T4 Makes ’90s Candy-Coated Nostalgia Feel Futuristic

Holloway Li x Uma - T4 Collection chairs in a line horiz

Holloway Li x Uma T4 Chairs. Photo by Uğur Oluş Beklemez


October 19, 2022

Lava lamps, inflatable chairs, Blockbusters—the ambience of the ’90s is instantly recognizable. British design firm Holloway Li drew upon the decade’s optimism, calling upon Cool Britannia and television chat show sofas to inspire its debut furniture collection in collaboration with molded furniture producer Uma, called T4. “Each of our projects is quite cinematic in its view and we like to envisage whole worlds and narratives for every space we create,” Alex Holloway says. For T4, that world was a familiar one: the bright nostalgia of the ’90s.

Holloway Li is no stranger to designing furniture, as founders Alex Holloway and Na Li often create bespoke furnishings for their hospitality, retail, and high-end residential projects. But the T4 is the first collection available outside of their tailor-made projects—which the studio says was an exciting new challenge.

“The T4 began life at our hotel project in London, Bermonds Locke, but the shape and design stayed with us and evolved into a collection in four vibrant shades,” Na says. Bermonds Locke, completed in 2020, also happens to be another installment of the design team’s ongoing collaboration with Uma and its founder, Steph Gallia.

Holloway Li x Uma chairs alternating

“The idea was to finely balance a retro aesthetic with a futuristic palette to create a potential future classic,” Alex says. Holloway Li x Uma T4 Chairs. Photo by Uğur Oluş Beklemez

“Material innovation is super important to us and working with Steph and her team at Uma has helped us push the boundaries and make the kind of complicated geometries and curvature that our designs demanded,” Alex says. In T4, a playful curved edge is executed in fiberglass, carefully finished by hand in Uma’s factory and upholstered in locally sourced fabrics.

“The curvature of the modular pieces has echoes of some of the furniture which dominated at the turn of the millennium, while the vibrancy of the chair recalls the most iconic of chat room and television sofas which dominated our screens at the time,” Na says. The low seats pay homage to the TV iconography of the ’90s with retro aesthetics finished in a futuristic palette, hoping that the collection becomes an icon in its own right.

The modular furniture debuted this year at the London Design Festival, looking like candy in bright and warm colorways: Melon Yellow, Blush Pink, Overground Orange, and Cream Soda. In 2023, the collection is set to grow. “We have some big plans in the works,” Alex says. “We’re excited to develop our collection further to create new furniture pieces, all of which will retain the spirit of the original T4 design. We’ve already started experimenting and can’t wait to reveal more in the not too distant future.”

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Holloway Li x Uma T4 Chair. Photo by Uğur Oluş Beklemez