Some brothers-in-law are lucky if they can tolerate each other at family parties and the holidays. But Scott Richler and Gabriel Kakon get along so well that they went into business together.
Richler, who has an architecture degree, and his wife Jennifer started the luxury fashion label Jennifer-Scott in 2000. Four years later, Richler had launched Jennifer Scott Décor, a trade-only furniture collection for clients in the U.S. and Canada. His partner in the venture was his brother-in-law Kakon, who has degrees in industrial design and architecture.
Now, the Canadian pair is focusing on their latest joint (and jointly-named) venture, Gabriel Scott. Launched in 2012, the line of contemporary lighting, tables, and seating is handmade in Canada and on display in their Manhattan showroom. Decor Aid caught up with the design duo to get the lowdown on their design process find out what inspires them.
What prompted you to start the business?
Our early years working in high-end residential architecture led to many commissions to design custom furniture for our clients. After much experience doing so, we decided to put together and launch our first collection of furniture and lighting fixtures in New York by 2012.
What’s it like working together?
Growing up together, we’ve been exposed to many of the same things and become sensitive to similar forms of design and architecture. Working together is just an extension of that great compatibility. Our working styles have become very much complementary.
What’s the best part about your job?
Exploring new design systems and the overall prototyping process usually gets us most excited. Our excellent design team gets involved and evokes an exciting and inspiring energy in our studio space. As we grow, we are gaining access to more tools and resources to explore and create more interesting products.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
As our business grows, we’ve seen many opportunities to participate in new markets, projects and interesting collaborations with other creative minds. The biggest challenge thus far has been in deciding on how and when to explore these opportunities. We almost want to do all of them at the same time, but that just isn’t realistic. We hope to carry this momentum throughout the coming years and launch all these interesting projects as they roll out.
What inspires you creatively?
We have many sources of inspiration. Jewelry design is definitely a predominant one, and translates quite literally in some of our pieces (PRONG series, HARLOW, etc.). Other sources of inspiration stem from mid-century architecture, geometry, fashion design, modern art, and most recently, tattoo design. So yeah, we get it from everywhere.
What are the differences between working in New York and Canada?
Growing up in Montreal, and working in the trade, we have developed some excellent resources and relationships in manufacturing. Today, all our products are designed and manufactured in our Montreal studio. But New York has been an excellent place for us to showcase our works and interact with our clientele. We actually launched Gabriel Scott in 2012 at the ICFF. Since then, we have opened the doors to our own flagship showroom, where our entire line and showroom-exclusive pieces are displayed in beautiful context at the iconic Brewster Carriage House.
Do you have a favorite piece?
Very hard question to answer. Each of our pieces have a story and character to them, hence the series names. We make a point to only release pieces we are very proud of and will fit our collection for years to come. New items to follow that fit these criteria!