Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Gilles Clement

Gilles Clement is no stranger to the world of art. A designer of many years and an art dealer, his multifaceted appreciation inspires his own work. Gilles Clement Designs finds its approach in a boundless style. The upscale interior design firm services local and global clients, mixes classic and contemporary styles, and balances bold and subtle. Clement’s practiced eye is continuously inspired by his love of art in all its mediums. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Gilles Clement.

In this Greenwich, Connecticut mansion, Gilles Clement does not shy away from boldness, with vivid tones and eclectic accessories.

In this Greenwich, Connecticut mansion, Clement does not shy away from boldness, with vivid tones and eclectic accessories.

Andrew Joseph: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Gilles Clement: I would be a leopard. One, because I’d love to be fast and sleek, precise and determined. Two, because of its beauty, as the leopard skin is a work of art, and I admire their poise, their behavior and their sense of natural leadership in the wild.

Andrew: What makes you angry?
Gilles: Greed makes me angry. People who are greedy miss so much of what life has to offer, their often self-proclaimed “frugality” blinds them to experience the wonders of life and the many luxuries that high-end artisans, designers, chefs and style visionaries have to share. The ramifications of greed are all negative and sadly transform people with a potential to be good into bitter and sad characters.

Andrew: Are you a pet person? Why either way?
Gilles: I am a total pet person, and I sincerely believe that people who do not like animals are either lost souls or simple hypocrites. We, humans, are no different from animals, except for the fact that language has corrupted our instinctive nature and that contrarily to them, we lie and manipulate.

In this dining area, Gilles Clement delivers a modern approach to a classic set-up, using color and contrast for a sleek environment.

In this dining area, Clement delivers a modern approach to a classic set-up, using color and contrast for a sleek environment.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?
Gilles: I cannot live without love, I cannot live without music, I cannot live without freedom.

Andrew: If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Gilles: Instead of trying to imagine what an extra hour would be used for, I urge everyone to reconsider enjoying the present and make the very most of the hours they’ve already been given. Too many of us forget to take a step back and savor what we already have.

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Gilles: Beauty is something that moves you deep inside, something that inspires you, that mesmerizes you, aesthetically or aurally. It is what allows us to create art, the expression by the work of men of an ideal of beauty.

Andrew: What did you rediscover about yourself during COVID?
Gilles: I realized that I had been completely unable to relax and/or meditate until COVID came, I always felt guilty if not working, so COVID obliged me to take a step back and rethink and reevaluate my relationship to my work, my plans for the future and the importance to live in “the now.” I tend to want to overachieve professionally, probably by instinct and always cater to others than myself, a situation many entrepreneurs find themselves in, so to take time for myself and be able to focus on my inspirations and my creations was really a wonderful experience.

Gilles Clement Designs blends classic and contemporary in this Connecticut revival home.

Gilles Clement Designs blends classic and contemporary in this Connecticut revival home.

Andrew: Where will be the first place you will travel to after COVID-19?
Gilles: I will go to Paris, my city, the City of Lights, where every street tells a story, where the Seine river offers a view of the city that will leave you breathless, where the best restaurants in the world compete in creativity, innovation and panache, where the arts have been flourishing for centuries, where culture is a state of mind and love is a lifestyle.

Andrew: Who/what was your biggest supporter or motivator in these unsettling times?
Gilles: The arts were my biggest motivator…Music, cinema, plastic arts…the beauty and passion that transpire from experiencing the expression and creativity of artists that changed me and changed the world by their wit and talent has carried me through…since the very essence of our lives is ephemeral, each moment in which you experience deep feelings generated by great work of arts, stand as a privilege and a blessing…just play Nessum Dorma sang by Pavarotti or sit in front of the “Women of Amphissa” by Sir Alma-Tadema and you might understand what I mean.

blankAbout The Designer | Gilles Clement Designs is an upscale interior design firm headed by the visionary Paris-born designer and art dealer Gilles Clement. With design boutiques and a contemporary art gallery located in Greenwich and Westport, CT, the firm caters to a local, national and international clientele, offering a distinctively cosmopolitan, European urban chic, curated collection that transcends current creative innovations, and yet is rooted in timeless and iconic design elements. Reflecting the client personality through his own brand of opulent and edgy design, Clement creates living environments that are comfortable and elegant, as visually splendid as original, as functional as they are desirable. With a drop of whimsy, a spoon of sensation and always seductive, Gilles Clement Designs has garnered a reputation that promises to exceed expectations at every turn.

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