MEET THE MAKER: Antoine Daniel
The Line, a young French brand created by a former carpenter Antoine Daniel, envisions and designs beautiful items representing some of the most iconic cities in the world.
The Line travels across the globe to take pictures of cities and turns them into a timeless, thin and refined line. More than just presenting a beautiful design, The Line is offering a detailed point of view on a city and its history.
Hi Antoine, before starting to talk about The Line, can you tell us a bit more about you and your background?
I am French, I enjoy my life in Paris. As my father is an architect, I have always lived in well-designed homes with beautiful proportions and I have always been sensitive to objects and spaces. After my studies, I needed to know how the objects were made, I needed to make things. I studied cabinet making at the Ecole Boulle in Paris. Then I worked as a carpenter in a great studio that made impressive scenery. I worked as a carpenter on fashion shows, opera decoration, and the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco! I had a good time working there. After that, I set up my own workshop where I designed and made my own furniture. I produced chairs, tables and specific pieces for artists in a big workshop full of machines. I left that job to create The Line just a year ago.
How did you come up with The Line?
One day, returning from a boat trip, my father took a picture of Marseille from the sea at sunrise; the photo was beautiful and showed the great silhouette of the city. We thought about what we could to the photo without framing it. Returning to Paris on the train, I drew the photo without lifting my pencil – a single line represented the city. I scanned it and I laser cut it from a sheet of steel. I then offered it to my parents who hooked it at home. A week after, all their friends wanted one for their home. So I created the packaging, a logo and a graphic identity and sold some to my parents' fiends. I then presented them to a shop in Marseille - I sold the 200 I made in 10 days! So I replicated the idea in Paris and The Line was born. I just never had time to go back to my shop to make furniture.
Where did you start the brand? Did the home influence you?
The Line was born in Marseille and so was I. It's a very special city, I'm in love with it. Marseille deserves to be better known despite its very bad reputation. People don't know it but Marseille is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! One thing that makes Marseille unique is the people who live there. They love their city deeply, they are very attached and proud. When The Line came out, it worked very well there because it's an object that represents the city in an honest and minimalistic way. People hung it on their walls almost as a religious object, they were proud to show from off where they are from.
What's your approach to design?
I'm a purist but it doesn't prevent me from being influenced by various artists such as Donald Judd, Enzo Mari or closer to us, Piet Hein Eek. What I like about these three designers is that they have a real manufacturing process; they draw in order to make. It's smart design with strong biases!
What's the next step for The Line?
The Line is a baby, and we want to grow. We want to continue our city collection, to expand our production, and to work with good retailers across the globe. It is important that during each of your trips, you can bring back your line. We will not confine ourselves to the cities, and we will renew our brand, but it is still too early to talk about that...
You can find The Line's full collection on the Notable Designs stand at Pulse 2017.