Willo Perron Shows Mel Ottenberg His Giant Sausage Couch
The Montreal-born designer Willo Perron is responsible for some of the most iconic production designs in recent memory, from crafting the immersive experience of Rihanna’s over-the-top Savage x Fenty Vol. 3 runway to suspending an exact inflatable replica of Drake’s signature fluorescent Ferrari over the crowd on his Aubrey & The Three Migos tour. Whether he’s designing retail stores for American Apparel or art directing for Pornhub, Perron combines utilitarian modernism and hyper-classicism to create sexy, psychedelic spaces—and his foray into furniture design is no different. Partnering with the New York-based experimental design gallery and brand Matter, Perron presents No Coasters, a playfully unpretentious rejection of “precious” luxury interiors. No Coasters will feature 13 works by Perron’s studio including the Vanessa Chair, the Dino collection, and the near-instant classic Pillo Sofa set against a reproduction of the arid backdrop of the Southern California desert that Perron calls home. In preparation for the opening, the consummate creative director snuggled up with our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg for a chat about all things cozy.
OTTENBERG: Willo and I are just snuggling on a couch. Wait, This couch is way longer than 10 feet. I’m six feet tall.
PERRON: There’s not another four feet here.
PERRON: That’s it, 10 feet.
OTTENBERG: I think it’s really great. I also think I looked down on billionaire white furniture. Ivory. And this is very much not that. It’s adjacent to that, but way fresher. You imagine that Ivanka Trump’s couch is the same color as Kim Kardashian‘s couch and all the other billionaire people’s couches, and that’s what everyone wants now.
OTTENBERG: This is not that color.
PERRON: It’s not that color.
OTTENBERG: What color is it, wheat?
PERRON: It’s wheat. It’s greige.
OTTENBERG: I think it’s really gray. The guy that did Kanye’s house would like this color though.
PERRON: Axel Vervoordt.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The greige guy. But this is greige in a way that’s not going to wrinkle, which I think is good for the world we live in.
PERRON: Good for greige-ing.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. This is really good for greige-ing, I really, really like it. I thought it was going to be fluffier and it’s very hefty. I bet it weighs a ton.
PERRON: No, it’s okay.
OTTENBERG: It’s really comfortable.
PERRON: Me and Mel used to fly around together a lot for shows and we’d always sit in front of each other in private planes and Mel takes up the most space of anybody.
OTTENBERG: I am taking up way more space than you on the couch.
PERRON: I had to be like, “Mel!”
OTTENBERG: There are pictures of this too.
PERRON: Yeah, exactly. Just taking up way more real estate.
OTTENBERG: So your name is Willo and this is the Pillo Couch.
OTTENBERG: Just had to get that out there.
OTTENBERG: It’s the Pillo.
OTTENBERG: Does the Pillo only come in one size?
PERRON: Sort of. It’s all modular pieces. So you can just keep adding. This is actually three pieces.
OTTENBERG: Oh god. So two of them. I think two is cute. Two with the little loveseat. I really like this size.
PERRON: I have a twofer in my basement.
OTTENBERG: Did you get rid of the chocolate brown modular seventies couch?
PERRON: Oh, that one’s in my office, but I actually got an even better one this week for my office that’s totally insane.
OTTENBERG: You mean you just got a new vintage one?
PERRON: No, it’s like brand-ass new.
PERRON: It’s just this big piece of dipped foam. It’s crazy.
OTTENBERG: Oh, wow.
OTTENBERG: What is Vanessa [Johnson] sitting on?
PERRON: Vanessa is sitting on the Vanessa Lounge.
OTTENBERG: I’m so happy for you. It is very stylish, Vanessa. I think that this could work in my new home.
PERRON: That would be great.
OTTENBERG: This is a coffee table.
PERRON: It is a coffee table. These are all Dino pieces.
PERRON: Yeah. Or “Di-no”.
PERRON: Because it started with a “di-ning” table.
OTTENBERG: Oh, Willo, Pillo, and Dino. Right, right. I got it.
PERRON: And there’s also a gas station near my office called Dinosaur.
OTTENBERG: Wait, this is definitely my new coffee table.
OTTENBERG: Because you know how huge my coffee table is? It’s like, bigger. It’s twice the size of the Vanessa and I just need the space. I need the leg room. What is it made out of, the Dino?
