Fifteen years ago, Catherine Lévi and Sigoléne Prébois got together to give birth to Tsé & Tsé Associeés. Their concept is very simple, “freedom while creation”! They met in Paris design school “École Nationale Superieure de la création industrielle“. As they say, after 15 years together, Catherine and Sigoléne shared pleasures and catastrophes in life and profession. Today Tsé&Tsé is one of the hip and top creative associations in design scene. They create lamps, kitchen accessories, baskets, and all that comes into their creative minds, but everything has got that french taste that we all know so well. And besides this amazing creations, they also have one of the best sites I’ve ever seen.
I went talking to them
Coxi-How did it all started up?
Tsé&Tsé- We started building our own compagny, when we realised that nobody was waiting around to publish our design. Everything started when we decided to trust ourselves and to take the risk of publishing our own creations. At this time we were lucky enough to design the “vase d’avril”. It was luck, not because of its huge success that arrived 2 or 3 years later, but because of the way it is made, even with a small quantity of what one normally considers a vase, replaced by the repetition of a glass tube and a piece of metal , which allowed us to manufacture the pieces in an industrial way. And now , 15 years later, this vase, our first product , still sells extremely well all over the world and has become ” a classic”.
Coxi- How did you meet?
Tsé&Tsé- We knew each other since we were 16, we were not close friends because not at the same high school, but we noticed that we both liked to be different, we liked to sew (if you can call it sewing) our own clothes even our own shoes. But we really met at the “école nationale supérieure de création industrielle” where we were together.
Coxi- What are your main goals when you create an object?
Tsé&Tsé- At first we want to be honest with ourselves , we want to design something we would like to live with. We want to design something that will not be a burden for somebody else. If it is giving some pleasure or joy it is even better.
Coxi- From all the designs or products that you’ve created, what is the one that defines tsé & tsé?
Tsé&Tsé- The “vase d’avril ,” for it’s invariable way of making people fell great when they compose a bouquet. And the Hungry and thirsty dishes, because the people who use them feel they are totally theirs , they adopt them.
Coxi- How did you name your brand Tsé & Tsé?
Tsé&Tsé- As we design everything together , we where looking for a name that mean 2 and 1 at the same time. We are Ms Tsé and Ms Tsé and we are also Tsé Tsé the fly.
Coxi- Do you rule any tendancy in all creative process?
Tsé&Tsé- We try not to. Except to be sure we will not feel ashamed to add an unuseful object to the market.
Coxi- Favorite designer / artist?
Tsé&Tsé- Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Périand, for the dead ones. Ron Arrad, Ingo Maurer for the the living. Claudio Colucci amongst our friends and Laurence Brabant for the not so well-known.
Coxi- Are there any unknown designers that you follow and whose work you admire?
Tsé&Tsé- Yes, Laurence Brabant.
Coxi- Have you made something available to young people that love design and arts but don’t have enough funds to purchase your products?
Tsé&Tsé- When we started producing, it was a real goal: for Catherine and me (with our student ‘s budget) to be able to afford the public price of our object. Not every day, of course, but what could be mentally acceptable . For a birthday occasion, young people can always chip in together to buy one of our products.
Coxi- Your design objects are created by both of you, or does the idea of one of you prevail?
Tsé&Tsé- We design like we play ping pong; one of us speaks about a loss, an occasion where we can use an object we haven’t come across, and we start building an idea together. At the end a design appears.
Coxi- Are you living your ideal lifestyle?
Tsé&Tsé- No, we don’t have an ideal lifestyle. We just try day after day to balance the boring duties with funny events. We would like to be surprised by what we do. Of course it is difficult.
Coxi- How do you conciliate your work with personal life (children, babies, trips to India…)?
Tsé&Tsé- Since a long time , we have always managed to keep time for travel, because we like to be far away, confronted with other ways of life. Catherine fell in love with India, and Sigolène keeps going every where, even with a child. We create our own business, with all the trouble it entails in order to be able to conciliate it with other pleasures.