KETI LYTRAS JOINED GLOBEWEST just a few short months ago and has barely had a chance to catch her breath. With three overseas trips already under her belt, she has hit the ground running as the Design Manager for a company that has garnered a loyal client base since it was founded by brothers Alan and Stephen Mendel in 2004. So far she has been to India, Asia including the Philippines, Canada and Europe to meet with suppliers and to source furniture and homewares for new collections.
Lytras has a background in fashion and homewares, product development, forecasting and sourcing. She says whilst enduring style and quality craftmanship remain critical to the GlobeWest Collection, that as fashion and interiors are so closely linked “it’s also important to offer newness all the time.”
Her constant drive is to create new shapes, look for new colours, fabrics, finishes and to explore new applications of materials, to find ways where GlobeWest can improve their broad range of products.”
Originally from the United Kingdom, travel has been a constant in Lytras’ life and career. Her experience as an active observer, reporting on and forecasting trends and working from within the interior design industry in product development, positions her perfectly to drive the creative direction of GlobeWest alongside the company’s founders. She believes that design trends originate from fashion, with trends in colour, texture and shape a particular indicator of future direction in homewares. She is also aware of Australia’s unique place in the design landscape.
“Our light, space and landscape are so different to Europe and America, so whilst we need to be aware of international trends, it is important to keep our fingers on the pulse of Australian design, fashion and art. Australia is very well respected internationally, our culture is so individual and we really take risks with design and that’s what’s exciting about our country.”
“When it comes to fashion and with colour, people have always thought that we are behind but I’ve been of the opinion for a long time now that we are actually ahead. We get bored with what we are seeing internationally and we push it further,” Lytras says. “I think Australians are open minded when it comes to design.”
“To bring our collections to life, we are working with incredible stylists and photographers that convey an element of excitement and newness as well. That connection with respected creatives helps to drive engagement with the product through all marketing mediums from print to digital. Lytras says the whole GlobeWest team is humbled by how much editorial coverage the company has received over recent years. They have also noticed the growth in social media and are excited to see photos of their products take pride of place in people’s homes.
GlobeWest has grown to over 30 people plus agents and distributors throughout Australia and New Zealand and a further five members in the operations team who conduct quality control inspections to ensure the high level of finish is maintained.
Most of the client liaison team have experience in interior design or have studied interior design and can readily assist clients to make selections but “our customers are so smart that we are often just there to support them,” Lytras says. “Our customers really do keep us on our toes. They are always ahead of the game and very astute.”
The product range is carefully considered and multi-layered. It takes a lot of research through travel, forecasting and listening to the feedback from the company’s broad customer base which is primarily made up of design professionals and boutique retailers.
“We are constantly creating new silhouettes and combining unexpected mixes of materials, as well as continually updating our range. It might be to add a bit more of a glamorous look or pick up on a new colour palette that we know will excite our customer.”
In addition to client feedback, the team at GlobeWest also select pieces they feel passionate about which they hope filters through to their clients. Their aim is to always be innovative, take risks and have a constant sense of “newness” so that clients are always discovering something new on each visit to their showrooms.
Lytras says there are lots of beautiful blues and greens coming through, which are “very sophisticated and fun.” Marble is still strong and lots of organic shapes and natural fabrics and timbers including mahogany are part of the new collection. Texture is still very important in timber finishes, with a strong move to patterns, parquetry, and engraving.
Lytras also believes the new offering from GlobeWest’s partner brand GUS complements its collection perfectly with its modern simplicity. The new GUS collection has so many gorgeous pieces including a new cocoon shape that is wonderfully inviting,” Lytras says. She recently bought a GUS chair for her own apartment. “And award winning Filipino Vito Selma is another one of our partners so expect lots of really exciting things from him.”
GlobeWest is continuing a large scale presence of 108 square metres at Decor + Design this year. With more than 30 per cent of the current collection being replaced with brand new products in Collections 2016, even this floor space provides just a representation of GlobeWest’s vast and diverse offering.
GlobeWest is supporting the VIVID Design Competition with Finalists being showcased at Decor + Design July 16 – 19.
Visit GlobeWest at booth: B11 and B12.