We chat to the man behind L’Objet, Elad Yifrach and talk the inspiration behind the brand and the luxury homeware.
You were an interior designer before launching L’Objet in 2004. What led you to create your own décor and lifestyle collection?
I have always been a traveler at heart and wanted to create something as an expression of my love for other countries and cultures. Whilst working in Beverly Hills as an interior designer, I realised a gap in the market for luxury tabletop products. I have always felt passionately that home decor should not only be beautiful but be exquisitely crafted; I set out to achieve just that. Now I am able to travel the world in search of its most skilled artisans and use their talents to bring my vision to life. I actually still work with many of the families of craftspeople whom I met in 2004 when the company began.
What have been the high points and low points so far of L’Objet? Have there been any unexpected challenges that you have had to overcome?
There have been many highlights for me, one of which was opening a standalone store in the Hamptons. I have also been incredibly blessed to be able to work with some of the people that inspire me most; the Fortuny brothers on Alchimie de Venise and Yann Vasnier on my first home fragrance collection – Parfums de Voyage. I have been very fortunate so far to not have faced any low points.
L’Objet includes a huge variety of beautiful products for the home. How would you describe the collection, and what you do?
My collections are so diverse that it’s hard to describe them as one. With all my work I try to create pieces that people want to touch and treasure. I hope that my designs enhance people’s everyday experiences, rituals and inspire them in some small way.
Where does your inspiration for the collection come from?
Anywhere and everywhere! I usually find it when I least expect it… exploring foreign cultures and people, in architecture, at antique and flea markets, in museums, in old books, and often in music and art.
Do you design with practicality or beauty in mind?
I always think about both. Your home should be beautiful but also functional. As the great designer William Morris once said ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’.
How would you describe your creative process?
It usually begins with a point of reference I find when traveling. I find something that moves me and do my research on it. I try to imagine it done differently or adapted to the way we live today and add a twist to the expected.
Which other designers do you admire and why?
Dries Van Notten for the way he uses colour and shape. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, for his simplicity, which is of course anything but simple. Zaha Hadid’s style and vision astounds me. And I adore the late David Collins for his flawlessly attentive designs.
What advice would you give to StyleNest readers who are thinking about a career in design?
Dream a lot; show your passion and travel to expand your mind. It will make your creative process that much more interesting and unique.
What is a typical day like for you at L’Objet?
No day is ever the same for me which keeps life interesting! I normally start the day with a session of Kundalini yoga in my flat in NYC, then I could be meeting with suppliers, designing in the studio, meeting my PR team or travelling and searching for inspiration.
You must have a house full of wonderfully designed objects and beautiful furniture, but what is your most treasured possession?
A Roger Larsy painting from 1958 which was the very first piece of art I purchased. I was still a student and I spent all the money I had at the time to buy it.
What is your biggest extravagance in life?
Traveling and discovering the world.
Where is your favourite travel destination and what would you suggest StyleNest readers do and see there?
The Mediterranean. I grew up there so it is a part of me. I love the contrasts. The incomparable blue of the water, the often rugged landscapes, the dramatic history and culture, as well as the spirit and grace of the diverse peoples who live around it.
Whether its Greece or the South of France, there’s a distinct taste to the food and the pace of life that is very appealing to me, it reminds me to slow down and enjoy life.
I would always suggest when traveling to speak with the locals and get recommendations from them on where to eat and undiscovered spots to visit. It always works!
How do you like to spend your spare time? Any hobbies or secret talents that we don’t know about other than designing?
You may not know that I am a fully qualified Kundalini yoga instructor. I practice it daily and find it helps to give me a clear mind which cultivates creative ideas I also enjoy watching movies and spending time by the water.
If you hadn’t chosen a career in design, what would your alternative career have been?
I would own and teach at a yoga and wellness centre.
L’Objet have just launched a range of incredibly scented candles which StyleNest love! After this launch, what can we expect to see next from the brand?
I’m always working on something new! During 2016 I will be adding to the Parfums de Voyage collection, taking new trips and finding more inspiration for stories and scents that will help the collection to grow. I will be adding a new scent in early 2016. Currently I’m in the midst of developing an apothecary range of products which will include bath and body care. This will add a totally new dimension to L’Objet and its product offerings, I am particularly excited about the creation of these.
Running L’Objet must keep you busy, but when you have some time to yourself how do you like to spend your perfect weekend?
Yoga, the beach, some time in nature, relaxed evenings with good friends and homemade food.
And finally, what is your life motto?
Do it with passion or don’t do it at all.