Sir Terence Conran is a name that has become synonymous with furniture design around the world. Born in 1931, Conran enrolled at the Central School of Art and Design, London in 1948 however departed in 1951 at the age of 19 to work for architect Dennis Lennon. In 1952 Conran set himself up as an independent designer opening Conran & Company from a basement in Notting Hill.
Driven by the notion of establishing a shop that would sell modern designs to the general public he founded home furnishing chain Habitat with the first opening in Chelsea in 1964. The success of Habitat further fuelled Conran’s retail ambitions and in 1973 the first branch of The Conran Shop opened on the site of the original Habitat store in Chelsea.
In 1990 he set up Conran Holdings from an apartment in Shad Thames, London and had a major role in the regeneration of the area close to Tower Bridge, which was managed through the Conran Foundation: a charitable fund set up in 1980. In addition to his success in the retail sector Conran has achieved notable triumphs in other pursuits. He has written over 30 informative books that broadly reflect his design philosophy, selling over 20 million copies of his publications worldwide.
Over the past 50 years the name Conran has become linked with restaurants. Initially opening up The Soup Kitchen in 1952 Conran has subsequently opened more than 30 restaurants in central London, Paris, Copenhagen, New York and Tokyo.