Combining a shared passion for design with considerable cross-sector experience in the luxury industry, Anna Zaoui and Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays founded The Invisible Collection as an online marketplace for those seeking exclusive interiors pieces from some of the most prolific designers in the field. Belinda Craigie speaks with Isabelle to find out more.
What was the initial thinking behind The Invisible Collection?
Anna and I have always been passionate about interior design, art and craftsmanship. So often, beautiful works of art are created by designers without being enjoyed by the public. The Invisible Collection was born from our shared dream of creating an exclusive inventory of furniture creations accessible to a wider audience, and internationally.
How has your professional experience informed the development of the brand?
Anna knows the art world very well, being so close to the world of decoration and architecture, while I have spent many years in the world of luxury and fashion. Our third partner, Lily Froehlicher, headed up customer relations for Chanel in their digital drive. Design is a shared passion of ours and the breadth of our experience across the design, art, luxury and digital spheres combines seamlessly in The Invisible Collection.
Who are some of the designers involved and how did you partner with them?
We carefully curate the digital collection and it is enriched with designs by Pierre Yovanovitch, Charles Zana, Pierre Augustin Rose, Kelly Behun and other stars in contemporary interior architecture and design. We work with designers to launch exclusive collections, commission new designs and most recently we travelled to St Moritz to present at NOMAD, which was a first for The Invisible Collection!
How have you utilised digital platforms to build the brand?
The digital platform is the essence of our brand and business model. When we started, we were in uncharted territory as the first ecommerce site dedicated to luxurious furniture. We have made furniture that has never been on the market available to purchase in one place, which is the ideal service for our clientele.
How do you communicate with your customers?
Our communication is heavily reliant on digital streams, through newsletters and social content across our channels, which is distinct to The Invisible Collection’s personality. We have a showroom in Belgravia, London where we host private exhibitions, and we present at selected fairs like Milan Design Week and NOMAD – we document our time there on our social channels, too!
We are very keen on providing a white-glove service. It is not uncommon for us to be there for the delivery and installation of furniture where we can then meet the client, too!
What advice would you give to someone looking to build a digitally native brand?
As with any entrepreneurial adventure, the most important thing is to be absolutely passionate and obsessed with your idea! Be disruptive, break codes, think outside the box and, last but not least, be wholly dedicated to delivering the best possible customer service.
Have you found there to be any limitations associated with offering bespoke pieces via an online platform?
We wanted to translate the Moda Operandi model and bring it to the luxury design market. For our clients, bespoke interiors are as desired as a Birkin bag – the desire might even be stronger – and so often, we must be patient to ensure that the design is perfectly accomplished. Luxury takes time!
What’s in the pipeline for The Invisible Collection?
A new, high-performance version of the online platform, a second showroom in London, new design stars aboard the site and several exciting collaborations!