The Great Seducer

Emmanuel de Bayser is building an Instagram following of those drawn to his beautiful world of furniture, design objects, and arts, often placed in one of his three different homes. Rose & Born meets the fashion and furniture entrepreneur – and accidental influencer – in his Gstaad chalet.

Text by Marcus Dunberg

There’s no snow in Gstaad. On a recent February day, the slopes in the exclusive Swiss ski village are green, and on the promenade, shoppers can peruse the fashion boutiques without any risk of freezing. But the poor skiing conditions don’t bother Emmanuel de Bayser, who’s at home in his chalet doing what he’s always doing: working. “There are no days off; I work seven days a week,” he says. You could find a worse place to work: his apartment has expansive views and is decorated with 20th century design pieces by names such as Jean Prouvé, Pierre Jeanneret, Paavo Tynell, and Flemming Lassen,

The Square Berlin

At this time of year, work means preparing to go to buying appointments in Milan and Paris for The Square, his Berlin concept store that, since it opened 20 years ago, has become a retail icon in the German capital. “When we first opened in 2004, The Square had that industrial, brutalist look which felt new back then,” recalls de Bayser, “but as both me and the store have matured, it’s transformed into something softer and more comfortable – like a home where you can buy all kinds of beautiful things, from clothes and home accessories to books and furniture.” De Bayser loves fashion and is good at buying and selling it to others, but is more classic when it comes to his own style choices. “Personally, I prefer good quality, toned-down pieces that go together: good shirts, soft cashmere sweaters, and the occasional casual blazer,” he says. “It’s a grown-up, timeless way of dressing.”

Born and raised in Paris, de Bayser started his career with Ernst & Young, then L’Oreal – a role that took him around the world. “You really learn a lot at those big companies, but after 12 years, I’d had enough of corporate life,” he reflects, choosing instead to focus on his true passion: furniture and design. Having started a personal collection in his 20s, one thing soon led to another: “I started buying and selling, and soon people were asking me to create and decorate homes for them.”

— Brown suede overshirt hanging on a metropole no. 305 chair by Prouvé

Suede Overshirt Jacket Brown

Brown suede overshirt hanging on a metropole no. 305 chair by Prouvé

"People write to me from all over the world"

If you’re interested in art, furniture and design, chances are you’ve come across Emmanuel’s Instagram account, where he seduces followers with… well, beauty. Besides his projects, there are images from his homes in Gstaad, Berlin and his native Paris. “I spend about a third of the year in each place,” he explains. Though different in character, each home is exquisitely created and furnished, all the way through to the art on the walls. “The whole Instagram thing started late for me, only two years ago or so,” he says. “I didn’t want to have my own account, but more and more publications were taking pictures of my apartments, so I thought, why not share them myself, according to my own taste and preferences?” So how does he like being an influencer? “That word has some negative connotations, but what I love about it is that there’s a real international community that’s passionate about the same things,” he notes. “People write to me from all over the world; people I would never have met if it wasn’t for social media.”

"I wanted something with a strong presence of nature"

De Bayser’s apartment in Gstaad is up on the mountain, overlooking both nature and the village. “Summer here is different to winters, obviously, but it’s equally breathtaking, and I wanted something with a strong presence of nature, regardless of the season,” he says, explaining what attracted him to the space. “Also, the scenery is soft, including the architecture: there are no high rises or apartment blocks like at other resorts – only traditional chalets.”

"You meet old friends, and always make some new ones"

Though he is always busy, de Bayser always finds time for recreation and fun. “I ski when there’s snow, and I take long walks with the dog,” he says. “Everything, both slopes and trails, is right at my doorstep.” For the occasional night out, he goes to the bar at the legendary Palace Hotel. “It’s a unique place; very international. You meet old friends, and always make some new ones – of all ages, and from all over the world.”

How would his friends describe him? “Always busy, but not in a hectic way,” guesses de Bayser. “I deal with things quietly, multi-tasking – in today’s world you have to. But the most important thing in life is to try. To keep a fresh eye and be curious.”

Emmanuel de Bayser’s 5 Gstaad Favorites


  • Arnensee: “This is where I go swimming in summer. A lake with clear, clean waters surrounded by mountains and forest: total tranquility and paradise.”


  • 16 Art-Bar-Restaurant: “In Saanen, the neighbouring village to Gstaad, this is exactly what you want from a mountain restaurant: unpretentious, great authentic food, and a very nice owner.


  • Librairie des Alpages Sàrl: “I’m a big reader and always on the lookout for something new and interesting. Great book shops are normally found in cities, but this one is here on the mountain, in the next door village of Saanen.”


  • The Eagle Club: “This is a private club, so make sure to go with a member. Once you’re in, you can enjoy some of the best views and peoplewatching – not just in Gstaad, but in the world.”


  • Ciné-Theater Gstaad: “I usually have no time to go to the movies, but I love this old-fashioned movie theater which has a good choice of new releases and art movies.”

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