PERRON: It’s called rock lath, which is a kind of rock and plaster. So all those bathrooms that you see, they’re all super thick and stuff. They’re made in the same way.
OTTENBERG: Okay. And then what about this Sausage? I think the Sausage is just very comfortable.
PERRON: It’s great. The Sausage, it’s not for formal conversation. It’s for—
OTTENBERG: Freewheeling conversation.
PERRON: Freeballing and maybe getting high and losing yourself in the Sausage.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. I can totally imagine getting lost in the Sausage. The color choice is so bold and so fresh. It’s the big shit.
PERRON: I was like, “There’s going to be so many poop emojis with photos of that there.”
OTTENBERG: Babe. Viva hate. I hope they all hate your couch. It’ll be great for business.
OTTENBERG: I love it. It’s really comfortable. Why is it so comfortable?
PERRON: I don’t really know. There’s a bunch of foamy stuff inside of it. We played around. Generally those things are made like bean bags and I wanted to make it more like a couch.
PERRON: So that it actually has a density of foam.
OTTENBERG: Yes, that’s what I meant by this too. I thought it was, you’re just going to fall into it like a pillow and it’s actually really structured well.
PERRON: Yeah. If not, you’d be stuck in the holes.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. Stuck in a hole. Does it zip? Oh, it clips together.
PERRON: Yeah. You can just keep adding. It’s perfectly modular.
OTTENBERG: Oh wow. Okay. Now we’re getting into Willo’s bed. This is very attractive.
PERRON: Yeah. It’s very comfy. The edges of the—
OTTENBERG: The edges are really soft and the color of caramel is sexy. So wait, does the bed have a name?
PERRON: We wound up calling it the FKA Bed because we were all sitting around, naming it different things. And then we just ran out of time and energy and ability.
OTTENBERG: I think FKA Bed is great.
PERRON: Formerly known as Bed.
OTTENBERG: Is it a queen?
PERRON: This one’s a queen.
PERRON: It comes in whatever size.
OTTENBERG: Okay. And then is this your first bed?
PERRON: No. We made a Pillo Bed that accompanies the Pillo Couch.
OTTENBERG: Have you made love in the FKA Bed, Willo?
PERRON: No, not yet.
OTTENBERG: You’re going to.
PERRON: This bed doesn’t fit in my house.
OTTENBERG: Oh, all right. Oh, well.
PERRON: I don’t have the space for the bed.
OTTENBERG: Wait, are you going to put a Sausage in your house?
PERRON: Probably at some point.
OTTENBERG: But where?
PERRON: Maybe in the basement.
OTTENBERG: Because the basement is just wall-to-wall carpeting and there’s one bedroom, right?
PERRON: Yeah, maybe a Sausage down there or maybe in the main living room.
OTTENBERG: I hope the gays really catch on with the Sausage and some rich gays buy this brown floor model. I don’t want this to just be a straight thing. I hope that this article for the gayest magazine in the world will get some gay furniture sold.
PERRON: Just leaning into it.
OTTENBERG: It’s very Egon von Fürstenberg. The Power Look at Home. The—
PERRON: The Sausage.
PERRON: I like the idea of the stuff that I’m working on now is all play stuff for adults.
OTTENBERG: Right? Like a jungle gym.
PERRON: Yeah. So the next couch I’m working on is called the Orgy Couch.
OTTENBERG: It’s an orgy couch.
PERRON: Yeah. It’s just making an adult play thing. So it’s the idea of having, being able to flop into this big playful sausage.
OTTENBERG: Let’s go sit on the Sausage. Oh my God. It’s so crazy. It’s sensuous.
PERRON: Yeah, it is.
OTTENBERG: Wait, this is nuts. People are going to really lose a lot of shit in this couch. But make a mess. Like life has a beautiful patina. It’s totally fine. Because this couch is sloppy.
PERRON: [Laughs] Sloppy.
OTTENBERG: This is really, really something. There is no wrong way to have her, right? Is it two pieces?
PERRON: No, it’s one long, 40 foot long thing.
OTTENBERG: Oh, my God. It’s unbelievable. I feel disappointed in myself that this is not my couch. This is the kind of thing I would be like, “Yes. Yeah. The answer is yes.”
PERRON: Oh, your phone!
OTTENBERG: All right. I feel like this interview is safely over. And Matter—when does it open?
PERRON: Thursday, the 22nd of September.