A SHORT HISTORY OF STELLAR WORKS WITH FOUNDER YUICHIRO HORI
This month Stellar Works celebrates its 10-year anniversary and showcases the most iconic pieces from the past decade of collaborations with some of the world’s leading designers at our New York flagship store. In this special newsletter, we focus on Yuichiro Hori, founder and CEO of Stellar Works, who has created a cross-cultural dialogue in furniture design with Asian sensibility at its core. It’s no small feat to take a brand to international acclaim, as Yuichiro has done.
Tell us about growing up – how much did your childhood experiences, environment and cultural influences steer you towards becoming a creative?
I was born into a family of artists and creatives, so it felt natural to pursue a career in design. My mother is a painter, teacher and pioneer of decoupage, a decorative art originating in France. She brought decoupage art to Japan and has published numerous books on the subject. My grandmother was also a gifted painter. She taught me how to draw as I spent time with her after school in her atelier and outside in the garden sketching and painting.
What was the defining moment that motivated you to establish Stellar Works?
Before I founded Stellar Works, I was dissatisfied with the general quality of products I was seeing and wanted to change this. I believe that craftsmanship should be at the core of every piece of design, so I started my journey to develop a brand which embodies timeless design, craft, sustainability and Asian sensibility.
What was the inspiration for Stellar Works, and when you founded it, did you ever dream then that it would be the success it is today? What sets it apart?
We are not seeking trends; we develop products based on the principals of honest and timeless design. Each piece is made to last, from the design and selection of materials through to the manufacturing process. We rediscover and re-edit forgotten classics, infusing them with new relevance and meticulously updating the design to fit seamlessly into a modern context.
Reflecting on your career so far, what are you most proud of?
I would say that I’m most proud of our manufacturing capabilities and the fact that we have created a high quality, well organised factory that is able to produce incredibly well-made furniture with a focus on the hand skills of our workforce. We bring together efficient Japanese management and French savoir-faire with Chinese artisan skills. Everything is produced on the site from design and R&D to cutting, painting and upholstery. We employ creatives, designers, project managers, graphic designers, construction managers from all over the world. Having a multi-cultural workforce brings cross-pollination, which in turn creates something new and interesting!
What projects do you have coming up for the remainder of 2022/2023?
We’re continuing our ongoing collaboration with Neri&Hu and adding additions to the ‘Utility Collection’, focusing specifically on office furniture. We’re also looking to create a new collection with our long-term collaborators Space Copenhagen, using new precious materials. In addition, the showrooms launches in New York and Los Angeles reinforces Stellar Works presence in the North American retail market. Following this, Stellar Works has plans in motion to continue its retail expansions in the APAC region. There will be eight retail stores opening in mainland China in the near future. Meanwhile, we are working with two global Japanese brands from the world of fashion and technology and electronics to work on some exciting crossover collaborations for the first time.
How do you envision Stellar Works’ future?
Since its inception, Stellar Works has followed the principles of honest and timeless design. Each piece is made to last, blending heritage, modernity, craft, and sustainability through the design and selection of materials to the manufacturing process. Stellar Works collaborates closely with a diverse range of world-renowned designers and architects such as Stellar Works Creative Directors Neri&Hu, Space Copenhagen, Yabu Pushelberg, Michele De Lucchi and Nendo among other design talents. Designers are the creative heart of our company and having a multi-cultural roster of talent lends itself to our ethos. So overall, me and my team are creating a truly international brand from Asia and expanding globally.