• Artist Editions: NewMade LA

    Designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters, Artist Editions is an ongoing series of limited, original designs from some of our favorite new artists.

    NewMade LA is a Los Angeles based design studio, designing product with the belief that mid-century design should be affordable and accessible to everyone. Scroll on to read more. 

    Photos by Dana Lynn Pleasant 
    Can you introduce yourself — tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
    My name is Simon St. James LeComte, I’m 26 years young, and I’m a designer based in Los Angeles, California. I was born and bred in LA but also have deep roots in Amsterdam and spend a good deal of time there. Most of my work focuses on product design.  I own and operate two design entities, NewMade LA and my own custom design label, Simon St. James Studio, where I primarily specialize in custom lighting for bars, restaurants, and private clientele.

    How did you first get into Design? 
    I was always making things as a kid like potato cannons and catapults, and/or blowing things up like my parents microwave. I had a strong interest in creation and the mechanics behind products.  So with that said, I always knew that I would be hands-on and it more or less came naturally to me. As the years went on I matured my craft and design sensibility into what it is today. 

    Shop NewMade LA For UO Standing Planter

    Tell us more about your Studio! Can you walk us through a typical day in the life? 
    My studio is located in Echo Park, close to DTLA.  It’s a super unique space that I built myself to cater to my exact needs. Everything was designed in a way to be movable and adjustable depending on what project I’m working on. Having the ability to transform the space makes it an ideal working environment. I also have a large outdoor space which allows me to bring all my machines outside and enjoy a little bit of the California weather while I’m working. 

    I can’t start the day without a cup of coffee, that’s first. Most days I’ll just head straight into the shop and start getting dirty. I belong in the shop creating, not on the computer.

    What's been inspiring you lately? 
    I take my inspiration from everywhere. Life is my inspiration.  
    How did your style evolve to what it is today? 
    I have a Dutch father who collects European classic cars and a mother who owns Amsterdam Modern (the largest importer of Dutch mid-century modern furniture in the country). Our family house were I grew up is a mid-century home designed by Edward Fickett in the LA hills. I’ve been surrounded and inspired by European Mid-Century design all my life. So this helped me to mature and curb my design sense towards more practical applications. I rely heavily on the aesthetic, construction, and functionality of pieces within that era. 

    What's the most important thing to you when creating a piece of work? What do you hope for people to take away from it?
    I want what I make to be timeless, and I want to impress. 
    Who are some other artists who you look up to? 
    Besides mother nature, I really look up to mid-century European product designers. I think designers like Friso Kramer, Rietveld, or Coen De Vries are just a few of my favorites that had an innate understanding for simplicity, construction, and aesthetic when designing products. 

    What are some current projects you’re working on?
    I just finished projects for SOHO House Brooklyn, Tender Greens Boston, and a couple other restaurant/bars out here in LA (Bar Angeles, Cafe Birdie, Oriel, Checkered Hall). Currently I’m developing a 2.0 launch for my product line, NewMade LA. I’m also in the process of launching my own private label that will consist of some of my more unique custom designs under my own name. Other projects I can’t name until they’re released, so I guess you’ll just have to follow me and stay tuned. 
    Shop NewMade LA Folding Stool

    Any advice for others who are looking to begin their own creative endeavor but are unsure how to start? What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
    Find something that you love and stick with it.  Find your own aesthetic and run with it. In a world where you can be anyone, be yourself. 

    Lastly, what’s a dream project/ collaboration for you?
    Well since I’m already collaborating with Urban Outfitters I’m feeling pretty good right now! I’d just love to work with like-minded designers/brands/artists. 
    Shop NewMade LA For UO Hanging Planter  + NewMade LA X Lamp

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