Andersen Collection chair by Stellar Works
Gongolo chair by Stellar Works
Kyoto lamp, designed by OeO for Stellar Works
Litha rug, designed by OeO for Stellar Works
Ming chair designed by Neri & Hu for Stellar Works
High-back lounge chair designed by Shuwa Tei for Stellar Works’ Open Privacy collection
QT chair designed by Nic Graham for Stellar Works
Milan Preview | Thomas Lykke
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Creative Director, Stellar Works
Launched in Shanghai in September 2011, Stellar Works is truly a multinational enterprise. The brand’s owners are French, Chinese, and Japanese, and its broad palette of designers includes Carlo Forcolini, Shuwa Tei, Space Copenhagen, and even the late Danish legends Børge Mogensen and Vilhelm Wohlert. Since its buzzed-about European premiere at the Salone just last year, creative director Thomas Lykke says Stellar Works has more than doubled its collection, adding a vintage line, a Japanese-inspired accessories collaboration, a new signature collection by Neri & Hu, and more. “You can say that we have been busy,” says Lykke. Uh, yeah.
DB: Stellar Works was one of the Salone’s breakout successes last year—how important is it for a new brand to get exposure in Milan?
Thomas Lykke: Salone is a fabulous platform and a hub for editors; it’s really the place to be. I have been coming since 2000 when I was interiors editor at Wallpaper* and I have been there ever since. It has been of great strategic importance to us to exhibit and be successful in Milan. When you build a new brand it is so important that you get a good start—to get a pull effect and not push.
DB: How do you decide what to bring to Milan?
TL: I think it is important to bring the most relevant work each year. So it is also about tapping into time, that what you show has a strategic purpose and is not only to show something new. Having said that of course it needs to be fresh, sexy, outstanding quality, and then have a relevance and raison d’être.
DB: What do you like and dislike about the Salone?
TL: I really love the buzz of Milano during Salone. It is so vibrant and creative and you touch base with friends from the industry and meet new people. But I dislike all the stuff that goes on during Salone that has no relevance and lacks a sense of self-critique. There are some areas in Milan during Salone that have become too much of a carnival, but then again people are having a good time.
DB: Why did Stellar Works base the brand in Shanghai?
TL: When we created the brand it was very important to create a transparent and authentic story and to show the world that China can be a host of not only good quality but also become an international design player.