With the world of luxury homeware often leaning towards conventional design at the moment, it’s great to see brands like Rory Dobner blowing a breath of fresh air into the mix with a whimsical style that isn’t afraid to push boundaries.
Before founding the company itself in 2011, Rory had already lead a successful solo career, winning Burns Young Artist of the Year in 1998. Recently Rory Dobner was named ‘Brand of Tomorrow 2017’ by Walpole, showing that there’s no change in trajectory for the brand.
As an artist at heart, Rory’s delicate designs stand out from the crowd with their intricate illustrations. The predominant monochrome palette means there’s far less to distract the eye, giving the intricacy centre stage. In Rory’s own words, blacks and whites are the ‘easiest tones’ to ‘anchor a scheme’, creating a ‘sophisticated look’ that harks back to the days of Victorian high society.
Rory’s mission remains the same today as it’s always been; to put a little piece of art from England into homes around the world, all while adding a luxurious flair to any room. After looking at his work, this is certainly true and I’m not the only one to notice. His main UK stockist is the exclusive retailer Fortnum & Mason – a feat by no means easy to achieve.
Along with his regular range, Rory’s work has captured the imagination of countless impressive clients such as Soho House, The Natural History Museum and Disney, who’ve commissioned his talent to create wonderful bespoke works. A particular favourite is the ‘Dodo Plate’, part of a collection created for The Natural Museum, featuring ‘Derek The Dodo’ – a colonial-esque looking Dodo clasping a map and a net that instantly makes me think of Darwin. This product for me superbly encapsulates the brand and showcases everything that’s special about it. It’s both brilliantly intelligent and funny, whilst being encased in a delightfully elegant design of bone china and a touch of 22 carat gold detailing that screams sophistication. What more could you want from a classically British brand?
I think one of the things I love so much about Rory’s work is that you can see how much thought has gone into each piece. This isn’t about churning out another range of dinner plates that’ll be used purely for their practicality alone. Instead, it’s about creating something truly special, something that’ll make people take a second look at each piece, potentially sparking a conversation or simply making someone smile as they look at a sausage dog wearing sunglasses and a Union Jack!
Brands nowadays can often lose their originality through the quest for sales volume, but this is certainly not the case for Rory Dobner. It’s a refreshing take on the saturated market and I for one am excited to see what will come next from the fantastically eccentric brand.
Go ahead, take a look, Rory Dobner.