Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Born and raised up in Central Africa, architect Frédéric Legendre says he didn't have a comfortable childhood — never mind a luxurious one.
"We had a very simple life. I lived with my parents, and to occupy my free time, I developed some creativity, building some sculptures, tracing and designing and creating," he says. "We were in a very small city, and I did not have the access to a lot of very nice things. I played with what I had around, and I started to create like this."
But today, Legendre is one of world's most in-demand architects for luxury retail spaces, with 25 years of experience under his belt and a portfolio that spans almost all continents. An interior designer for the luxury brand Harry Winston for many years, he got his start in China, working on luxurious restaurants and offices in Shanghai and Beijing for a French company, and systematically worked his way around the world, with projects everywhere from Switzerland to the Philippines to the Middle East. He maintains a studio in Geneva, Switzerland (where he also lives) and another one in Moscow, Russia, due to a long-standing stint with one of the country's major department stores.