Canadian brothers-in-law Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler are the creators of beautifully chic-contemporary lighting, table- and seating-furniture. Starting their careers in architecture and venturing out into the fashion and jewellery design world, the fraternal duo eventually joined forces to pursue their true passion. In 2004 they began designing furniture exclusively for the to-the-trade market. It is since 2012 that they are known as GABRIEL SCOTT, designing beautifully hand-crafted suspended light-fixtures and signature black-steel and brass tables as well as structural seating furniture for the retail and commercial market.
Their jewellery-inspired lighting collections HARLOW, WELLES and KELLY remind us of crystal pendants, studded earrings and sparkling necklaces – making us wish those pieces would also be available to wear. DEAN, MARX and PRONG – their table and seating collections – stand strong in geometric perfection, holding Italian marble or clear, smoked-grey or bronzed glass table tops and charcoal or heather-grey herringbone cushions.
Gabriel and Scott’s passion and devotion to detail is clearly mirrored in their work, crafting each piece impeccably. Using unique techniques of blackening the steel and incorporating brass touches, gives their sculptural designs a timeless and artisanal yet luxurious feel.
I had the privilege to interview Gabriel about their designs, their inspiration and the future of GABRIEL SCOTT.
How does your design process begin? Who has the ideas?
Our studio consists of a great team of industrial designers and engineers. Scott and I lead the team in new designs and concepts. We then meet with our brilliant team to execute, engineer and prototype.
Your pieces are all hand-made. How long does it take to create one piece from the idea to the finished product?
Our items go through various phases of production. We receive our steel in an unfinished manner, we then have it cut, machined, and then sent to finishing for our trademark brass, copper and nickel finishes. We deal with several local shops to source some of the machining-work and finishing-work. The finished parts are then gathered in our studio for a complete hand-assembly and testing. With our current demand our lead times are now at 12-14 weeks for most lighting fixtures – and 8-10 weeks for furniture items, if they are not already in stock.
It is apparent that most of your lighting pieces are inspired by jewelry. Where else do you look for inspiration?
Scotts background in fashion and mainly jewelry design is an important source of the jewelry-like aesthetic. The fine line between chic and edgy, or feminine and masculine is often the point of reference.
You’ve named your lighting collections HARLOW, WELLES and KELLY – are these references to the film stars Jean Harlow, Orson Welles and Grace Kelly? If so, what do they mean to you?
All our pieces have a story to it – a sort of distinct character to our collection. So giving them names that refer to glamourous icons has just become a natural habit to give them that very identity.
What about the names DEAN and MARX. Any references here?
Yes, DEAN and MARX are references to James Dean and the Marx Brothers.
Can you tell me a bit more about your production house in Montreal? How big is your team? Is that where you spend most of your time?
Scott and I split our time between the Montreal Studio and The NYC showroom. Its a short flight (45 min) so the back and forth is quite easy. The studio team is a great bunch, consisting of young professionals from the world of industrial design and engineering. We occupy a 6,000 sq ft studio and truly work in a collaborative manner to produce each piece as well as all new and custom pieces.
Where do you ship to the most? What was the furthest or most unusual place you shipped to?
Today we do business mainly with the US and UK markets. But we do ship worldwide and have shipped everywhere from Dubai to Bangkok, to Cannes and Kuwait.
Do you have any of your own pieces in your homes?
Absolutely! We must live with the pieces we create in order to achieve the full experience of their design.
At your New York showroom I saw the HARLOW lights in purple, green and white – is that a new seasonal design? Will you be incorporating more colours in the future?
Yes these are our new finishes to the HARLOW series. In keeping with the jewelry reference, the emerald-green and amethyst-purple blown glass were a natural fit for these pieces. We are now exploring new colors for the WELLES series that will be sure to make a strong statement as well.
With a studio in Montreal and a showroom in New York – what is next for GABRIEL SCOTT?
Good question…. We are always keeping busy and constantly adding new and ambitious projects to our list (such as new product, new markets, complimentary collaborations etc..). We work hard to achieve these goals as we now start to expand outside the American market. Just recently, we’ve teamed up with interior designer Fiona Barratt to be amongst the short list of lighting brands represented at her new FBC showroom in central London.
All GABRIEL SCOTT products are handmade at their Montreal studio and stocked to ship from their Upstate New York warehouse. Their showroom is located on 372 Broome Street in the historical Brewster Carriage House in downtown Manhattan, New York.
All images courtesy of GABRIEL SCOTT.