With his signature blend of bold, sexy interiors and his messages of self-empowerment and self-expression, Los Angeles-based designer Ryan Saghian has amassed a huge following of both clients and fans. This week, we chatted with Saghian about his book, his new furniture collection with Caracole and on what his digital showroom means for the future of tech in design and consumer behavior:
In his first book, Unapologetically Chic, Ryan Saghian curates an engaging visual conversation on design, decoration, art, and architecture. The elegant hardcover book is available on Amazon. In it, he’s candid about his experiences as a gay, Jewish, first-generation Iranian-American who was bullied as a teen. In honor of Pride Month, Saghian will be donating profits from the sales of the book to JQ International, the premier LGBTQ+ Jewish organization in Los Angeles.
DNN: The new book is gorgeous and it was a bold choice not to feature a room scene on the cover – What inspired that decision and where did the title for the book, Unapologetically Chic, come from?
RS: Thank you! I love a good coffee table book. Essentially, I did not want my book to look outdated in ten years. I wanted it to stand the test of time. That is why I went with the choice of just a bold black. Black transcends time and will always be in style. As for the title, it feels like me. That is how I attribute my style, chic and well– I am pretty unapologetic about it. My personality is also bold for most. 🙂
DNN: Speaking to the intersection of Jewish and queer activism, why did you choose JQ to donate proceeds of your book to during pride month? How do the aesthetics of Jewish and queer cultures find their way into your design work?
RS: I have experienced personal struggle as a Persian Jewish Queer, which makes me relate to this organization more than others. I hope that my support can help the cause. Not an aesthetic, but the cultural significance of family and shabbat dinners definitely helps me design spaces meant for entertaining. I love a good dinner party!
DNN: You also have a product partnership with Caracole – how did that partnership come to be and what were your favorite parts of developing the product line?
RS: Caracole has been one of my favorite brands for a long time. I was thrilled when they reached out to me. The collaborative process with the Caracole design team was wonderful! Even for my own projects I work with my whole team, to me, collaboration is the best part.
DNN: What were some of the challenges?
RS: I have primarily designed for private families. The struggle was to think what would be better suited for a greater appeal and to also create pieces that embodies my work and style— and that were neutral enough stylistically to cater to a broader audience. I think that was accomplished in the collaboration with Caracole.
DNN: This may be like asking you to choose a favorite child, but do you have a favorite piece or pieces from the collection?
RS: The Rhythm dining chair, Rhythm bed and Rhythm console. I can’t give specifics on why but sometimes you just like something more and you can’t really explain it!
DNN: What makes a good partnership between designer and manufacturer? And what would be some red flags that would indicate a partnership wouldn’t be a good fit?
RS: If the designer is a fan of the manufacturer. There has to be a real connection otherwise it won’t be as effective or genuine!
DNN: Mode-de-Vie is your virtual showroom, imagined by you and 1click design (It is very cool, I want to play Sims in it!). What do you use this for the most? Is it a marketing tool, is it to work with design clients?
RS: I played Sims so much! Ha! As of now I use it for a lot of experimentation. I see that the world is going virtual more and more– and like everything in my career, I like to get on things early on. Everytime I show it to a client or collaborator it only expands on discussion of the possibilities in design. Imagination is a wonderful tool for creativity.
DNN: Do you find that people are quick to adapt to this format to shop or still prefer traditional methods of shopping?
RS: I think the jury is still out! I am always surprised how quickly people adapt to technology even when they are so uncomfortable.
DNN: What are your thoughts on the future of augmented reality and virtual reality in furniture shopping in general?
RS: Truthfully, it scares me a bit. It is a lot to comprehend but we are all learning together. This is why I have my virtual showroom, so I can learn as well. There are things even with the virtual showroom I have not fully adopted yet. Stay tuned!
More about Ryan Saghian
With his signature blend of raw and refined, Ryan Saghian is one of the most talented tastemakers of his generation. His bold interior designs have been featured in Architectural Digest, Interiors California, Traditional Home, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal, among other top-tier outlets. He was the youngest designer to be awarded Interior Designer of the Year by the City of Los Angeles, and recently received the prestigious Stars On The Rise Award from the Pacific Design Center. Saghian, principal at his Los Angeles-based eponymous firm, was recognized as one of the Top 25 Designers 2022 in the Los Angeles Times inaugural design issue and recently selected to be in AD Middle East as an interior designer to watch. With a following of over 300k and growing on Instagram (@ryansaghian), he’s become a social media sensation, admired for his relentless work ethic, expressive and hilarious design commentary, and an unequivocal love of his roots.
He also owns Ryan Saghian Home, which includes tiles, wallpaper, tableware, rugs, and furniture collections, and is the author of the book Unapologetically Chic, which sold out within a week of its initial release.In addition to crafting spectacular interiors, Saghian also collaborates with luxury brands, and designs his own collection of furniture, rugs, tile, tableware, wallpaper, and bedding. He is currently developing a collection of lighting. In 2023, he launched an online store, Ryan Saghian Mode-De-Vie, which features a curated collection of furnishings, art, and accessories from his favorite trade vendors and artisans. He is one of the first interior designers to embrace the metaverse with his own virtual showroom, optimized for a fully interactive VR experience. Saghian received his Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Architecture and Design from the Art Institute of California.