Since its creation in the early 1970s, the TOGO has become an icon of French design. Since then, it has been the undisputed bestseller in the Ligne Roset collection. Its distinctive design could have sunk into oblivion or the eccentricity of the time, but unlike other models, it has lost none of its modernity and is back with a vengeance 50 years on, appealing to young people today as much as it did then.
From the 1960s onwards, new materials such as foam, wadding, fibreglass and thermoformed plastics opened up a host of experimental possibilities in the design of furniture and other objects. A godsend for the innovative mind of Michel Ducaroy, a graduate of the sculpture department of the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon.
Together with Jean Roset, he designed revolutionary models for the launch of the Ligne Roset brand. Presented in Paris in 1973 at the Salon des arts ménagers, the Togo stood out for its allure, its folds and its unique comfort. Its seat, made entirely of foam, without any structure or hard parts, gently embraces and wraps around the curves of the body.
However, the doubting and amused faces of the public did not prevent Michel Ducaroy from being awarded the René-Gabriel prize at the end of the show. Asked about his source of inspiration, the designer compared the seat "to a metal toothpaste tube, folded in on itself like a stovepipe and closed at both ends".
Later, and through advertising, Togo would cultivate the art of laziness, nonchalance and supreme well-being.
As one of our favourite designer sofas, we started buying Togo pieces from individuals who wanted to part with them. The aim was to resell them - not in their original condition - but restored, cleaned and ready to delight a new owner. The project proved to be a success, and was extremely well received for reasons of sustainability and recycling, so we made 'restored and re-carpeted' Togo a mainstay and the flagship product of our collection.
In a world where everything is consumed and thrown away without restraint, we want to show that it is also possible to do things differently. There are very few period objects in perfect condition. Most have damaged or faded parts. As enthusiasts, we assess the condition and restoration possibilities of each purchase. A design object can be restored, but altering its appearance or function would automatically result in the complete loss of its value and authenticity.
The Togo items we sell are ALL, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, from original pieces manufactured by Ligne Roset between 1975 and 2005. We restore the essentials: certain parts of the foam, in particular the seat layer, in order to guarantee the identical comfort of each element, as well as the cover that encases the Togo. The original fabrics underneath the pieces are dry-cleaned and re-sewn to the new cover, as are the original labels bearing the Ligne Roset logo.