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French Design is heading for Japan: Interview with Mini Labo
Sophie Adary is one of the three founding members of Mini Labo, a parisian design workshop that has been increasingly beeing talked about over the past few year. To celebrate the release of a very unique version of our Bento house, Bento&Co Blog met and interviewed the head of Mini Labo's PR, and we brought back some very interesting information and stories that we wanted to share with all of our customers. Original idea, interests for Japan, bento, our collaboration ... Discover everything you should know about Mini Labo studio!
Bento&Co. - Good Morning Sophie. To begin with, could you introduce in a few words Mini Labo to our fans ?
Sophie. - Mini Labo is both a brand and a design studio, the team consists of three parisians: 2 designers, Céline and Caroline, and me (Sophie Adary) as management and PR responsible. Caroline and Celine first met on campus (Duperré High School of Design, Fashion and creation, Paris). After a couple of years spent working in the same workshop on child clothing design, they became highly complementary and started their own freelance duo activity in 2004.
When i suggested to go a step further and create a whole, new, design studio, they immediately accepted and Mini Labo was just born! After 10 years, we've now expanded our activities in various fields (accessories, tableware, clothes, etc...) and places, displaying our newest collections from France to Japan.
Lost in Translation ? Mini Labo Team, during their first travel in Japan. (From left to right : Caroline, Sophie, Céline)
B&Co. - Have you ever gone to Japan? Have you feel some kind of special artistic link with this country and its singular culture?
We are fascinated by Japan... actually, lots of french people do adore japan! But we had this unique opportunity to visit it when we were invited by our Japanese client. The first time was in Tokyo, but the second time Caroline and Celine enjoyed a few days and unforgettable memories in the ancient capital (Kyoto).
I think one can feel Japanese spirit of sophistication in many ways: especially in their relationship with Space, Time, Nature and elements. It's really easy to go into raptures there: the calm beauty of a zen garden, few details on a kimono pattern, a cherry flower, the amazing local dishes dressing, the elegant fragility of an origami ... As for myself, i really like learning Japanese language which i have been struggling with for 4 years now.
Mini Labo's Pop Up Store. Tableware, House Appliance, Clothing ... always with a fresh and charming style. We love it.
B&Co. - Now something that i obviously really wanted to ask you, but do you actually use bento box in your daily life ? Do you like Japanese Food ?
Our workshop is located near the Bastille in Paris. Me and Caroline are living next to Saint-Martin Canal and often ride our bikes to work. And we regularly bring our bento packed in lunchboxes there. Most of the time, they are leftovers of what the last dinner. Celine is a pie specialist and Caroline cooks a delicious coconuts curry! Me? Well, i'm the one to always ask for their recipes! All three of us love Japanese dishes but since we went to Japan, we may have become slightly more demanding customers than usual. Every Friday, Caroline is having lunch at a Japanese restaurant with her family!
Peony was firstly introduced in Japan during the 18th century but soon became a popular flower. It's refined design has been naturally selected to be Mini Labo's 10th anniversary emblem.
B&Co. - Mini Labo Bento House, our cute lunchbox recently adorned with your unique patterns, has just been released on our site. Could you tell us more about its genesis and conception ?
It has already been 10 years since we founded Mini Labo. That was the perfect timing to open a Pop Up store about Home Decorating. This imagery, the atmosphere of an house, was everywhere and we even raised carpeted wood house that one would explore. It was an amazing mean to welcome our customers at our house! And one of them was Thomas (editor's note: B&Co CEO) who showed us the Bento house (see link at the top). We instantly felt for it (thanks Thomas!). One of the patterns we used, "Peony", actually went so famous that it became the emblem of Mini Labo 10th anniversary. It comes from our "Prêt à porter" collection and you'll be amazed by how good it looks on this cute lunchbox!
At the workshop, Paris.
Editor's note : We are thankful to Sophie for the time she took to answer our question and wish all Mini Labo's team an Happy 10th anniversary, we've really enjoyed working with you!