Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist

Janet Morais Creative director of KOKET

Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist
Since we’re almost ready for our next event – Maison et Objet 2014 – where you can meet our brands, our new presented pieces, our Creative Director and the KOKET team, we focus today on Janet Morais and the exclusive interview she gave to Design Gallerist.
How many of you really know the face behind the brand?
The identity she creates for KOKET? Her inspirations? Her opinion on Art, Luxury, Design? Her obstacles/challenges?
Are you curious? Then keep on reading, we have all the answers for you.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Janet Morais, President and Creative Director of KOKET
Taste Maker Janet Morais gives her nickname a twist and launches her own brand.
Noted for her dramatic flair, enticing personality and a strong love affair for life, Janet Morais developed a voice & design following which gave her the confidence to create the ultimate expression of her character.  KOKET.
Design Gallerist sat down with Janet as she opened up about design, love, craftsmanship, and what truly moves her.
 
Design Gallerist – What made you decide to create a brand?
Janet Morais – Never has the time felt more right for me than now to create a brand that is truly a personal reflection of who I am. KOKET offers a glimpse into my world and everything that moves me. It is all of what I believe in, where I have been, and where I will take the brand will be closely tied to my personal growth.
Thru KOKET I share ma joie de vivre and coquettish frill while empowering customers to follow my lead and take risks to create their own sense of individual style—for themselves, their home and life style.
My/KOKET’s innate desire to seduce and entice our devotees is perfectly illustrated in the Guilty Pleasures & Exotic Opulence Collections.  It is composed of dramatic statement accent pieces, case goods, upholstery & lighting which mesmerize with their magical mineral medley, lux metallics, vibrant jewel tones, exquisite craftsmanship, luscious fabrics, exotic stones, peacock feathers, and hand crafted jewellery for the home.
 
DG – If you were pitching KOKET on Design Gallerist, how would you describe your business?
JM – My design aesthetic is very dramatic, I am a perfectionist in all that to do, touch and say. I have a dead on instinct of trends to come and what people want, my mission at KOKET the brand is to inspire my staff to pursue their creativity and perfectionism to its maximum and create highly desirable and empowering statement pieces.
I am comfortable taking risks —and often, turning heads and commanding attention. KOKET is not about design trends or fulfilling design voids. It is a highly edited collection—not just of pieces of furniture, but a collection filled with the experiences, simple pleasures, passions and life events that have shaped me.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist
DG – Why the name KOKET – Love Happens? 
JM – The Name KOKET comes from my nickname “Janette la coquette” a name given to me at a young age for my playful ways.
The brand KOKET is truly a personal reflection of whom I am, what I believe in, where I have been, and where I take the brand in the future will be closely tied to my personal growth.
LOVE HAPPENS – Love happened over a simple sketch of a chair in a New York City lounge over cocktails.  As the grace of the pen toke to the paper the desire to possess and create other pieces with the same empowerment became euphoric. Love must happen with everything we do and touch in order for it to withstand time.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Mandy stool by KOKET at Saks Fifth Avenue NY windows.
DG – Why European craftsmanship for an American brand?
JM – Consumer expectations are changing; they are becoming more and more design savvy and looking for something different.  There is a tremendous market for commercial brands so I felt that if a customer can afford something special and expensive, then there should be exquisite handwork and craftsmanship involved to make them feel that their money was well spent.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist
Backed by centuries of tradition European craftsmanship sets the tone for luxury. Major European brands may offer modern on the money products- but there is a commitment to keeping the savoir fair and craftsmanship alive. I wanted the same for KOKET.
Only in Europe can one walk the streets and stumble across a small studio where un grand metier practices his craft.

DG – Define Luxury.
JM – The definition of luxury has changed considerably over the years, it went from being a product having a high price tag and desirability, to  a product possessing, quality, craftsmanship, design and most importantly service and personalization.
 
DG – How has your design aesthetic evolved?
JM – I have a daring design aesthetic, I produce high impact shows, lavish presentations and love to create notoriously risqué ad campaigns which push all the boundaries in the furniture industry. I also have an uncanny way of conveying KOKET’s mission which is to create highly desirable empowering statement pieces. My journey with KOKET has been extremely liberating, everything I design is a result of my passions.
 
DG – How would you define authenticity?
JM – Authenticity is a product that has soul & identity, one which is not hollow.  It is a piece which is beautifully made and crafted to last the ever evolving fast paced design cycle and above all it is a piece that exceeds all of the expectations of today’s discerning customer.
 
DG – KOKET’s luxury offering extends far beyond a piece of furniture, please explain. 
JM – It is essential that the piece of furniture and the experience be of absolute highest quality. The KOKET collection is made with inordinate attention to detail and each the result of exquisite detailing.  It is imperative that the customer experience be of the same quality as the product.
Our product specialists are design lovers trained to work directly with clients on their projects, and now joining the COVET Lounge we will be able to offer our clients the most coveted experience in the design world.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Divine Armoire detail
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Exotica Dressing Table detail
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Gem Table Lamp detail
DG – What are the main challenges/obstacles in your business? 
JM – Every business has its challenges but for Interior & Product Designers our biggest challenge is finding true craftsmanship and industry partners who strive for our same values as a business has proven to be truly challenging and time consuming.
Clients are becoming more sophisticated and design-conscious and as a designer & brand we must up our game with every project.
 
DG – How do you feel about the preservation of the Métiers of Art?
JM – The preservation and promotion of the heritage, craft, and manufacturing skills of artisan workshops is extremely important.  Luxury products should be about craftsmanship, rarity, quality, creativity & excellence. It is the use of technically intensive and innovative methods to create beautiful objects that hold great intrinsic value. Luxury used to be the epitome of craftsmanship, in its purest and highest form, because both are concerned with excellence for the sake of excellence. Losing such an art is losing the essence of our past.
 
DG – Define Luxury Brand Integrity 
JM – While “craftsmanship” still exists today in luxury brands; it’s mostly a marketing gimmick. The number of luxury brands that consistently produce well-crafted products and are truly dedicated in maintaining a sense of integrity is a clear minority in the industry. Many luxury brands have left its artistic and craftsman roots for a highly corporate and capitalistic operating model. It’s because the business are so profit-driven that designers have to water down their artistic integrity for commercial viability. The overly consumerist approach to luxury is the quintessential spirit of capitalism and the antithesis of luxury. Luxury should never be about commodization, but it’s become infected by it.
 
DG – Why do you always show your pieces in black?
JM – Black will always be the new black for me; it is strong, sensual, dramatic and luxurious in every use.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Vivre Chandelier by KOKET
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Privê Day Bed
DG – What is your favourite piece of furniture in your home & why? Would you ever consider replacing it?
JM – My home is a very personal space which is more curated than designed. I only buy what I absolutely must have and cannot live without.  I must be love-struck for me to purchase anything in life, especially a piece of furniture. If I had to narrow it down to one piece it would be the Venice Mirror by Boca do Lobo.  I have the honour of owning the artist’s proof and I am completely obsessed with it. The craftsmanship and design leave me speechless every time I look at it. I would never replace it.
Janet Morais Exclusive Interview for Design Gallerist Venice Mirror By Boca Do Lobo
DG – What moves you?
JM – My sons, My Husband’s love & support, human devotion, natural talent & compassion.
 
KOKET’s Nr 1 lover, Janet Morais.

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