Founder of L’OBJET
The L’OBJET philosophy is firmly rooted in a great respect for time, honoring the creativity and masterful skills of the artisans that bring your collections to life. Precious metals, natural patterns, and sumptuous textures are central to the majority of L’OBJET’S exquisite work. There is no doubt that Elad’s background and success in luxury interior design has provided a solid foundation for L’OBJET. Interior design requires a discerning eye in order to create distinctive rooms, which provide a harmonious and inviting residence.
What was your journey from interior design to creating your own exquisite collection?
I started very young and without any training or education in industrial design. My background was in interior architecture and I wanted to expand beyond curating a space, to creating the actual pieces. It started with a small collection of plates and objects that were very colorful and played with extreme shapes. The journey from there was organic and I started designing for every type of product or category that interested me, one inspired the other.
Every designer has his or her own process of creating new work. What inspires you the most when creating your collections?
Traveling and discovering a new place is almost always a new point of inspiration for me. I take a lot of pictures and read about the history, finding a unique reference that sparks an idea. It can be a story, a spot or an object.
What is involved in bringing a L’OBJET collection from concept to the final product? How many people “touch” a design and bring it to market?
The process varies from one collection to another. Some take almost 2 years and some are faster. There is a lot of research put into a concept before we start developing actual product. The team is small, I don’t like too many cooks in the kitchen.
How have you translated the technical and creativity requirements of this discipline to luxury tableware and decor, and how has this design shift helped you grow as a designer and artisan?
Understanding a space is important when trying to design objects, I always imagine them living in a space and how they will function, feel and look. It’s like designing a suit or a dress without understanding how it will fit on the body.
Do you feel you have more freedom of expression and artistic flexibility by using natural and historical cues to inspire your collections?
I am inspired by historic references and I always try to bring a modern twist to something classic. I try not to restrict myself with materials when starting a new collection, it allows for a more creative process.
How has this slower pace of creation affected your view of the world? Do you see more designers (and consumers) seeking to live and create at a slower pace?
In a fast world of technology I wanted to work with the artisans and craftsmanship that no technology can recreate – the soul they bring to their work is the indescribable part of how a product feels when you hold it. There is a process that is slower when making things by hand, it’s the journey that makes an object that much more special.
Luxury interior decor, tableware, and accessories have long been used to express personality, status, and lifestyle. What does a L’OBJET piece or grouping “say” about its owner?
Just like the way you dress represents your personality, a well dressed table or a room is an expression of your style and creativity. My goal is to design objects that makes you dream and travel while they serve a great function.
Throughout your ten years with L’OBJET, what is one piece of advice you would like to share with emerging designers seeking to enter the luxury market? And what would you like to accomplish with L’OBJET within the next five years?
The world doesn’t need more product, the world needs better products. If you want to start a brand or design something, be your own worst critic and make sure you are happy with the function and beauty of the design. It’s our mantra at L’OBJET as we keep building the lifestyle elements of the brand.
What are your thoughts on sustainable design and its inclusion in the luxury market? With the increasing embrace of ethical and sustainably produced products, do you see L’OBJET producing an eco-luxury collection in the future?
We only have one planet and we are all obliged to take good care of it. It’s more challenging to create luxury from recycled materials, but not impossible. There are few elements and recycled materials we use now in our production process – I hope more opportunities will present themselves in the future.
Speaking of collections, tell us about, Salon L’Objet, your new partnership with Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester in London for a private dining room showcasing your new Sous Le Ciel collection.
Mr. Ducasse is one of the most celebrated chefs in the world and known for his elegant and playful taste when it comes to presentation. It was fun working on Salon L’Objet with Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. We curated a few options for the clients to choose from, you get to pick the plates and style in which you will be experiencing the food. It’s the ultimate dining experience.
Looking through your collection photography, there is an ever-present theme of museum-like curating in the styling of your products. Was this on purpose, as a nod to the meticulous, old-world techniques used to create your collections? Have you considered collaborating on a museum collection with a museum like The Metropolitan Museum of Art?
Our photography is curated to tell the story of each collection beyond just showing the product. A good image requires no words. I never thought about it, but I love Museums and maybe there is an influence there on the way we present our objects.
How do you spend your time outside of L’OBJET? What are some of your favourite ways to relax and recharge?
Yoga is a big part of my life, I practice daily. Relaxed day at the beach is my favorite.
Of all the places you have traveled in your life, what destination has become your most unforgettable memory and why?
Sailing the Aegean sea with friends. I lost sense of time, yet felt so connected to the sea and islands.
If there were only one L’OBJET piece you could leave as your legacy, which piece would you choose, and why?
Probably the Aegean collection – it was my first time working with porcelain and I had a very clear vision of what I was looking for. A classic element representing the sea. Everyone I tried to work with rejected even trying to develop the pieces and said it’s impossible to sculpt porcelain the way I want it. Nothing is impossible.
Interviewed by Aamaal Abdul-Malik
L’OBJET is the vision of Elad Yifrach. Quality is his mantra, and all the firm’s offerings are his own original designs. A lifelong traveler and devotee of the Mediterranean, Elad is enamored of its peoples and ways, and especially its venerable traditions of craft. His designs, on the one hand, represent a spirited homage to these great artisans and their achievements. But he also aspires to extend and exceed them, as his work makes clear, through painstaking effort and imagination, to the very pinnacle of excellence.