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Apparatus London

London, UK

The New York-based design studio has opened doors to an imposing Mayfair gallery, where dramatic interiors set the stage for its celebrated lighting and furniture

A stroll down the fabled shopfronts of Mayfair’s Mount Street is both a quintessential London experience and the distinct USP of brands residing there. Now joining the pack is US furniture and lighting brand Apparatus, purveyors of witty, conceptual collections that have taken the design world by storm since launching over a decade ago.

The brand gained traction in 2015 with its Cloud collection, quickly securing cult status and paving the way for a succession of bold designs that have inspired countless copycats. At the heart of the vision is LA native and founder Gabriel Hendifar, who launched Apparatus (along with former partner Jeremy Anderson) with the idea of tapping into the emotional, human potential of interiors and the objects that fill them. Now at the helm solo, New York-based Hendifar has taken Apparatus from strength to strength, expanding to Los Angeles and now, London.

Apparatus founder Gabriel Hendifar

Why London and why now? Despite Hendifar’s vast creativity, he appears to have a sound business head. “We’re dreamers but we’re also very pragmatic and London and the UK have been a very strong market for us. There’s a lot of incredible development and design thinking happening here. And so, when considering where the next opportunity was to further engage our audience…London was an obvious answer. Not just because of the audience, but because it’s such an international city. It’s also a window into the Middle East and Asia,” he explains.

Which brings us to Apparatus’ new Mount Street space, designed to take the visitor on a journey from the pavement into the light and luxuriant main gallery, which feels a bit like a Grecian temple with 21st century detailing. Visitors then descend a dramatic spiral staircase clad in dark, polished timbers, past a painted portrait of Hendifar’s grandmother alongside her pet monkey, into an inner sanctum-like lounge with a decadent 1970s vibe – cocooning and sumptuous in colour and feel.

“Being on Mount Street is a specific choice…I think of our studio as a character who gets to try on different kinds of drag. Our Mount St. drag is a very specific choice to engage a certain audience in a certain way,” says the designer, explaining that each Apparatus gallery is different from the next, and takes cues from its locality.

This series of spaces is carefully devised with elements and moments framing each piece from the collection, all which evoke the emotional resonance and drama Hendifar sees as the core of the Apparatus philosophy.

Hendifar likens the launch to the opening of a play. “It’s a dress rehearsal until the last moment and then we hit go, and the fantasy begins, and we invite our guests in, and that’s when it all comes alive – when you see people’s response and what I hope is a feeling of discovery and wonder. That’s why do we do what we do.”