Designer Ini Archibong on underground hip-hop, Slovenia and the work of British furniture guru Jasper Morrison
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My personal style signifier is the stack of 10 to 15 bangles I wear on my right wrist. I own 35 in total, all picked up on my travels over the years. My favourites are a pair of thin, silver cuffs by Majoral that I bought in Spain long ago. majoral.com
The last thing I bought and loved was Morton Subotnick’s crazy 1971 electronic album Sidewinder, from Poo-Bah Record Shop in Pasadena. I’ve been buying my vinyl there for so long the owner has become a friend. 2636 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107 (poobah.com)
And the thing I’m eyeing next is the Slim d’Hermès 39.5mm watch in midnight blue. It is a perfect balance of simplicity, elegance and functionality, and its super-slim form makes it the perfect suit watch. £4,750; hermes.com
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a classic bomber jacket by PS Paul Smith. It’s a nice, punk-inspired take on the varsity jacket in a deep shade of black, with an elasticated Mandarin collar. paulsmith.com
An unforgettable place I have travelled to in the past year is Slovenia. I spent a lot of time there when I was working on Collection IV, a 22-piece furniture collection for Sé, and I thought it was amazing. The people I met were super-hospitable and Ljubljana is clean, beautiful and has a really easy pace to it. se-collections.com
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a suitcase full of African batik fabrics to add to my collection. I stumbled across a tiny shop – I think it was called Union Curios – on my first day in Cape Town and spent the entire afternoon chatting to the two women who run it. For similar, try St George’s Mall, Cape Town Central, Cape Town
A recent “find” is Droguerie Schneitter, a hardware shop in Neuchâtel. I moved to this French-speaking Swiss town recently and as I don’t speak the language it’s been hard to find certain things, such as polish for the silver parts on my pipe. It turns out this tiny, hole-in-the-wall place, one of the oldest in Neuchâtel, is something of a local legend. Rue de l’Hôpital 19, 2000 Neuchâtel (+4132-725 2452)
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. I like his message and the aesthetics. He buries the thought in sheer prettiness, which is what I like to do with my work too. gagosian.com
The last meal that truly impressed me was a traditional Swiss la chasse meal at Restaurant Kreuz in Gals. We had game, including rabbit, venison and boar, to celebrate the start of the hunting season. Dorfstrasse 8, 3238 Gals (kreuzgals.ch)
An object I would never part with is my Rubik’s Cube. I taught myself to do it in the same way that I learn most things, by practising until the solution became a muscle memory. I can pick up a cube and do it with one hand, more or less without looking. £9.99; uk.rubiks.com
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Rue de Rhône in Geneva. I like to see what’s interesting in the window displays that the brands have created for the season, and I can’t resist looking at the watches in Hermès, Cartier and Patek Philippe Salon. I’ll stop for a coffee at the Riverside Café too. It is famous for its tea and hot chocolate and has a beautiful view of the Rhône meeting Lake Geneva. Cartier, 35 Rue du Rhône, 1204 (cartier.com). Hermès, 39 Rue du Rhône, 1204 (hermes.com). Riverside Café, 19 Rue du Rhône, 1204 (riversidecafe.ch). Salon Patek Philippe, 41 Rue du Rhône, 1204 (patek.com)
An indulgence I would never forgo is Haribo sweets. Every country has its own flavours and I enjoy discovering the local varieties when I travel. You can get wine-flavoured ones in Germany.
My favourite app is Watchville because it tells me what’s happening in the watch world. I’m not a collector, but I fell in love with the aesthetic years ago and now I’m designing them too. watchville.com
My style icon is the American rapper A$AP Rocky because he takes a lot of risks style-wise and he has the ability to go from smart to street with ease.
My favourite room in my house is the living space. I live in a renovated factory and when I moved in, I decided that the open-plan living area would simply be somewhere for me and my daughter to have a good time. It contains everything from my synthesisers and turntable, to my design tools, books and quite a lot of furniture by the British designer Jasper Morrison, including a pair of Basel chairs and a side table. His work is easy to love. jaspermorrison.com
The person I rely on for my personal grooming is my hairdresser Brenton Lee. I haven’t let anyone else cut my hair since we met 10 years ago, so when I land in LA he is the first person I see. Brenton Lee Salon, 573 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101 (brentonleesalon.com)
The best gift I’ve given recently was The Gospel of Thomas, which I gave to my best friend Marshall for Christmas; I like to give books that spark really long, interesting conversations.
And the best one I’ve received recently is a book from Marshall! He gave me the first part of The Law of One. It’s about ancient space travellers, which is pretty mind-bending.
If I didn’t live in Neuchâtel, the city I would live in is Paris, because it’s teeming with energy, has a fantastic nightlife and is full of culture and food. I’m usually there on business, but I’ll always take an afternoon to get lost in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. There is so much to see and I always leave with inspiration for whatever project I’m working on. The restaurant there, Loulou, is very chic too. I like to go to Ristorante National for dinner; I was taken there by a friend and really enjoyed both the atmosphere and their bresaola. La Mano is my favourite nightlife venue. I love to dance and this is one of those places where the music is loud, everyone is dancing and I don’t feel strange wandering in alone and dancing the night away. Loulou, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (loulou-paris.com). La Mano, 10 Rue Papillon, 75009 (+339-6750 5037). Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 (madparis.fr). Ristorante National, 243 Rue Saint-Martin, 75003 (hotelnational.paris)
In my fridge you’ll always find a giant bag of spinach, chicken breasts and a bottle of Sancerre from Vin CD Crelier André et Fabienne in Neuchâtel. It never varies; I am the most boring, creature-of-habit eater ever. Grand-Rue 1, 2000 Neuchâtel (+4132-721 1230)
The last music I downloaded was the underground hip-hop album Gods in the Spirit, Titans in the Flesh by Blu & Nottz. I love this kind of sound and the main rapper, Blu, is a friend.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Seven Valleys by Bahá’u’lláh. I spend an hour reading spiritual texts every morning as preparation for the day ahead, and I found this allegorical description of the soul’s journey to transcendence in the form of a Sufi poem incredibly powerful.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a musician. When I’m not designing I make instrumental hip-hop – just for myself.