Cliff Fong and Kay have been friends since they both worked as buyers at Maxfield. Now a phenomenal interior designer and owner of Matt Blacke Inc, Cliff has helped create countless numbers of incredible interiors for both commercial and private environments, including HATCh Los Angeles’ new space. We had the wonderful opportunity to chat with him…
We hear you’ve lived in many countries around the world. Can you share a little about your diverse upbringing?
I was born in NY and lived in quite a few places around the US until the age of 14. At that time my father was living in Germany, where I would spend most of my summers throughout my later teens. From there I would take extended stays in France and Italy. Later I spent time living and working in Barcelona, Paris, and Mumbai.
Is there one particular place that was/is most influential to you from a creative standpoint? If so, why?
Because I had an education in art history, my time in France and Italy was particularly meaningful. It put much of my education into a historical, cultural and creative context. I found myself inspired by the various artistic movements of those countries and the consistent evidence of their effect on contemporary design.
What sparked your interest in interior design and what encouraged you to pursue your career in LA?
During my time working in fashion I started collecting significant 20th century design while visiting European capitals. I would often bring furniture and lighting back as souvenirs. This would later become an obsession fostering an education in the decorative arts and and an interest in creative, curated environments. One day a good friend asked for some help redefining the aesthetic of their home and my career grew organically from there.
Please can you explain how you got involved with design of HATCh Showroom, Los Angeles?
I knew Kay Sides while working in fashion as we were both buyers for Maxfield. It always seems natural and exciting to help friends with their environments.
Where did you draw inspiration from when designing the space and What makes it so unique?
I am always interested in creating something new and original for each of my clients based on their interests and personality. Much of what is created for Hatch is a reflection of Kay’s exceptional character and her appreciation for design and fashion. Sometimes people just need assistance in interpreting their personal interests and thus we find a way to manifest an aesthetic together.
What project are you most proud of and why?
I’m never good a playing favorites. I always develop some emotional attachment to each project for different reasons. In general, however, I am most proud if I have created something unique and special and I’ve improved the way a client lives or works in their space.
Any exciting ventures coming that you can share?
I’m very excited to launch a home furnishings and bedding line called Ville Noire with my former design partner, Sandy Dalal.