Craft and heritage: 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.
"The way we consume luxury is changing."
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: 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.
"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