I had a tantrum because I wasn’t wearing my red socks !
“In 1981 I was 8 years old. We were just about to leave our hotel room at the Ritz Plaza, New York having just finished travelling across the United States with my parents. I threw a tantrum because I was not wearing my red socks for our plane trip back to the Congo. In fact, my red socks matched perfectly with the ensign on the Swissair tailplane that we were due to take. The suitcases were locked and I refused categorically to leave the hotel like that. My father, who was normally calm, became very angry! He threw the cases in the air, the clothes scattered everywhere and he started to chase me with my brother’s squash racket. I won in the end and was able to wear my red socks for the journey. This item meant a great deal to me.
Since childhood, I have always been very careful, meticulous and focused. I still talk about it with my Dad. These socks speak of my love of aviation, it was a ceremony to take the plane. I considered the plane and even the concept of travelling as an important experience. I entered a plane as one would enter a temple. It was the aeroplane that gave me my calling as an architect. It is after all a flying house. It is the only moment when I am inspired, when time belongs to me. The longer the flight, the happier I am. When I was young I made a den with the covers to build my house in the sky. This anecdote speaks volumes about my perseverance. I know what I want and I won’t stop until I get it. Still today, it’s what keeps me going. It also expresses my taste for extravagance.
I still wear colourful socks. On a plane, I draw, I am inspired, I notice the details that define each airline. The nearly clinical sobriety of the Korean Airline cocktail bar, the refined elegance of Air France, it speaks volumes about each country. Even today, I look forward to getting on a plane. I am also sensitive to the sounds. I pay attention to all of these details when I design a hotel or building. I imagine the lines, the colours, the minute details, the warmth and sound of a place.”
Albert Angel, architect and designer
Born in the Congo, brought up in Belgium and South Africa. He started his career in new York where he lives today part time when he is not in Paris. Albert Angel has particular taste for travel and well being. It is what drives his imagination for hotels across the world and perhaps one day for an Airline.