Floom’s Lana Elie on new luxury
Fashion and flowers come together like never before at Floom, a new online destination offering bouquets by the country’s finest independent florists. Floom is helmed by Paris-born, Bali-raised and London-based Lana Elie, previously responsible for delivering content and campaigns for brands including Burberry, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and i-D.
That experience shows in Floom’s beautifully curated selection of bouquets that simultaneously support local artisans and provide a burst of sensuous, visual pleasure to anyone lucky enough to receive them. I speak to Lana about concept, development, inspiration – and a new definition of luxury that includes ideas of provenance, heritage, craftsmanship.
Bel: Which florists have you chosen to work with?
Lana:We’ve started with some great London florists, but wanted to keep it small so the level of quality and creativity could constantly be managed while we set the tone for who Floom is. The great things about our partners is they all have their own style. Rowan Blossom is actually an event florist for the likes of Dior, Sophia Webster etc and does individual bouquets exclusively through Floom. That Flower Shop by Hattie Fox is very wild and whimsical but with a distinctly urban twist whilst Bloomsbury have been doing what they do since 1994 and have a very elegant aesthetic.
“The way we consume luxury is changing.”
Bel:Has the craft of floral arrangement developed?
Lana: The way we consume ‘luxury’ is changing. A beautiful bouquet of flowers that lasts for a limited period and offers a brief but glorious connection to nature is luxury, whatever the price point. My peers and I care so much more about provenance, heritage, craftsmanship … All these things exist in the flower world but they are currently so, so undervalued at a large scale right now. You can see the change happening in all industries. We want to keep that personality at the forefront so people can be inspired by it.
Bel:When did the transition from digital/corporate work to flowers take place for you?
Lana:It doesn’t really feel like a transition. I use digital more than ever now and fashion trends still play a part – in an even more interesting way, really. In fact, it feels more like I’m just taking my past experiences and applying them to something else I’m passionate about, rather than transitioning to something new.
Bel:And why flowers now?
Lana: I grew up in Bali and the beauty and intricacies of nature helped pass a lot of time as a kid, so it’s always been about the flowers for me! It’s more that the movement towards a new type of luxury – where personality and craftmanship is joined with the need for better tech – has made it the right time for the idea itself.
Bel:You’ve worked with inspiring people including Ines & Vinoodh for Diesel. Which ones linger in your creative memory?
Lana:It’s hard to pick specifically, because they all had different inspiring features. At Diesel, Nicola Formichetti always had the craziest ideas and wasn’t afraid to take chances. At Burberry, I always remember Christopher Bailey got involved in the creative execution of the most minute things, right down to social posts. [Managing Director of Vice Europe] Matt Elek shone as a manager who could get the best out of his team. You never felt like you were dealing with someone who was too much of a ‘big-shot’ to get back to an email.
Bel:Is there any ethical dimension to Floom’s work – the support of local businesses etc?
Lana:We believe in supporting local businesses, and the vital level of craftsmanship and knowledge that they possess. As the bigger flower sellers out there continue to homogenise and cut corners on their products, it threatens the artisans who have the ability to make someone fall in love with their flowers. We feel extremely lucky to be able to learn from them, benefit from their expertise and hopefully give them a bit of a boost in business without them having to compromise on what makes them so special in the first place.
Bel:How would you describe your style?
Lana:Pretty clean. I don’t like clutter, I want both the immediate beauty and the intricacies of the flowers to shine and speak for themselves: the layers of the petals, the speckles that come through, the formation of the pollen, it’s all pretty fascinating when you have enough breathing space to pay attention. Everything moves so fast nowadays. Receiving a beautiful bouquet is a great excuse to slow down, even for a moment.
“We feel like we’re strengthening the passion for fresh, seasonal flowers.'”
Bel:On a personal level, which designers excite you?
Lana: A bit obvious perhaps, but Celine has been my ultimate go-to reference since Phoebe Philo took the reins. Everything from the products to the advertising is very clean whilst somehow maintaining a real streak of individuality and contemporary cool. There are no over-complications, which mean you can always find the little details that have so much thought behind them: how a tassel has been braided; how a closure locks; how a silhouette differs just so from the norm.
Bel: What do you hope to inspire with Floom’s work?
Lana:Support for our great partner florists, and the belief that true artisans across all industries can compete with the big players who try to monopolise and dumb-down creativity … And just for people to maybe take a moment and appreciate the great beauty in nature, whether it’s a flower in a bouquet or a flower peeking out of the dirt on their way to work. Anyone who stumbles on the site and likes what they see is important to us. Even if we aren’t currently operating in their country, or offering exactly what they’re looking for, we feel like we’re strengthening the passion for fresh, seasonal flowers whilst bringing a burst of beautiful colour onto their screens. I feel lucky to be able to offer that.
Visit www.floom.com; @FloomOfficial