Hot fifty – Sheridan Coakley

Sheridan Coakley has long been a champion of great design. Through his SCP stores he has promoted and commissioned largely British or UK-trained furniture and accessories designers, creating a number of modern classics in the process.

Furniture design ‘names’ such as Matthew Hilton, Terence Woodgate and Jasper Morrison are among the stars Coakley spotted in the 1990s and the partnerships have continued. Entrepreneur Thorsten van Elten also started out with SCP (see page 22).

With Hilton, Woodgate and Nazanin Kamali, the partnership was reinforced in 2006, when each took a 5 per cent stake in Case, a joint venture between Coakley and former Aero boss Paul Newman which aimed to take top quality furniture into the middle market.

All the designers in the SCP stable, which now includes Scottish textile designer Donna Wilson, work for other furniture companies, and last year Hilton set up his own marque for a domestic furniture line. But there is a strong loyalty to Coakley, nonetheless.

Coakley’s influence on design goes beyond his own business and the shops in Shoreditch and west London. He has been involved with the Royal College of Art and the Design Guild Mark contest set up by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers ‘to reward excellence in the design of furniture in volume production’.

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