AT Interview - Jordan Cappella

AT Interview - Jordan Cappella

Vanessa De Vargas
Apr 27, 2007
If you're a fan of Lucite furniture do I have a designer for you! Jordan Cappella who is originally from Australia got his first taste of design when he moved from Sydney to New York to be the national sales manager for Tod's and then the director for its sister company Hogan. The love of textiles and fabrication in fashion was always a passion for Jordan until he visited the German Furniture Fair and a new love for furniture design developed. He then had an opportunity to create and design interiors and went back to Australia to design his mother's chain of beauty salons. He needed items for the salon to be clean and translucent and found Lucite to be a wonderful alternative. He started creating tables, chairs and ottomans for the salon and fell in love with how he could manipulate its form and combine bright colors with it. He quickly found himself designing a line of furniture and started working with private clients in and around Sydney. His signature side table (seen here) has a puzzle like base in which a tray is placed on top. This side table became such a huge hit and was written about in almost all the Australian shelter magazines. (as seen in Australian Home Beautiful) The popularity of Jordan line grew and the demand for his product would lead him back to the states - to Los Angeles. Jordan now sells his line exclusively through Patio Culture and Woodson and Rummerfields. He also loves working with designers to create custom pieces. Following is my interview with Jordan about his experiences of becoming a furniture designer. How did you come to be a furniture designer? I was an executive with an Italian fashion house and wanted to explore a more creative path. On a business trip to Europe, I decided to stop off at Ambiante, the furniture fair in Frankfurt Germany and my decision was made. Upon my return to the States, I decided to give up my career in fashion, and moved back to Australia (where I am originally from) and launched my own modern furniture collection. (as seen in Australian Home Beautiful) What's your favorite material to design and why? Lucite (acrylic): Lucite is actually a patented name for the material, just like people refer to tissues as Kleenex. Lucite is my inspiration for all design, as I love that you can mix it with any other material or style - it's so pliable. Because it is transparent, it takes on the life of the environment it is in. What color and/or materials do you see using in the future? I am attracted to all bright colors; I am like a Myer bird in that sense. As for materials, I want to incorporate concrete slabs to my Lucite designs: the extreme contrast between the raw concrete and the sleek Lucite is an intriguing match. What is your greatest source of inspiration? Clients! They make me think outside the box. I just finished apiece called "The Corset": It Is a table with 19th century vintage accents, a Lucite body and black granite top. I designed it for the former Duran Duran guitarist. I had the most freedom designing this piece and so far it is my favorite. Which interior or furniture designers, past or present, do you most admire? Charles Hollis Jones is my favorite furniture designer. He is the grandfather of Lucite. I love his designs and history: 15 years ago you could buy his pieces for next to nothing at garage sales and now those same pieces will sell for a small fortune! Also Frank Gehry; he is almost 80 years old and still pushing boundries. His work environment is a hive of activity where creative and technical minds clash to make successful designs, I love that his first commercial design was the life guard station at the end of Venice Blvd you have to start somewhere. Lastly, Elizabeth Paige Smith is a young furniture designer who doesn’t create the obvious! If you could build/design your own dream project what would it be? My dream project, would have to be working on my own home, I would love to get a rundown property and turn it into something beautiful, I am always sketching out designs for my new "dream" home. Describe your design theory in 4-6 words. Modern, Individual, luxurious and timeless. What 5 things does a well designed home need? Walk-in closets, a lot of storage space, a guest home out the back (as I always have friends and family in from Australia). A room dedicated to entertaining, your home should be enjoyed. If you hadn't become a furniture designer, what do you think you would be doing now? I would still be in NYC working the fashion industry. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? A furniture designer on a larger scale - expanding upon the creative process and into various industries, such as fashion. Life Is about fluidity and movement. I cannot say exactly where I will be, but I hope that I will always move forward and improve!
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