You’ll usually find Zac Posen in his Manhattan studio, but the designer is just as comfortable in the kitchen — hence the inspiration for his latest project. Over an intimate three-course breakfast (by local favourite Parisian pâtisserie, The Tempered Room) at the Interior Design Show in Toronto, the fashion designer spoke about his love for all things culinary. “The kitchen is a different kind of creative output — you’re able to be expressive and also be generous,” he said. “It’s where you bring people together.”
Now, he’s combined both passions in a new collaboration with luxury kitchen appliance brand, Monogram, to design a refrigerator door panel inspired by his signature style. Initially, Posen created a mock-up of the design by literally draping tulle across a panel. The resulting details and texture of the fabric are captured through intricate etchings on the metal surface.
Channeling his creative spirit into the kitchen came naturally to Posen— his passion for cooking and hosting even intersects with fashion on occasion. Once, supermodel and fellow Project Runway alum Heidi Klum curated her own menu for Posen to cook. “At first I was like, ‘Is she joking?’ and then I was like, ‘No, she’s not. She does what she wants. My Heidi don’t play.’”
We sat down with Posen to chat about his dream kitchen, the coolest home trends and why you should always have French bread.
What inspired the design of the panel?
From my own experience living in different apartments in New York City where sometimes space is an issue, I thought something reflective to open up the space could be interesting. I took silk tulle, a fabric that I use in my collections very often, and started contouring the shape of the square panel. When tulle overlaps, you get different shading. It creates depth and dimension, and you can catch yourself in different fragments.
What does your dream kitchen look like?
It needs to have a fine balance between utility and warmth, especially if it’s an eating and cooking space, where it becomes part of your home. I like natural materials — wood, stone and marble. I like when the kitchen has a gracious, inviting quality to it but still has the ability to be washed down.
What kitchen trend do you love right now?
I love built-in seating, like kitchen nooks. Things come around in funny ways like kitchen nooks — which felt either like very ’40s and then very ’80s or early ’90s to me — now feel right again.
What would we find in your fridge?
One surprising thing that you’d find is umeboshi (Japanese pickled ume fruits). They’re very sour and incredibly healthy for you and that’s one of my health secrets. You will always see eggs. I always have lemons, olive oil and frozen vegetables from the summer.
What’s your go-to dinner party recipe?
A pureed vegetable soup that can be whatever’s in season. I often try to have great French bread, especially to have with soup. It breaks the formality of the whole thing, when somebody uses their hands — it kind of brings community together.
What home decor trends are you looking at for spring?
I’m on the hunt for fabulous planters and outdoor furniture that feel functional and comfortable. The concrete trend is really cool and looks right to me again. I think all the plastic furniture from the ’70s and ’80s are going to become real collectors items because I think 30 years from now, plastic is going to be outlawed. I’m also interested in coloured metals, anodized metals, and mixed materials like rubber with glass.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.