GABRIEL SCOTT // WORKAHOLIC


Bespoke luxury furniture and lighting studio Gabriel Scott is the vision of Canadian designer duo and brothers-in-law Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler. With backgrounds in architecture, industrial design, and jewelry-making, their distinct luxe creations with a masculine-meets-feminine appeal are the equivalent of ornate, modern jewelry for the home. Everything is handmade in their Montréal studio and available from the flagship showroom (the former Brewster Carriage House) in Manhattan’s NoLIta neighborhood.
 
Following the rousing success of their 2018 Salone del Mobile Bar Basso collaboration (the first time in history that the legendary Milanese watering hole changed up its interiors), icon owner Maurizio Stocchetto fell in love with their installation so much that the fixtures inside now boast permanent status at the iconic institution. Bar Basso is the spot for in the know locals and fashion powerhouses. (Gucci‘s Allesandro Michele holds many a party here!)

While we are new to Gabriel Scott’s designs and fixtures, it was of no surprise to learn that their work has been embraced globally by high-profile clientele like Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier, the Four Seasons, Kylie Jenner, Le Jardin Sucré, Mount Street Mayfair, Sarah Jessica Parker, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and more. With this kind of innovative talent attracting this kind of clientele, it’s no wonder we had to find out what makes Gabriel and Scott Workaholics.

Who are you and what do you do?

GS: I am the cofounder and principal of Gabriel Scott. I design as well as run and operate Gabriel Scott both in Montreal and New York. I work the front-end of our business with our showroom team and clients. My strength is really exposure and marketing—presentations. 

SR: I am one of the founding partners of Gabriel Scott. I do a little bit of everything. I am quite heavily responsible for design and product development. I work the back-end with our designers and production team as we cover product development and material sourcing through the lifespan of production. 

 

Where is your workspace?

GS: My workspace is mainly in Montreal with about 30 individuals in our studio who work on research and development, production, logistics, front-end and sales. But my workspace is also in NY at our showroom and with our showroom team. As the face of our business, it is where we meet our clients and hold industry events. I may be in Montreal more than NY but NY is just as important to me as a workspace. 

SR: My workspace is right next to Gab’s- right in the middle of our studio. I move around a lot so I don’t really sit at my desk. It is a big mess. I like to leave it that way and go find other surfaces to work on. 

What made you turn to this direction?

GS: My background and degrees are in industrial design and architecture. I went to work for a firm in Montreal and loved it but it felt it was limiting from a clientele reach. With design, doing custom furniture there is more potential in growing a business. Being able to fulfill our creative needs but also extend beyond our local market and into the international markets was a huge reason we turned in this direction—expandability. It is the best of both worlds. That is where Scott and I found our common incentive and agreed to begin this venture together. 

SR: I was interested in making things and I got a little bit impatient with architecture because it is very much a process of making and designing with a long lead out. It is like a long relationship. I jumped into jewelry/small goods and developed a line of handbags for the Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman end of the market.  In 2012, I decide to replicate what had previously happened in fashion and jewelry into furniture. Since fashion is small, more sellable and exportable, I started to thinking about lighting and furniture as pieces that could be made in the same way and travel out of my immediate environment. Instead of these big heavy bespoke creations, I had to rethink how to design things and that was the beginning of Gabriel Scott. 

 

Was this always your dream job?

GS: It is hard to say if this is exactly my dream job but I am definitely in my dream scenario. I never thought in the first 5 years of business that we would be working alongside the brands I grew up knowing, the architects I read about, or get published in the places we have. We participate in the international arena and travel around the world for it. It is Limitless and to be able to create and grow business in the way it has been growing–that is my Dream Scenario. 

SR: I think that I would be happy making a lot of things. I wouldn’t be unhappy if I was still making handbags. Although, it is much more satisfying to deal with this product because it has longevity. The relationship that you build with both your client base and how you think about your client in general as well as how you think about your product in the world is much more satisfying. I think it is like perfect fit because it marries two things for me—the satisfaction of producing something in a foreseeable amount of time and the lasting lifespan of producing a product that can extend beyond generations. 

How much of the week is work, how much is play?

GS: I love spending my time at work, but I love coming home to my wife and children. Starting a business you are in it day in and day out—falling asleep at your desk or computer in bed. I don’t do that anymore. I found a healthy way to balance it out with my kids. I am splitting my time up between work and home in a way that I look forward to. 

SR: 80% of my week is work currently. These days it is really hard because the company is growing so there is much more at play in regards to organizing the work environment and business. The last 12 months have been more about that. This job does give me ability to travel and that is very important aspect of my creative life. I could literally be in Paris in stores or restaurants and the environmental change and observation of something different makes it feel like play. 

 

What has been the most exciting thing you have done with your work, and what is a dream situation you’d like to find yourself in?

GS & SR: The most exciting thing is seeing what we have accomplished in such a short amount of time. Working with architects we have studied, having our lighting purchased by brands like Cartier, and seeing the actual commercialization of our line feels like an accomplishment. As for the future, we would like to continue in the same vein and have our New York Showroom model fly to more cities that we do more business in. Out west, California, London, everywhere. 

How do you find your inspiration?  

GS: Inspiration comes in many forms and it usually comes from Scott as he is more the dreamer of the two of us. Geometry and Jewelry is always a HUGE source of inspiration to us and we try to keep it that way. I think it is kind of our identity and people expect that from us. On a practical level, the client demand is a huge source of inspiration and that is ultimately what I will bring in. What are people looking for? What is the market in need of? What is practical? What have we not seen yet? 

SR: My inspiration comes from external sources and it usually is more of a material detail. I am a big fan of any sort of sculptural representation and the materiality of them. I will find a small detail of something that will serve as inspiration. It can be something as silly as an elevator button!

I always design myself out of a corner, start from the inside as I see things from the smallest part of it and I build out from there. 

How do you define your personal style, work and clothing, etc.?       

GS: I dress in Navy Blue all day, every day. Good crew necks and cardigans with nice fitted pants, all variations of those things and everything must go to the tailor before coming home. Oh, and good sneakers! 

SR: I keep it simple- not a lot wardrobe items in the arsenal to dress myself up. 

It’s about a good pair of running shoes that I found somewhere, jeans and t-shirt. I don’t have enough versions to dress it up. I would rather buy espresso cups and cutlery. Jeans and nice t-shirt, I am that guy. 

What’s something someone may not know about you?

GS: I use to be on Broadway. I was in Les Misérable on Broadway for a year when I was 9 years old. I was a child actor for 5 years from ages 9-14. 

SR: I’m quite an avid athlete. I am big obsessive compulsive cycler. There is a lot of design and fabrication in cycling. 

What makes your studio special?

GS & SR: We don’t partition our studio. There is an openness in the way things work around here, both in the creative aspect and the entire business. There is a designer not sitting very far away from the operations coordinator, to us. It creates a vibrant feeling that we feel is in large part due to our team. Our team dynamic, our mutual respect, and our collective effort to make things move can be felt the second you walk into the studio. 

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