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A Rumination on Early Design Influence Fong Style

December 23 2011

Maybe it’s self indulgent but I sometimes wonder where the clean-lined design obsession began - pre the RO collection ? It’s fascinating to think about these things…or maybe it’s just me being overly contemplative and analytical... My immediate family was not particularly artisticly inclined or modern design-minded. My parents’ passion while I was growing up was travel, food/wine, different cultures …Of course I love those things too and they shaped me in a huge way as well. I suppose our life’s passions are a mix of different experiences that resonate with us - nature and nurture combined. This brings me to my long and rambling point about the nurture part of my childhood design influence. Just earlier this year via Facebook I re-connected with my long lost elementary school best friend Tracy Fong after 20 years of not speaking. The reunion brought back many amazing memories of spending time with her family at their house. You can see the picture of 1500 Lombardy Road in Pasadena posted here on my blog. This is the house that Tracy Fong’s father, architect and furniture designer/manufacturer Miller Fong, designed and had built for his family in 1977. Tracy and I met when we were 8 years old in elementary school in Pasadena. We were inseparable for many years – buying matching clothes, endless sleepovers, persuing all the same activities. I spent a lot of time with her family, truly loved being around them and became fascinated with the design-centric world they lived in. In old world Pasadena the Fong house was a true contrast. It was unique, stark, Asian-inspired and very minimalistic – as you can glean from the picture here. Like her father, Tracy Fong was very artistic as a child and this fascinated me too. In fact I was so enamored with her perfectly formed handwritten letters that I distinctly remember asking her to write the alphabet so that I could trace her letters and learn to write just like her. Another big memory: Mr. Fong showing me the blueprints to the new house yet to be built of his design– the floorplan of his two daughters’ rooms, the tile choices, etc… Today, not surprisingly Tracy is a successful activewear designer for snowboarding and currently paddle boarding….…I will never forget the amazing, exciting times I had with her family…The impact of their influence on me is substantial and it has taken 20 years to process. Funny thing about life…how it comes full circle and patterns are repeated and revisited. And its so very sweet, interesting and fitting that the launch of roztayger practically coincided with my finding my way back to reconnect with the lovely and talented Fong family.


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