David Chaloner 1944-2010: always inspiring

David Chaloner had such an impact on people. As his creative partner and friend, I feel as if I have lost my arms, legs, eyesight and hearing.

David opened different dimensions to the world around me. And those dimensions were intriguing, inspiring, endearing, always humane, fun and exciting.
He had an eye for seemingly unassuming aspects everybody else overlooked, which turned out to be the heart of the lotus. His eloquence was unsurpassed. He gave value to everything we undertook, and to me – and no doubt to many others – on a personal level, too.

I met him in March 2005 after Elle Wonen, the Dutch Elle, asked me to write an article on Conran & Partners. Sir Terence Conran’s office informed me that they would send David Chaloner [then retail design director].

Some days later my phone rang. I was in the middle of a photo shoot at Mario’s, an Italian restaurant near Amsterdam (I am also a stylist).

’Hi, I am David Chaloner,’ he said, ’and I know where you are. I know that place and I envy you so.’

Imagine hearing his beautiful deep voice, and words from a man I had never met, but who sounded as familiar as a very old friend. I laughed because of the intonation of his words.

These few words, the way he talked, capture David as I knew him: the hugely talented and creative, fun-loving, deeply humane and sensitive man who never ceased to impress me with his other talent of touching people within 0.000023 seconds with his genuine interest and kindness.

I never managed to write that article, by the way. On several consecutive appointments he missed flights, took a wrong train, got stuck at Manchester Airport in a dense fog… And two months later he left Conran & Partners.

Joyce Huisman, Chaloner Huisman Studio, AmsterdamI

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