Gabriel Scott

With backgrounds in architecture, industrial design, and fashion design, Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler, have brought a rich collection of skill, creativity and style to the furniture world since their start in 2004. It is since then that the Canadian duo has exclusively designed and manufactured for the to-the-trade market, both in Canada and the U.S. Today.

How much of an influence does fashion have on the pieces you create? Fashion plays a huge role in how I see the world and how I interpret trends. I studied at Parsons and have been influenced by fashion my entire life. I love to follow designers from the past and present and use the clothing they create as inspirations in the furniture I create.

Was Anna Wintour your first fashion client? Yes Anna Wintour was one of my first big fashion clients in the late '90s. Its such an honor to have her be a fan of my work.

Who else from the fashion community purchases from you? Helmut Lang, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Tory Burch are some of our clients.

Your pieces have been compared to works of art, and well tailored clothing .. what are some of your favorite designers and artists? 
Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Commes de Garcons, Jill Sander, George Condo, Gustav Klimt, Jeff Koons, Henry Moore, Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg, and Christopher Wool.

Your pieces have been compared to works of art, and well tailored clothing .. what are some of your favorite designers and artists? 
Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela, Commes de Garcons, Jill Sander, George Condo, Gustav Klimt, Jeff Koons, Henry Moore, Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg, and Christopher Wool.
 
How did the Twentieth showroom in LA come to carry your Riemann chair? 
The collaboration came about because I wanted to have a presence in Los Angeles and the Twentieth gallery just seemed like the right fit.Twentieth in my opinion is the best showroom in Los Angeles and I am grateful to be represented by a showroom that truly appreciates and understands my work. 
 
What other galleries do you plan on expanding to? 
We are looking to expand into other galleries in other cities such as Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco but it's very important to find the right fit.

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Thank you Angeleno Modern Luxury and Maile Pingel for the design spotlight on the Riemann Chair. “For Lawrence, who is widely respected for spotting some of the most important and influential designers now working in the field, the latest design from New York-based designer Craig Van Den Brulle was too great a showstopper not to feature.”

The Extraordinary Liana Yaroslavsky By Golriz Moeini

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A rare woman is very difficult to describe-therefore I prefer to do an interview of Liana Yaroslavsky.

I met Liana several years ago in Paris and now she is planning to come and work in the U.S, designing furniture and decorating homes. Liana is an incredible and undeniably elegant woman. She has a tall physique, beautiful face, generous smile, and intelligent eyes. Her sense of style is considered "high fashion", yet she has an understated sophistication and grace that I feel comes with her colorful background. She usually wears her hair short and sleeked back. She wears haute couture and ready to wear collections right of the runway. She walks into a party like a noble aristocrat. She is on the guest lists at the most premiere fashion and social circles. She is a global woman of fine taste and character. She is a mother, an incredible artist and an interior decorator.

Liana's coffee tables are thought-provoking. Her designs are so original that the person with the most esteemed tastes would want to have her artful furniture in their homes. Each piece is more like a gallery art piece. Her life would actually make for an incredible Hollywood script. She is anything but ordinary. She is unforgettable and distingué.

What is your design and school background, do you think it helped your creativity or was that innate?
I went to Parsons School of Design in NY, graduated as a graphic designer and worked in that field for 13 years. Parsons was an amazing experience. NY at the end of the '80s was inspiring but I came with my "baggage" from Communist Russia and then Israeli army. Different cultures intertwined helps to have a different perspective. Later I changed to interior decoration and furniture design. It just came naturally and I have been designing for the last 25 years...

How did you grow into being an avant garde designer?
I just don't like anything ordinary- I want to push the boundaries and create things that are surprising with an historical reference.

I've been following Russian designers over the past few years, and they are ferociously taking over the art and fashion industries, Russians have an amazing sense of style and skill in design, why do you think that is?
Rich history and repression, is a great base for art and creativity to blossom.

Do you meet your new clients in social atmospheres or do they find you after having seen your work at galleries?
Mostly I design for clients that have seen or read about my work. I don't like to talk about my work at dinner parties, I much prefer to hear about others since I know all about myself already...

How do you think Paris style differs from LA? in NY there's a distinct aesthetic in furniture fashion- how do they differ in terms of the weather and culture in terms of designing?
LA is less formal, it is more about the outdoors and a relaxed atmosphere. Paris is focused more on history and formality. NY is more about the grunge.

Your coffee tables are magnificent, how was that unique design concept born? 
The concept was born from designing a coffee table for myself. I couldn't find one so I designed it, after seeing the result and quite amazing reviews, I was inspired to design a collection The inspiration of the collection came from different fields; history, movies, music and found objects. I gave liberty to my imagination without thinking about the technical aspects. I derived from the idea- that there is always a way how to construct and make them- the idea came first, then the technical struggle, after. Some of the pieces I sketched first, then found a way to make them. Those are the limited edition series. For the one off pieces, I acquired objects from different times in history, deconstructed, reconstructed and associated them to other objects. It's like making an installation or conducting an orchestra. The result was surprising... an old object associated with a new way of presenting it radiated a unique energy and a new story.

