Cover Luke Fehon, Founder of Fuin Holdings (Photo: Courtesy of Fuin Holdings)

According to Luke Fehon, sustainability is not just a luxury, it's a necessity

Luke Fehon is never one to do things half-baked. The founder of luxury property developer, Fuin, left no stone unturned and no expense spared when it came Amoma Hiroo, Fuin's inaugural property in Tokyo, Japan

Described as a "residential sanctuary", Amoma Hiroo features modernist architecture met with authentic Japanese expression—a vision brought to life through Fuin's collaborations with renowned Tokyo-based interior design firm Wonderwall, led by the visionary Masamichi Katayama; French interior styling atelier Liaigre; and Japanese landscape-designer Sora Botanical Garden Project. The property boasts just seven two-story residences. 

"It’s a unique offering from a lifestyle perspective. It’s not just a brand that exists as a physical product, it’s an overall experience," says Fehon. Think flying into Tokyo via private plane courtesy of Vistajet, being chauffeured around Tokyo in a Rolls-Royce Phantom, and an around-the-clock world-class concierge to take care of all needs big or small. 

"Amoma appeals to people who run large businesses and lead high stress lives. They go to Japan to enjoy life, so our mission is to make sure they can do that from the moment they leave their home," says Fehon. "The staff anticipate all of their needs: The linens and flowers are fresh, their favourite food and drinks are in fridge. Their preferred restaurants and museums are booked. All with just one email or phone call." 

We spoke with Fehon to find out what luxury means to him, and how Japan stole his heart.

What, in your opinion, separates good design and great design?

I think longevity. There’s a lot of good design and talented designers, but very few take a step back from a brief and think, can I create something that will stand the test of time? Will it stand 100 years from now and still be appreciated?

What can people do to start building a home that’s long-lasting and authentic to them?

For a long time, many people looked at interior design or architecture as superfluous, a luxury. I think we need to move away from that. It’s more of a necessity than many of us care to admit.

When we pay attention, having that foundation has a huge impact on everything we do. I don’t think spending money on furniture or fabrics is a luxury – it should be a priority.

Right. And by that you mean investing in pieces that will last, rather than things we’ll have to buy over and over again…

Right. And that’s what sustainability is really about. People talk about sustainability, but with the way many are living in their homes now, that is often not the case.

Investing time, energy and money into the space you live in is something that gives it longevity. If it’s done well the first time, you don’t have to be keep doing it over and over –  it will last.

We should focus on moving away from mass consumption and investing in things that we want to keep forever, things we can hand down to future generations.

See also: Property in Japan: Where to Invest and Why Now is the Right Time to Buy

How did you come to collaborate with Wonderwall and Liaigre for this project?

The principal of Wonderwall is Katayama-san. He’s a cult figure in Japan when it comes to design. We had a personal relationship with him so when we started the Hiroo project, he was the first person we thought of. He has a real appreciation for European architecture and design, as well as Japanese aesthetic and craftsmanship.

Katayama-san is famous for retail design in Tokyo and around the world, so it was exciting to have him apply those concepts to our first residential project. 

Then we turned to Liaigre. Christian Liaigre has a long history in Asia. A lot of his designs are inspired by Japanese furniture design, so you have this amalgamation of cultures which speaks to our clientele.

Pairing Wonderwall and Liaigre together, which share a similar approach to design, means the outcome is something that hasn’t been seen before.

Tell us about your personal experience, and relationship, with Japan…

I travelled to Japan as a teenager. The first time you visit Japan, it feels like you’re on another planet. It’s sensory overload – it’s a really involved culture, and you can only scratch the surface. It’s somewhere you need to spend a lot of time in to fully appreciate. 

Even though I was in Tokyo every month, pre-Covid, I would continue to discover or realise something new about Japan or the Japanese people. The energy of Tokyo and those experiences is truly special.

How did these experiences influence your vision for Amoma? 

From a casual visitor, I went on to spend several months a year in japan… and the challenges [I faced] as a foreigner is very much how I’ve approached Amoma as a brand and experience.

I’ve experienced the frustrations of trying to find a home, pay utilities, buy a car…It’s one of the most challenging places in the world to do these everyday things. We’ve created a shortcut to building a life in a Japan.

Earlier this year you opened a showroom in Hong Kong. Can you tell us about that?

The Hong kong showroom is a way to communicate to our clients what we’re trying to do in Japan. There's only so much people can get from a rendering or a brochure.

Experiencing it in person is completely different. We don’t have to explain. We step through that space, and all the details and finishes are exact to what we’ve executed in Tokyo. It’s another world.

Amoma Hong Kong Showroom, Suites 1320 - 22 13/F Two Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. Private appointments only;  fuinholdings.com

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