International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the various social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women around the world. This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange – an idea that encourages everyone to help form a more inclusive and gender equal world. Though the design industry is still dominated by men, female designers are having a massive impact with their fantastic designer furniture pieces. The Longest Stay, which is proud to have a female CEO and a team which is largely female, want to highlight some of our key female designers today.

The World Economic Forum announced their prediction that the gender gap, which focuses on the disparities between women and men across the four main areas of health, education, economy and politics, will not close entirely until 2186. This is unbelievably 169 years away, and though we have already come a long way in decreasing the gap between men and women, there is clearly still a lot of work to be done.

The design world is no different, however there are more female designers than ever before. We have earlier female design pioneers, such as Florence Knoll, Anna Castelli Ferrieri and Greta Grossman, to thank for that. Another key figure was Charlotte Perriand, who after applying for a job at a well-known design studio in 1927 was famously rejected with the comment ‘We don’t embroider cushions here.’ She went on to prove the man that rejected her wrong after renovating her apartment showcasing her design skills – she was then offered a key design role at the company, and later went on to create her own studio. These women, to name just a few, led the way for female designers of recent times to leave their mark on furniture design.

Patricia Urquiola is a Spanish architect and designer who has famously worked with big brand names such as Moroso, Cassina, Kartell, Louis Vuitton, Missori and Dior. Born in 1961 in Oviedo, Spain, Urquiola went on to study architecture in Madrid, then graduating from the Milan Politecnico in 1989. Her designs concentrate on craft and elegant style. Urquiola’s bold creations, such as her vibrant luxury chairs, are placed in several different museums around the world, including a permanent collection at the MOMA in New York.

Nani Marquina followed in her family’s tradition of working in design to create Nanimarquina, which was established in 1987. Her aim with her company is to design unique and surprising handcrafted rugs for people to enjoy in their homes. Their creations blend both contemporary and traditional inspirations to make stunning rugs. Nanimarquina hosts a range of excellent designers, including Sybilla, who designed the striking Nanimarquina Melange Colour 2 Rug, pictured above. Other female designers under the Nanimarquia brand include Nao Tamura, Ariadna Miquel, Nipa Doshi (with design partner Jonathan Levien) and Rossana Hu (of Neri & Hu).

Bivain is a contemporary home décor and accessories brand founded by designers Megha Lohia and Rachel Fong in 2016. Having worked at famous brands like Agent Provocateur and Zac Posen, Lohia and Fong came together, merging their creative experiences to produce products that ooze contemporary style. Their aim is to create a lifestyle brand that draws inspiration from sensory experiences of wanderlust. Their eclectic range of cushions are beautiful, and ideal for livening up any interior. Their nude cushion collection, pictured above, allows for a tasteful appreciation the natural female body, making them ideal for celebrating International Women’s Day!

Mambo Unlimited Ideas’ excellent designers Claudia Melo and Ana Ladeiro, along with their design team, create stunning products using traditional techniques perfected by Portuguese craftspeople. The two key designers have a wealth of experience creating outstanding products for their brand, cement their main objective of producing creative and top quality products such as the pieces pictured above. Their designer lighting pieces, such as the Jules collection, are especially stunning and perfect for introducing a modern but elegant aesthetic into your room.

We are proud to have an array of gorgeous products created by extraordinary female designers on our website – take a look for more perfect pieces for your home.