Do you have any favorites among your designs?
I don't have favorites. All my creations are unique to me, each came from a different inspiration. You know, between the sketch, the concept, the technical struggle then when eventually the piece is born into real life. It is surprising and very emotional process, the result is not always what I expected, but I always found it to be better in real than on paper. It's like having a baby-you fall in love with it when it comes into the world. I cannot have favorites. Even though there is a margin of error and imperfection since everything is done by hand, I think it adds to the charm. 

Your status as a sought after designer became a lot more evident after which recent showing? why do you think?
I think it is a combination of various publications, shows and awards but mostly it is a style that is unique. The show in Pratt Gallery in NY was very important but also the one in the Meurice hotel in Paris, where they actually kept my creations for a whole year since they felt it melted into their environment perfectly. 

Why are you drawn to LA? and where is your favorite places to go? On that same note, where would you compare it to (or not) in your favorite places of Paris?
LA is a happy and sunny place, people work hard but they don't seem so stressed as in NY or upset as in Paris. My favorite place in LA is the Beverly Hills Hotel. I find it to be a perfection; the pink, the banana leaves, the hollywood glamour and the martinis. I cannot compare it to Paris and it is a good thing since it's unique. My favorite restaurant in Paris is Caviar Kaspia with its Russian food and French atmosphere facing the Madelaine church. 

What is in store here in the future for you here in terms of commissioned work? 
I am represented in LA by Twentieth Gallery which I think is the perfect place for me and it helps that I love their selection of designers and artists. It is quite an amazing place! 

What do you look for in a man? 
Oh it's simple, I want him to be intelligent, generous, affectionate, successful, confident, funny, tall and know which wine to choose. 

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
Unfortunately I cannot mention any yet but there are quite few in perspective with central, monumental pieces and interior decoration. I will have to spend a lot of time in the U.S. for that and produce them locally, it is very exciting, new and challenging working with new vendors away from my comfort zone.

You have such presence when you walk into a party! Are you are aware of that, did it help that you were a model?
I was a model ages ago but I do not think it has anything to do with the way I walk into a party and no, I am not aware of my presence, maybe that's the key - not trying too hard. 

You're great friends with several fashion designers that I admire...how do they differ from interior designers?
They don't but they are more under pressure since they have to produce at least 2 collections per year. 

What is your beauty regimen?
Chardonnay.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate. 

Where is your favorite place to travel for relaxation? inspiration? for fun? 
Maldives for relaxation, Venice for inspiration and NY for fun. 

I know so many people in LA that want you to design for them, how do you plan to work with them when you go back to Paris?

I don't plan to go to Paris, at least not for long. I have so many work opportunities here that this is the new place to be. LA become quite a center for art and design and it is still growing. I would like to be in a place that is developing. When there is a space art fills it up and LA is one. Seriously, I do have quite few upcoming projects in the U.S., I do feel that I can bring a new and fresh perspective and this is not saying that there are no great designers here because there are plenty.

What is your perfect morning? evening?
Sunny morning with coffee and Huffington Post and evenings spent with friends around a great meal that I didn't cook. 

If you moved to LA, where would be the ideal location you'd like to live?
I really like West Hollywood. It has the privacy, nature and social life at the same time. Coming from Paris, I need something that resembles a center. 

Could you describe to me your character in five words?
Spontaneous, creative-insecure (comes as a package), funny (my kids don't think so), passionate and curious. 

What is important to you in a friendship? relationship?
Loyalty, laughs, open mind and love. Not very original.


Pedro Ramírez Vázquez: Eight Reasons the Midcentury Icon Deserves Your Attention

The late Modernist architect—the Frank Gehry of Mexico—makes a good cocktail-party mention this week, especially now that his furniture’s back on the scene

By IAN VOLNER

HE WAS A ONE-MAN midcentury design powerhouse in Mexico, an architect whose contributions—especially his stewardship of the 1968 Olympics—made him one of the country’s true talents. Pedro Ramírez Vázquez (1919-2013) combined a knack for buildings that have the formal daring and pop appeal of, say, Frank Gehry with the political clout and urban impact of New York master-planner Robert Moses. Here’s what else you need to know.

His biggest fan: Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius first met Mr. Ramírez Vázquez in 1952 in Mexico City and was smitten. “Young man,” said Mr. Gropius, “you’re going to soar.”

His most famous building: The National Museum of Anthropology—a concrete megalith built in 1964 that nodded to Mexico City’s monumental Aztec temples—was hailed by American architect Philip Johnson as “the best museum in the world.”

His life’s work, in 20 words or less: To give Mexico a reputation as a leading-edge architectural destination, combining elements of his country’s past with forward-looking European Modernism.

His gold medal: As president of the organizing committee for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, he left an indelible mark on the city, and, thanks to graphic designer Lance Wyman, gave the games its coolest logo.

