April 20, 2011

William Emmerson

This week, my guest on Design*ByProxy is designer William Emmerson. Not only is he known for his modern and vintage furniture store Emmerson Troop here in Los Angeles, but also as a successful interior and furniture designer. His current furniture line is available exclusively through Ralph Pucci International and he is in production on a soon-to-be limited release furniture collection using raw slabs of glass and white quartz marble.

D*BP: Tell us about what you do and how long you have been doing it?

W. E : I have a furniture store and I design furniture.
Back in 1997, Eric Troop and I were driving along Melrose, saw a store for lease, called the number and the guy gave us 3 months free rent. We started selling vintage metal furniture that we found in air forces bases and abandoned hospitals and stripped them. I got the idea from stuff I’d seen in NYC. We had a roll top metal desk and Ralph Lauren came in one day and bought it for $8,000. We were over the moon.
I’ve been designing from the age of 12. I helped my dad build a garden shed. It was then I realized I could really build stuff.

D*BP: Where do you live and what do you love most about your home?

W. E : I live in Hancock Park. What I like about my home is the amazing sunlight and views of the whole city. It's very inspirational.

D*BP: Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic?

W. E : It's forever changing and evolving.
Fluid, sensuous, simple. Less is more type thing. The hardest thing to do is create something very simple, but also the hardest thing to attain. When I design I break it down until it becomes fluid and effortless. It's a long process and something I do all the time when designing.

D*BP: Art and Design-Who are your favorites?

W. E : My art favorites range from Warhol, Richard Avedon, Modigliani, Bacon, Rothko just to name a few. My taste in design is really eclectic. I’m always looking for early millennium pieces and rare vintage IKEA.

D*BP: Ha! OK. Pretty cheeky Will.

D*BP: The furniture you design is quite unique. What inspires you to create?

W. E : Nature is the original designer. I draw inspiration from the things I'm surrounded by, but also from the past and technology.
What I’m working on right now is inspired by fluid melting ice, floating bergs and shattering glaciers in response to the ecological crisis. It's all about nature.

Thanks Will. Looking forward to seeing your new collection.


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