I’d describe my style as Tony Montana from Scarface mixed with a Milanese grandpa and sometimes a touch of YSL. I've always been obsessed with everything ‘extra’. By the age of three or four, I only wanted to drink from stem glasses. I didn't want to use the bathroom, I wanted to wee in my grandma's crystal vases – apologies for the ‘extra’ information but I think this describes well my maximalist situation!
I inherited an obsession and nostalgia for the glorious past from my grandma. She would tell tales of fabulously stylish family members that I never knew. In a sense, it's a bit of a fantasy world – a beautiful form of escapism. I remember Titanic coming out in the late 90s and knowing then that I wanted to do something related to design and luxury.
Today I am in my 80s brutalist era of interiors. Right now I’m mostly inspired by grand holiday homes in the US, but also the works of Jean Dunand – it’s always difficult to define the ‘mix’. There are other people whose work I really like, but I generally try to steer clear of looking at other people’s work because your mind can easily be influenced. A couple of names to mention would be Silvia Prada and Etablissements Studio.
Interiors was the right move after fashion. I was always into interiors, but I didn’t really see a brand with accessories or an aesthetic that spoke to me. This became the motivation to create my own. It feels like this year everyone’s decided to launch their own interiors brand or shopping platform and the market is becoming slightly oversaturated with aesthetically similar products... That means, for me, it's time for another change, so stay tuned for what's next!
I would like to go to Mexico and explore it in a non-touristic way. I’m very drawn to the love of craftsmanship there, and I know I could return and discover many wonderful hidden ateliers. I am also slightly obsessed with 70s and 80s holiday resorts, and I feel there are a few untouched gems there.
I like anything that’s visually stimulating and transports me into a different universe. I like movies from the 50s, in particular, because they pour so much love and investment into the sets and costumes. There are also a few favourites from the 80s and 90s which I return to because of their magic interiors. To name just a few: Ziegfeld Follies, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Goodfellas, Casino nd anything with Fred Astaire. Pedro Almodóvar films are a big favourite too, especially All About My Mother.
I love the photographs and the styling elements in the David Hicks books. They document the taste of one man from flower arrangements through to bathroom decor. Hicks blends an aristocratic elegance with a slight hotel feel and a touch of 70s or 80s abundance. His designs are not about comfort, more about the effect and entertaining. I think the same way about interiors and objects – to me a home is more like a set design and not so much about the function. I guess it’s a mindset I bring from my background in fashion.
There are so many fellow creators I admire. They include Ramdane Touhami, Nadia Lee Cohen and Ralph Lauren. I basically admire everyone who creates an immersive world from scratch. It’s one thing to be talented and it’s another to meticulously repeat but also renew your universe, and to curate it in an instantly recognisable way. Ralph Lauren is a great example for building a brand empire from nothing, just the fantasy of European sophistication blended with the coolness of American sportswear. It’s a forever project I am working on with my brand and I am hoping the people who follow me can already tell what’s really Gergei. People sometimes send me inspiring messages saying that’s so you, I know you would like this – it’s great feedback that proves I am en route to the place I want to be.
While I don’t wish to have anyone else’s brand, there are some I would love to work with. These include Bienaimé 1935, Casablanca, Officine Universelle Buly 1803, Saint Laurent, Diptyque, Le Sirenuse and Riva.
To see more of Gergei’s world, visit GergeiErdei.com