The fashion world has always had its darlings, its tastemakers. So has the world of modeling, the world of food, the world of design, and even the world of newspaper columnists. But rarely has one person been a darling to them all at the same time.
Laila Gohar is a creative anomaly—talented, ambitious, beautiful, surprising, and successful in multiple genres. She’s an artist who creates wild food-themed installations in unexpected scale and locations, her work is in demand globally amongst the fashion elite—including Prada, Hermès, Nike, and Gucci, to name a few. She’s also a writer (she writes about entertaining for Financial Times) and a business owner, along with her sister Nadia she created Gohar World, an unusual table and housewares collection that includes surprising designs like a chandelier that holds a dozen eggs instead of light bulbs and what can only be described as a tuxedo for baguettes.
Laila is also a model; she appeared in several editorials and campaigns last year, including one for Tiffany. But what she is primarily known for, and grounded in, is her interest in food as an artistic medium. In a recent New Yorker profile she was reported to be called the “Björk of food” by none other than Drake. I hope she puts that on her business card.
She recently released a collaboration called Sobremesa (the Spanish tradition of relaxing and enjoying idle moments, and each other’s company, at the end of the meal) with creative director Mette Hay. Mette, who cofounded the Danish design brand HAY with her husband Rolf, has built a company around perfectly executed designs created both internally and with finely curated collaborations, all at more attainable price points.
The ideas for Sobremesa began when Mette visited Laila’s New York studio. Laila paid careful attention to which objects Mette was attracted to. Mette’s interests became the foundation for the collection of kitchen accessories. “Working with Laila has felt very natural,” says Mette of the partnership. The collection includes colorful tableware, porcelain serving bowls, a hand-painted stoneware vase, jug, cookie jar, and embroidered linen pieces.
Laila found the nature of their collaboration a key to its success. “Of course, it’s a collaboration with HAY, but it also feels like a personal collaboration between me and Mette. The direction of the collection was shaped very organically. All of the items together create an extension of my own world.”