A few weeks ago a friend of mine loaned me a book to read entitled ‘Win Big Risk Small’ by Dorry Kordahi. This book is a captivating portrait of a self-made man, who seized his opportunities when they presented themselves. From humble beginnings in New South Wales (Australia) as a hairdresser for his (Lebanese born) father to winning many prestigious business awards. What really resonated with me is how Dorry found inspiration on a sabbatical in Europe. Rather than trade on price he discovered offering a premium service delivers better results in the long term. Essentially, this has always been my philosophy and many of the subjects I write about including luxury product designer Gregory Nicolas.

In my capacity as a writer/author, I am always diligently searching for the next big thing. Ultimately that is why I was (literally) blown away by the extraordinary work of Gregory Nicolas. This creative powerhouse gained invaluable experience working for high-end European luxury brands. For example, Gregory created over 50 extravagant leather upholstered products for HERMES. This included prestigious models like the iconic Birkin bag in gold, crocodile and diamonds. Subsequently, he transitioned into creating office design prototypes for Jean-Paul Gaultier and special commissions for exclusive Middle Eastern clients. Recently he has used this expert knowledge to launch his own label called NGDesign.

As a freelance industrial designer, I can really appreciate the challenges of getting your products to market. The luxury industry is saturated with competing brands, many who solely create generic pieces, that have (in my opinion) have no design merit at all. That is why I was so interested in featuring Gregory Nicolas on Total Design Reviews because he is striving to do sometime entirely different. Using the skills acquired at HERMES he is producing a range of sublime leather goods that are completely handcrafted in France.

Reverting to back to my earlier comments about branding expert Dorry Kordahi. This visionary recognised the difference between superficial mass-produced products and exquisitely handcrafted goods. Gregory Nicolas is a proponent of the latter and that is why he’s pedantic about small details. The leather manufacturing techniques demonstrated in his lamps, wine holders and bespoke furniture are simply the finest. For example, each model is meticulously created in France using the best hides and linen thread. As Gregory explains “what makes his pieces so special is the visible seam that passes under the leather to weld it permanently on the object”. Even after numerous decades, discerning clients can rest assured, their cherished product will remain intact. In an ever-increasing disposable society (burdened by waste) this ideology is a refreshing change.

For private commissions and bespoke orders, you can contact Gregory Nicolas directly at nicolasgregory777@gmail.com

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