When Ligne Roset debuted the now-iconic Togo sofa at the 1973 Salon des Arts Ménagers in Paris, it earned more than a few sideways looks – its crumpled, newborn appearance and Shar Pei wrinkles were revolutionary for the time: some referred to it as a tube of toothpaste folded back on itself.
Organisers at the fair thought otherwise, awarding the brand and its designer Michel Ducaroy an award recognising innovative and democratic furniture: Ducaroy’s design went on to become a cult piece of the 1970s. Emblematic of a new social order after the protest movements of 1968, the design capitalised on new materials, such as quality foam and polyester quilting. It suited the times – its floor-level seat spoke to a new sense of modernity: it was and is the perfect place to curl up.
The Togo was a turning point for Ligne Roset – the family-owned company, founded in 1860, turned to furniture production after World War II. In the 1960s, Ducaroy met third-generation Jean Roset and the pair set out to capitalise on new designs and manufacturing techniques, producing a string of ever-more novel creations. The Togo marked a new era for the Ligne Roset brand, and the opening of its first store.
Now, the piece is celebrating its 50th anniversary. While there have been some changes in foam technology, its construction and design have remained virtually unchanged. The Togo comes in a range of sizes and configurations, including a chair, two-seater, three-seater and modular set-ups, and it’s still entirely made by hand at the Ligne Roset factory in Briord, France.
To celebrate, Togo is being released in two limited-edition fabrics until the end of 2023. Atom is an experimental bouclé fabric designed by Raf Simons for Kvadrat. Featuring speckles of colours across its surface, only 878 copies will be released. La Toile du Peintre by Pierre Frey is a contemporary tapestry with a large graphic pattern that reinterprets a work by painter Heather Chontos.
Togo by Ligne Roset
299 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland