It’s in the cosmopolitan, bustling port city of Tangiers – the now hip Moroccan crossroads where Northern Africa meets Europe, the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean, and hedonism and history seem to intermix – that Bruno Frisoni comes and takes refuge from the intoxicating but all-consuming life he leads in Paris as artistic director of the luxury shoe and accessories French company Rogier Vivier – credited with the design of the first stiletto heel and renowned internationally since the 1950s for encasing the feet of a discerning clientèle ranging from Ava Gardner, Lee Radziwill to Catherine Deneuve and of course Queen Elizabeth II, a staunch customer since her Coronation in 1953.


 Published in both AD France and Vogue magazines (with text, in the latter, by
über stylish Hamish Bowles – see by yourself here) in the last few weeks,
A-Gent of Style drooled over the photographs of the ravishing abode Frisoni and his partner, the contemporary furniture designer Hervé Van Der Straeten, created for themselves in the wind-blown and charming Moroccan enclave, a typical melting pot between Moorish, Hispanic, Art Deco, French Riviera and of course Arabic influences. A new generation of globe-trotting, jet-setting artists, socialites and expats like Frisoni and Van Der Straeten (the trend-setting ‘A’ gays have flocked
en masse apparently – who else) have given this fabulously shabby port a new glamorous shine. Even the young king, the 45-year-old Mohammed VI, is an enthusiast, unlike his father – the late King Hassan II who ruled Morocco for
38 years – who was said to have despised Tangier.

Bruno Frisoni and Herve Van Der Straeten

Bruno Frisoni and Herve Van Der Straeten


After a few years of re-thinking and re-designing the look of their
“home away from home”but also collating intimate images from their personal experiences and mutual travels stretching from Aleppo in Syria,
Seville’s Casa de Pilatos to the Alhambra Palace of Granada and Damascus, the two designers built an architecturally and detail strong, 300 sq.m. jewel box that juxtaposes tradition and modernity. Whilst the uncluttered and streamlined feel of the first floor sitting room and master bedroom oozes the sophistication of the western world (and especially Parisian art and design galleries), the eclectic second floor comprising the study and fumoir boast intricate Mashrabiya fretted woodwork, elaborate plasterwork, sober Roman arches and monastic arcades reminiscent of the surrealist paintings of Giorgio de Chirico – all locally crafted – that happily cohabit with an injection of colourful and bright 1960s Pop Art-inspired paraphernalia.
With its chic white Carrara marble floors laid throughout the house, its either cloudless, sky-blue or white-washed walls and ceilings, Frisoni’s villa radiates an undeniable air of ethereal tranquillity and relaxed elegance. As for the third floor, an open-air patio enjoys gorgeous panoramic views of the city and the port, and enticing areas to relax in the shade and the cooling breeze.

With such inspirational, picture-perfect locale and the same amount of delightful whimsicality found in Frisoni’s interiors as his sculptured shoes,
A-Gent of Style has now no more excuses to decline a friend’s invitation to holiday in Tangiers this year. All for the sake of research, of course…

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103623
Bruno Frisoni in his study. Modernist Crittal windows (you can view here A-Gent of Style’s special feature on Crittals), a pair of bespoke banquettes built by a Moroccan craftsman A small, round, silver ‘Capsule’ coffee table by Hervé Van Der Straeten and a vintage Migeon et Migeon lamp on the right-hand side. Unfussy window treatment, curtains in a Dedar fabric.

Geometric, coffered ceiling. Turquoise fabric on the curtains this time in this shoot for Vogue. Vintage Modernist furniture.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103641
In the sitting room, on the left, a vintage silver coffee table, a 1970s lamp, a pair of wooden chairs and a pair of armchairs. Two ‘Capsule’ white lacquered metal round coffee tables and a ‘Virevolte’ alabaster and bronze ceiling light by Hervé Van Der Straeten.
Crittal French doors. Dedar fabric on the sofa.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 182329
A bespoke Art Deco-inspired, Carrara marble fireplace in keeping with the floor, with two vases and a ceramic bowl by Olivier Gagnère. A Thebes stool in the foreground.

For this Vogue shoot, the sofa was swapped by the two lattice-backed chairs and, in the right-hand corner, a bench upholstered in leather that looks like a vintage Eileen Gray.

Klismos chairs and an Ettore Sottsass-esque table from by Hervé Van Der Straeten.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103724
In ‘le petit salon’, a vintage club armchair, found in the Flea Market of Saint- Ouen, Paris, from Christian Sapet, upholstered in a shiny teal (!!) faux-leather. Moroccan tables sourced locally. Intricate fretwork and plasterwork.

Entrance to the kitchen: Moroccan keyhole arch and door, traditional elements of Islamic architecture. White Carrara on the kitchen worktop and splashback.

In the monastic-looking hallway, a console table, wall sconces and cubist lamp lantern, all by Hervé Van der Straeten. Selection of vintage ceramics.
Full length curtains enhance the dramatic ceiling height.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103734 - Copy
An old Chinese chair, Iznik vase,  jaguar head sculpture made of Mexican pearls and a Syrian lantern.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103703
In the Pop Art, primary-colour red and yellow smoking room, cushions
and a pebble-shaped ashtray by India Mahdavi, yellow fabric by Dedar on the customised banquettes, a pair of red coffee tables by Hervé Van der Straeten and a ceramic and metal ashtray by Roger Capron. Stools from Habitat.

A vibrant corner with a charming echoing of gold details.

A fresh-looking sitting room with a soothing palette abound with traditional Moroccan motifs.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103536
In the master bedroom, instead of a painting, an old Moroccan door found in Rabat presides over the bed. A black and white polka dots embroidered bedspread, possibly from François Gilles.
A white bedside table by Hervé Van der Straeten with a vintage 1970s lamp found in Saint-Ouen. Two white varnished Chinese stools by Asiatides.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103715
A-Gent of Style‘s favourite item in the villa: an ingenious and beautifully sculpted marble step paves the way to the traditional Syrian-inspired bathroom directly opposite the bed.

Sunken bath and striking black and white horizontal tiles in this spa-room.
Two turquoise and white Chinese ceramic stools (and a Goyard monogrammed washbag. Le Sigh).

A vibrant souk-like guest bedroom swathed in multifarious vintage fabrics, possibly from François Gilles, and shoe-patterned, embroidered bedspread, possibly Frisoni’s own sketches,
and a Chiavari chair.

Fullscreen capture 11012014 103734 - Copy - Copy
Two AA Butterfly armchairs and a red lacquered ‘Capsule’
by Hervé Van Der Straeten in the exotic but shady patio.

– Photos by Vogue (François Halard) & AD France –

One comment

  • My bags are packed – when are we going?! I am ready for some sun and color! Such a gorgeous, mouth-watering spread. I’ll be coming back again and again until that flight is booked. Cheers!

    January 27, 2014

Leave a comment


Email(will not be published)*


Your comment*

Submit Comment

© Copyright agentofstyle - Designed by Dentdelion