His lowest moment: Also the 1968 Olympics. Ten days before the opening ceremony, dozens (and possibly hundreds) of student protesters were killed by soldiers of the Mexican government, Mr. Ramírez Vázquez’s biggest, most important client. In the minds of many, he was guilty by association.

His weakness: Sugar. “He always stole everyone’s dessert,” recalled his son, Javier. “But he was a wonderful grandfather.”

Why now: This week, newly launched Mexican furniture brand Luteca reissued his Equipal Chair, one of the best examples of his cultural synthesis—with its pre-Columbian-meets-Bauhausian vibe.

Next up: “Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980,” organized by curator Barry Bergdoll at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, opens March 29 and will include several of Mr. Ramírez Vázquez’s architectural works.

Three years ago Swedish-Mexican designer Alexander Andersson happened upon a cache of cedar benches in La Lagunilla, Mexico City’s sprawling weekend flea market.

“They were so spectacular, I knew someone great had designed them,” Andersson says.

He went with his gut and bought all 12, hiring a truck to haul the massive pieces to his garage. The epiphany didn’t come until a year later during a visit to the city’s renowned anthropology museum. The exact same seats were installed in the main hall of the building’s iconic interior: “Of course,” Andersson realized. “Pedro Ramírez Vázquez.”

The famous Mexican modernist architect (1919–2013), who worked mostly in concrete, was behind a handful of Mexico City monuments: the Museum of Modern Art, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the National Anthropology Museum.

There’s no telling how the pieces Andersson bought were separated from the original set, which was made on commission specifically for the museum. Andersson immediately phoned the aged architect, then in his 90s, and asked whether he would authenticate the pieces, which he hoped to sell in art galleries. In a serendipitous moment, Vázquez invited him over to his studio space in the Jardines del Pedregal.

“He signed my certificates, and he gave me a tour of the house—and all of a sudden I saw this piece in one corner, that piece in another corner, and I thought, Everything is amazing. So I asked him, ‘Who has the license for your furniture?’”

Vázquez’s response: “License?”

And so a collection was born. Andersson took on the production rights to Vázquez’s designs that, until then, had been created only as prototypes or in limited editions for projects. Striking tables in polished stainless steel and brass are each made from single pieces of metal, cut and folded. A regal Equipal chair in leather and stainless steel is a modern riff on the emblematic wood-and-leather chair from Mexican history.

“It used to be the chair of emperors,” Andersson explains. “They say Montezuma had one.”

The reeditions of Vázquez’s furnishings join a collection of Andersson’s own designs to form Luteca, the brand that launched this week at New York’s Hotel Americano (not coincidentally designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten) in Chelsea.

While Luteca's headquarters is in New York City, the real magic happens in the Mexico City design studio and workshop, where every item of furniture is made with traditional processes. Rather than welding, metal pieces are held together by tiny screws. Old-school joinery techniques are used on wood furnishings. To polish a single chair can take a whole week.

“The idea is to create contemporary products and preserve Mexican handcraft,” Andersson says, a calling both he and Vázquez have shared.

Pieces from the Luteca collection will be available starting next week at Twentieth, 7470 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, twentieth.net. Call Luteca for more information, 646-510-5244; luteca.com.

Luteca Spotlight Twentieth

The time has come for the Moooi founders Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers to repurchase the remaining stake from B&B Italia, making them now fully owners of Moooi. Wanders and Vissers have been running Moooi since its launch in 2001; Wanders acting as art director and Vissers as company CEO. Ever since, they have collaborated intensively together. Moooi and B&B Italia have been partners since 2006, when B&B Italia S.P.A. acquired a 50% stake in Moooi B.V. To everyone’s satisfaction the synergy between B&B Italia and Moooi, under the full management of Vissers and Wanders, worked out very well. During this fruitful and meaningful eight-year collaboration, Moooi grew from 6 million euro revenue in 2006 to 23 million euro revenue in 2014. Giorgio Busnelli (Chairman of B&B Italia), Paola Centemero (CFO of B&B Italia) and all B&B Italia team members had a key role in Moooi's growth. Moooi’s steady growing business gained huge attention in the international design field, becoming a recognized luxury furniture and lighting brand that conquered an important position in the design industry (exporting now to 69 countries) with huge potential for further expansion and acceleration. A growing milestone has been achieved despite a challenging design market over the past two years. The coming years will represent strong continuous growth for Moooi. In addition to having conquered the European market, the USA market has also grown significantly. In May 2015 Moooi will open its first Showroom & Brand Store in New York, to which will follow a London Brand Store the beginning of 2017. All the above steps once again reaffirm Wanders and Vissers strong belief in the company’s value and immense potential.

A sculptural expression of movement and wit, Palindrome chandelier is a malleable fixture that can fulfill any spatial and aesthetic need. Its looping form, driven by a sequence of shaped steel arms and cast glass heads, can be read forward or backward (much like a palindromic number or word) and if desired, folds into itself with ease. This kinetic chandelier's sand-blasted lamps diffuse LED light in a soft, yet powerful manner and can be rotated to further enhance atmosphere. Custom powder coatings available.

Available here: RBW Palindrome at Twentieth

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