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An interview with Armand Mouraud, third generation at Ralph M.

'We have all the skills needed to become a major player in top-of-the-range furnishings'

For more than 30 years the French furniture brand Ralph M. has used its expertise to create customisable furniture pieces reflecting the latest trends. We interviewed the third generation within the company, Purchasing and Production Manager Armand Mouraud. Armand sheds light on the brand's commitment to quality craftsmanship and its vision for the future. From the significance of the "Made in France" label to the brand's success at Maison&Objet, we uncover Ralph M.'s dedication to contemporary, yet comfortable design and its aspirations for continued growth in the luxury furnishings market.

Left: Armand Mouraud at the Ralph M. workshop. Right: the JABBA collection.

Can you share the inspiration behind the creation of Ralph M. and how the brand has evolved over the past 30 years?
'Basically, Ralph M. is the trade name of Anjou Sièges Création. When my grandfather and father bought the company about 20 years ago. Five years ago, my father, Ralph, decided to launch the Ralph M. range, building on our foundations, but offering more innovative and contemporary products. And I think that today, our success is due to these contemporary products we offer, which never neglect the comfort aspect that can be found in our timeless products.'

Could you elaborate on the significance of the "Made in France" label for Ralph M.? And how does this influence your design?
'For us, the Made In France label is essential. All our production is carried out in our workshops in Anjou by a team of 11 people, including upholsterers, seamstresses, varnishers and preparers. All our raw materials are sourced locally, mainly in the Pays de la Loire region. When it comes to carcasses with exposed woodwork, we work with a specialist based in the Vosges whose expertise has been recognised for several generations.

This close relationship with all the people involved gives us real flexibility and speed in the design of our products. When it comes to creating new products, we talk very quickly. And by sourcing 100% Made In France, we ensure the best quality for our products because we manage every link in the chain.

It's a real pleasure to work with passionate people who take great care in making each and every piece that leaves our workshops. Without them, nothing would be possible. When you choose Ralph M. you're rewarding the work of small hands, not machines!'

The NOVA collection, developed with Michael Hervé Violette.

Can you discuss the process of personalisation at Ralph M. and how customers are involved in creating furniture that suits their individual preferences and needs?
'When it comes to customisation at Ralph M., we have no real limits. Our customers can choose to work with our standard designs or come up with an original design. That's when one of the company's key players comes into play, Charles, our workshop manager, with whom nothing is impossible. I'd even go so far as to say that we're capable of implementing any idea within a very acceptable timescale!'

What are the market conditions like at the moment in France? And what markets is the company active in?
'At the moment, we're very happy, because the company has been growing for several years now, and that's set to continue in 2024, despite reports of a drop in business in the shops. I think the "top of the range" market is still less affected by current conditions.

We work exclusively on a B-to-B basis, either through our partner boutiques (more than 150 active accounts) or by prescription for fittings under the supervision of an architect.'

Left: the SAWA model. Right: the LOUNGE.

You recently presented your products at Maison&Objet. What did you think of the fair?
'For us, the show was a huge success. I know that wasn't the case for everyone, but we've been able to really develop our sales network in France, as well as in points of sale abroad where we still have too little presence.'

What products did you show and how were they received?
'For 2024, we presented two collections developed by two designers: the ANIMAL collection inspired by Rebecca Felcey, and the NOVA collection developed with Michael Hervé Violette. But also three of our own creations: the JABBA collection, the re-edition of our bestseller from 15 years ago, the LOUNGE, and our number 1 seller to date, the SAWA model.

All our products have been a great success! Our most loyal partners put their trust in them by setting them up directly in shops, and they enabled us to gain a foothold in boutiques with which we had long wanted to work.

We will be coming back to Maison&Objet next year and are already preparing new products for the edition in January 2025.'

The ANIMAL Collection, inspired by Rebecca Felcey.

Looking ahead, what are Ralph M.'s goals and aspirations for the future?
'Our aim is to do everything we can to stay on course. And by offering products that increasingly reflect our identity. We like to say that at Ralph M. there's no need to sit down, we already know it's comfortable.

Secondly, I think we have a real card to play on the export side, where we are still too little known. So we're going to do everything we can to conquer these new markets. This is just the beginning for the Ralph M. brand, we have all the skills needed to become a major player in top-of-the-range furnishings.'

More information:
Ralph M.
Route de Brissarthe
49330 Miré, France
02 41 96 18 50
[email protected]