Eleven members take the best seats in the House

Best Seat in the House | Soho House

We asked some of the most exciting figures in the world of movement to prove that Soho Home chairs aren’t just for sitting in

Wednesday 17 May 2023 By Chloe Lawrance Photography by Rick Guest Styling by Ayishat Akanbi Hair and makeup by Sally Kvalheim and Roxanne New Production by Daniel Delikatnyi

Our members – much like our Soho Home chairs – are some of the best in the business.

Crafted from the finest materials and built to stand the test of time (we’re talking about our chairs now), in the latest issue of the Soho House magazine, we put our footstools, diners and armchairs through their paces by pairing them with members who work in the world of movement.

From Royal Ballet principal ballerina, Francesca Hayward, to choreographer Ivan Michael Blackstock and fashion designer-turned-dancer Saul Nash, our chairs have never seen a more energetic set of derrieres.

Francesca Hayward with the Hayward Dining Chair  
Royal Ballet principal dancer, Francesca Hayward, has been dancing since she was just three, when her grandparents showed her a video of The Nutcracker and she became, in her own words, ‘Totally hooked. When I’m dancing, I forget all my problems and just tune in with myself. It’s emotionally cathartic.’ Hayward joined the Royal Ballet in 2010, dancing in shows such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker (a full-circle moment). You might also recognise her as Victoria in Tom Hooper’s 2019 film, Cats

 Shirt and shoes, Hayward’s own; Hayward Dining Chair, £495, Soho Home 

Best Seat in the House | Soho House
Best Seat in the House | Soho House
Best Seat in the House | Soho House

Ivan Michael Blackstock with the Garret Armchair
The multidisciplinary artist began his career choreographing and dancing for artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Neneh Cherry. In 2016, he founded CRXSS PLATFXRM, a unique arts incubator helping street culture artists to develop their practice, while also helping programmers and brands to discover talent. ‘I’ve always been open to sharing myself artistically,’ he says. ‘I’ve never felt I was just stuck on one thing.’ 

Jumper, £990, and trousers, £1,700, both Louis Vuitton; all other clothing, Blackstock’s own; Garret Armchair in Boucle, £1,695, Soho Home 

Ebinum Brothers with the Herly Armchair
Self-taught artistic communicators Victory (left) and Marvel Ebinum were born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where they pursued creative expression through making films. Though they describe growing up with very little – ‘We had no shoes… No money, no phones’ – the pair knew from the beginning that their purpose was to communicate through their art: ‘Movement for us is like a superpower. It’s the means we use for expression.’ Now based in London, the brothers have featured in campaigns for Vivienne Westwood and H&M, and performed onstage with Kendrick Lamar at Glastonbury. 

Victory (left) wears: red jacket, price on request, Casablanca; green trousers, £440, Ami. Marvel wears: green jacket, £820, Ami; red trousers, price on request, Casablanca; all jewellery, their own; Herly Armchair in Fleck Eco, Burnt Orange, £2,495, Soho Home 

Best Seat in the House | Soho House

Aicha McKenzie with the Rolland Armchair
At just 13, McKenzie was a British rhythmic gymnastics champion. By 17, she was a triple medallist at the Commonwealth Games. Then came a hugely successful career in dance. These days, she’s the CEO of AMCK Dance agency, where she nurtures boundary-pushing talent: ‘When I started as a dancer, there was no space for me. I made it my mission to open that door for generations to come.’ 

Dress, £445, and trousers, £395, both Joseph; shirt, £325, Studio Nicholson; boots, £120, Steve Madden; Rolland Armchair in Pierre Frey Bakou Noir, £2,495, Soho Home 

Sam Salter with the Romi Footstool 
Sam Salter arrived late to dance. In fact, he didn’t take it up as a hobby until he was nine – long after most of his contemporaries. ‘I have my mother to thank for where I am. It all started with her saying, ‘Just go for it, Sam,’” he says. ‘She made it seem so simple; like I had nothing to lose.’ His mother was right: since attending the Sylvia Young Theatre School as a teenager, Salter has earned credits in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and in West End productions including Wicked and On The Town. 

Jumpsuit, £570, Homme Plissé Issey Miyake; jewellery, Salter’s own; Romi Footstool in Velvet, Lichen, £550, Soho Home 

Hannah Frankson with the Karine Armchair 
For Peloton spin and tread instructor, Hannah Frankson, moving her body is ‘the most consistent thing’ in her life. ‘Through good times and bad, it has kept me mentally grounded,’ she explains. Before she won her spot at Peloton, Frankson was a personal trainer, modelled for major sports brands and trained as a competitive triple jumper. These days, she continues to do sportswear modelling and leads some of Peloton’s most popular spin classes. 

Coat, £2,150, Esaú Yori; top, £230, and trousers, £328, both A-Jane; boots, £750, Casablanca; Karine Armchair in Midtone Oak, Grey Blue Velvet, £995, Soho Home