US-based designer Laura Kirar has worked with a number of big names, including Baker, McGuire, Arteriors and Kallista. As she restores her hacienda on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, we also catch up with her about the upcoming collection for Samuel & Sons.
When was the company founded?
My company was founded in 1999.
How many staff?
There are nine in our team.
Where is it based?
I currently have studios in both Merida and San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, but work in New York and Mexico City with teams there as well.
What is your latest significant achievement/project of note?
After two years in the making, I’d say launching my new collection for Samuel & Sons is a pretty big achievement! It’s been a busy year – I’m working on a 10,000sq ft luxury townhouse in Dallas and my own 40 acre hacienda restoration in the Yucatan.
What is your best selling product?
That’s pretty difficult to quantify, as I’ve been designing product under my own brand name for 20 years. Some early collection work is still being sold, so I guess I’d have to say that Kallista and Baker are the longest-running lines. In terms of sheer quantities of pieces sold, my Ring chair collection for McGuire and the Caviar collection for Arteriors Home have been very popular.
I’ve just discovered…
While travelling in Mexico and working with weavers to make limited edition furniture and lighting pieces for my private label collections, I discovered a local artist who can hand embroider my original designs on leather, fabric, and natural fiber textiles. I’m always excited to discover a new material or technique I can bring into my work and give my clients something unique.
Who inspires me…
I’m very inspired by Mexican sculptor Marcela Diaz, who is known for her powerful and large sculpture work in braided, woven, and spun henequen fiber (sisal). There is something incredibly soulful and tactile and moving about her art.
I’ve always been a fan of…
Textiles and trims! I’ve long collected vintage and antique textiles and trims and practiced weaving while at the Art Institute of Chicago. That is why I was so thrilled to be creating a new collection with a fresh point of view for Samuel & Sons. My time spent restoring my hacienda and imagining the interiors made me even more inspired to design passementerie for drapery, pillows, and upholstery with the places I love in Mexico as the spark of the creation.
My highlight of the last 12 months…
My husband and I traveled to Morocco, a trip we’d wanted to take for a long time. We had very little planned, and that always makes for the best spontaneous adventures. We shopped and had tea with the most interesting creatives at Majorelle in Marrakech, enjoyed incredible culinary delights at Restaurant Nur in Fez Medina, and slept under the stars in the Sahara after the perfect tour by the best Berber guide, DJ. The best part of all, however, was shopping for textiles and rugs in the various markets. It was a riot of color and techniques and I bought so much – I had two huge shipments sent back east!
My next design trip is to…
Back to New York – fall Design and Fashion Week is upon us! September is very busy with new product launches and many creative events. I want to catch up with all my old friends, the design community, and after a long summer of work and travel elsewhere we all have a lot to share. There is no place like New York and no matter where I call home I’ll always feel like a New Yorker.