Desmond Chan and Randy Simmen of COFO are giving young designers a chance to turn their ideas into Canadian-made home furnishings
Above: The 49N lounge chair and ottoman by Kenny Nguyen and Ian Buckley, The Cinch by Lucas Stanois, The Garcia by Mary Anne Garcia, and The Roque by Trish Roque.
Meet local design studio COFO. Short for Cofounders and helmed by Desmond Chan and Randy Simmen, COFO introduces Canadian-made home furnishings by emerging designers to the market. The goal is to champion homegrown talent and innovation, and introduce exceptional pieces – not mass-produced or expendable – to the competitive world of retail.
This is how it works: First, young designers answer COFO’s annual call for submissions by sending in their plans for original home furnishings. COFO evaluates these, picks their favourites and collaboratively fine tunes the designs through a series of revisions and prototypes. The final iterations are engineered and then fabricated from premium materials in a manufacturing facility just outside the city. The products are then sold online through COFO’s shop with a percentage of the profits turned over to the designer.
COFO launched last year, with one product introduction (the Roque chair, pictured above) and recently upped the ante by producing another six new products. Check out the full collection online or, even better, come see some of the pieces in person, at Designlines’ Interior Design Show booth (January 17-20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre). And for those of you keen on collaboration and itching to see your furniture design realized, enter COFO’s rising talent competition by February 28 at cofodesign.com.