out to build the DZINE gallery program. My brother, Austin, who joined the company 5 years ago, as DZINE’s Chief Operating Officer, really spearheaded this. As an artist, photographer, and former professional dancer, Austin has a deep passion for the arts. We are thrilled by the community’s positive response to our efforts.
6. What are some recent trends you’ve seen that you love? Any you loathe?
I love the textural quality I am seeing in so many different materials, from metal, to glass, to woven upholstery; matte black fixtures; richness of color and importance of comfort; and greater appreciation for handcraftsmanship and sustainablity.
7. Describe your dream vacation.
My dream vacation would start with a few days of relaxation and recuperation at an outdoor spa with lots of massages, soaking, and yoga, then on to some countryside exploration of small, old villages, checking out little shops and restaurants, hiking a few mountains, settling in for a few nights in a refurbished castle or monastery. I’d finish the trip in a big city with an amazing meal and a night out listening to live music and dancing, daytime visits to museums, long lunches, people watching and lots of walking around checking out the local architecture, fashion, design, and art scene.
8. Sweet or salty?
9. Sci-fi or rom-com?
10. Hardcover or paperback?
11. Hike or bike?
12. Early riser or night owl?
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