Some brothers-in-law are lucky when they can tolerate each other at family gatherings and during the holidays. But Scott Richler and Gabriel Kakon get on so well that they do business together.
The architecture student Richler and his wife Jennifer founded the luxury fashion label Jennifer-Scott in 2000. Four years later, Richler launched Jennifer Scott Décor, a furniture-only collection for customers in the USA and Canada. His partner in the company was his brother-in-law Kakon, who has a degree in industrial design and architecture.
Now the Canadian couple is focused on their latest joint venture (and common name), Gabriel Scott. Launched in 2012, the line of contemporary lighting, tables and seating is handcrafted in Canada and displayed in their Manhattan showroom. Decor Aid met with the design duo to find out what inspires them.
What made you decide to start the company?
Our early years in high-end residential architecture resulted in many commissions to design custom furniture for our clients. After many years of experience, we have decided to put together our first collection of furniture and lighting fixtures in New York by 2012 and bring it to the market.
What is it like to work together?
When we grew up together, we were exposed to many of the same things and became sensitive to similar forms of design and architecture. The collaboration is just an extension of this great compatibility. Our working styles complement each other very much.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Researching new design systems and the entire prototyping process is usually what excites us most. Our excellent design team is committed and evokes an exciting and inspiring energy in our studio. As we grow, we gain access to more tools and resources to research and develop more interesting products.
What’s the hardest 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 so far has been deciding how and when to use these opportunities. We want to do almost all of them at the same time, but that’s just not realistic. We hope to continue this dynamic in the years to come and start all of these interesting projects as they roll out.
What inspires you creatively?
We have many sources of inspiration. Jewelry design is definitely the predominant one and is literally translated in some of our pieces (PRONG series, HARLOW, etc.). Other sources of inspiration include architecture, geometry, fashion design, modern art and, most recently, mid-century tattoo design. So yeah, we get it from everywhere.
What are the differences between working in New York and Canada?
We grew up in Montreal and worked in commerce. We have built some excellent resources and relationships in manufacturing. Today all of our products are designed and manufactured in our Montreal studio. But New York was an excellent place for us to showcase our work and interact with our customers. We introduced Gabriel Scott at the ICFF in 2012. Since then we have opened the doors to our own flagship showroom, where our entire line and exclusive showroom pieces are displayed in a beautiful context at the legendary Brewster Carriage House.
Do you have a favorite piece?
Very difficult question to answer. Each of our pieces has a story and a character, hence the series names. It is important to us to only release pieces that we are very proud of and that will fit into our collection in the years to come. New articles that meet these criteria!
Gabriel Scott’s New York showroom
Harlow dried flower chandelier
Dean rectangular coffee table
Welles long chandelier
Gabriel Kakon and Scott Richler