How to build your own brand? Which development path to choose and how to interact with the manufacturer? Designer Ekaterina Elizarova tells in an exclusive interview with interior.ru.
Related: Ekaterina Elizarova: Russian designer with a worldwide reputation
“The times when the consumer could be attracted by some physical parameters - be it an unusual form, expensive materials, quality of performance - are fading. Today, choosing items for the home, the buyer seeks to acquire not just a thing, but a feeling of belonging to the culture of high design. And here the creator comes to the fore, the carrier of this culture is the designer and his personal brand.
Global trend Everyone probably knows such names as Karim Rashid, Marcel Wanders, Zaha Hadid, Philippe Starck. Every event in which they appear is a sensation. Professionals, designers, stars broke into the global secular crowd, traditionally dominated by pop stars, fashion industry and sports, won a place for themselves and managed to change the very appearance of Olympus. Their personalities acquired the status of cult, and the names became nominal - in other words, turned into a brand.
Change roles At a certain point, it became obvious that the items developed by leading designers enjoyed great success with the consumer and brought recognition to factories. Seeing the prospects, the factories go to changes in the production process in order to meet the high demands of designer brands. Thus, designers began to raise the bar throughout the industry.Chest Alien 3.0. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Chest Alien 3.0. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Subject from the only designer representing Russia at Venice Design
Current product Often a producer is a tradition and philosophy that has been supported for decades, or even centuries. Whereas the designer is the visionary, the carrier and the founder of trends. The result of the interaction of these two dissimilar entities - the manufactory and the designer - becomes a product that has remained relevant and in demand for decades.Manhattan dressing room, Giulia Novars. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Manhattan dressing room, Giulia Novars. Manhattan dressing room, Giulia Novars. Manhattan dressing room, Giulia Novars.
“A designer-brand sees the future and, guided by this vision, creates objects that will be relevant. His flair should not extend for a day, not for a week, not for a month, or even a year in advance. ”
Creating sketches you need to understand that it will take time to work out the model, create its technical documentation, prototype, approve and prepare for production. Three years, for example, it took the Burulleka brothers to launch the Vegetal chair in the series. In the presence of proven technologies, it takes about a year before the subject appears at exhibitions. Then another magic begins, when designers and architects use a new object in their interior designs. During this time, existing trends may partially or completely lose their influence.Chapiteau lamp. Porsche Limited Edition. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Chapiteau lamp. Porsche Limited Edition. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Chapiteau lamp. Porsche Limited Edition. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Chapiteau lamp. Porsche Limited Edition. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova.
So, the key task of the designer of the “brand level” is to create items that will be in demand for decades. Examples include the works of architects: Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van Der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Aarnio, Aquille Castiglioni. Their subjects still have not lost their relevance and remain in demand throughout the world.
Designer identity What characteristics must a designer have in order to qualify for brand status? First, the absolute must is professionalism. Secondly, creativity. The ability to create a unique object, secondary ideas have no chance. Thirdly, personal qualities, charisma and the ability to convey their vision. Although, for example, Zaha Hadid, according to numerous testimonies of her colleagues, was not a sugar character - but it was more than paid off by her talent and skill.Egocentric cabinet. Black Edition Wood, varnish, metal. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Todd Merrill Studio. Стол B & W Horizontal Stripes. Дерево, лак. Todd Merrill Studio.
Brand status is formed over the years, during which the designer regularly confirms qualification, experience, skills, creativity, level. A special responsibility appears in the process - the more popular you are, the more attentive the views and the higher the expectations. To justify that is always necessary, and from time to time - to excel. This is a constant challenge, a struggle in which you yourself are your main rival.Bench "Manhattan", Giulia Novars.
At a certain point, the designer-brand turns into a leader of opinions, and this is a completely new level of responsibility. The more popular a designer is, the higher the interest in his public speaking and authority of his opinion. At this stage, you begin to directly influence the profession of a designer as such, and here you have no margin for error. With my work today, I try to form a decent image of Russian design in the west, create collections on a par with top players in the global industry, and participate in the important process of shaping a design culture in Russia. ”Table lamp Dual. Design by Ekaterina Elizarova. Table lamp Dual. Table lamp Dual.
Екатерина Елизаровa — член международных организаций IAD, ICSID, IFI, ICOGRADA. Выпускница Уральской Архитектурно-Художественной Академии, а также британского университета Хаддерсфилд. В 2008 году основала собственную дизайн-студию. Лауреат престижных профессиональных премий Red Dot, A’Design Award & Competition, Design and Design International Award, Favorite Design, Eurasian Prize и других. Ее предметы представляет американская галерея Todd Merrill Studio.