Atelier LZC is located in the charming city of Montreuil just east of Paris. Atelier, created in 2001 by Michael Cailloux, Barbara Zome, and Vanessa Lambert, is a successful design company specializing in everything from textile design, screen printed illustration, stylish ceramics, mirrors, cushions, fine paper goods, to producing patterns for fashion labels. When I contacted Atelier, they shared a wealth of fabulous photos with me; photos of themselves, their jaw-dropping workspace, product shots, and a recent interview to share with all of you. Mixing text with images below, I hope their interview inspires you, and that their playful patterns entice you into thinking of places in your home where you could add a bit of Atelier sunshine. For stores that carry Atelier products, see their website. If your heart can take the jolt, click here to view their prints. Love them!
How did you meet?
We were at University together studying a ? DSSA Textile? at Duperr?.
How did you start up?
The three of us entered and won a competition for Fran?oise Saget, a French linen company. We began by making a collection of Raku. Our range has since expanded.
What are your personal skills?
Although we studied the same subjects at University, we all have our individual styles that complement each other very well. Michael specialises in C.A.D. (Computer Aided Design). Barbara is more hands-on (screen-printing, hand drawings etc?). Vanessa does a bit of everything.
How are the roles divided within the company?
We usually work together on projects each in turn contributing at various stages of the process. We try to share about the other tasks that do not involve designing and making.
When did you realize that your business idea was a ? winner??
Nothing is guaranteed forever? We are successful due to the fact that we complement each other so well. Individually, we probably wouldn?t have got this far so soon.
What was your first success?
The first Raku collection that we exhibited at the ? Salon Maison et Objet? was a great success.
What difficulties do you come across?
Time!! It is very difficult to predict how long each process will take, from the conception through to the finished product. There are now ten people working in the company.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From nature, books, travels?
Do you have a particular theme that you work with?
At the moment its nature, plants and animals but this could change in the future.
What are the main characteristics of your work?
The colour, our three different styles, flat and textured designs, playing with scale (for example a fish flying over a flower), overlapping designs, working on different surfaces (china, paper, slate, metal, candles, fabric etc?).
What are the main characteristics of your work method?
We use various techniques: screen-printing, drawing by hand and on computer. It is the combination of all three that defines our style.
How is your studio laid out and where is it situated?
We work in an old fur factory in Montreuil. Our studio is like a warehouse, with a separate room for screen-printing, and a storage room where the finished products are kept and where stock control takes place. It is a very open and airy space, measuring roughly 130m2. We all work together under the same roof.
How important is this space for you?
It is a very pleasant space to work in, very light and it has a history, which gives it a lot of character. It is in its raw state, very unspoilt but at the same time quite homely. It could be lived in unlike most offices or workshops. We also use it as a showroom and can comfortably receive clients.
How does your work reflect your personality?
Our collection is not the reflection of one of us but of all three of us put together; that is what determines our style.
According to you does your work have a French feel?
No, not necessarily. Our clients do not choose our products because they have a French feel.
What projects do you have in mind for the future?
We would like to get involved in the fashion accessories market. We do not want to limit ourselves to interiors. We already sell our print designs to big fashion labels, but we would really like to go more towards fashion accessories. Finally, our main objective is to continue working together and to remain successful!
Psst: You’ll spot some Atelier wares in the post below, Basic French.
(all photos from Atelier LZC. Interview was not conducted by me, rather sent to me from the folks over at Atelier LZC to use for this article)
hip pad + great cook + fashion concious chef = triple threat!
and a retro little what’s cooking recipe box for the kitchen $16.95
(photos from wishing fish)
Parlez-Vous Fran?ais? Me neither. I was far to busy passing notes to cute boys during French class to actually learn anything. O? sont les toilettes, where is the bathroom, is about the extent of my vocab. However, I do shop in French. Quite well, in fact. From fashion to furniture, perfume to paper products, I can talk about French shopping until your head has hit the table, smack into your foie gras.
There’s this shop I found that you’re going to simply love. Basic French. With a store in Red Hook NY, and an online marketplace, prepared to be charmed by exquisite gilles dewavrin candles, claire fontaine notebooks, la compagnie de provence linen water, and a lovely collection of housewares and linens. What I like is that the site is easy to navigate, and isn’t tightly packed with products which makes it a breeze to get in and get out rather quickly – great for those of us on the go!
Psst: The store owner and ex-New Yorker, Carol, even has a blog documenting her ‘other’ life in France. It’s a great journal, if you have time to read it, click here.
Fresh finds from Basic French, tr?s fantastique!
napkins, prints and books. What fun you’ll have!
Since we’re speaking French here, let’s talk travel for a moment. If if you are
dying for a good read, I highly suggest Almost French, one of my favorite travel books about an outsiders guide to living in Paris, written by Aussie journalist Sarah Turnbull. While on assignment, Sarah falls head over heels with a fabulous French laywer, Fr?d?ric, and makes a dash to reside in the city of lights. Her memoir sheds unexpected light on the paradoxical quirks of French character, highlights how having a pooch is quite the status symbol, and is laugh out loud funny as she describes her head-on collisions with the French. Another great travel story in top ten position on my list is One Year off by David Cohen, a successful businessman from California who sells it all, packs up his wife and 3 young children, and takes a complete tour around the world for one year. It’s amazing, especially for times when your soul feels somewhat tortured by the mundane day-to-day. If you want to simply gain more of an education about French fashion, food, and the glam life, pick up a copy of The Essence of Style. For a fun coffee table book in a vintage postcard-style look of black and white, pick up a copy of An American in Paris (see top photo) with photos from celebrity photographer Veronique Vial or simply, Paris (I own this) as seen through the eyes of German photographer Heiko Lanio. So….has anyone been to France? Care to share? Comment! Comment!
(top photo from an american in paris taken by photographer veronique vial. all other photos from basic french.)