Brand Story

The be­spoke light­ing pieces by Ger­man brand Wind­fall are ver­i­ta­ble works of art—co-founders Clarissa Dorn and Roel Haag­mans dis­cuss the in­spir­ing ways they have rein­vented the de­sign of the clas­sic chandelier

Singapore Tatler Homes - - JUN/JUL 2018 -

Ger­man brand Wind­fall basks in the beauty of crys­tal with its mod­ern chan­de­liers

When Clarissa Dorn and Roel Haag­mans teamed up to re­alise their vi­sion of crys­tal chandelier light­ing, they did not imag­ine that they would one day be out­fit­ting lux­ury bou­tiques across the world, the home of one of Google’s own­ers in Los An­ge­les, and even a palace in Saudi Ara­bia. These and more stun­ning in­te­ri­ors fea­ture gor­geous glass chan­de­liers of Wind­fall, which lives up to its name; the light­ing pur­veyor has en­joyed a for­tu­itous streak of projects.

Since start­ing Wind­fall 15 years ago, the brand has be­come an open se­cret in lux­ury light­ing, and the go-to for celebri­ties, the well-trav­elled, as well as global cor­po­ra­tions. Bri­tish Air­ways, Philippe Starck, Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, as well as no­table lu­mi­nar­ies are among their litany of high-pro­file clients; most of whom ap­proached them af­ter see­ing the stun­ning cre­ations in the homes of friends or as­so­ci­ates. Yet global dom­i­na­tion was achieved with­out any mar­ket­ing or pub­lic­ity; Wind­fall’s web­site is still “ex­per­i­men­tal” (in Haag­mans’ words) and their very first cat­a­logue came out only a year ago. From the be­gin­ning, both of them made a de­ci­sion not to work with stores but through ex­clu­sive show­rooms in se­lected ci­ties like Moscow, Mi­ami, Paris, Zürich, and Sin­ga­pore.

“WE DE­SIGN WITH PAS­SION AND WE WANT TO DO SOME­THING BEAU­TI­FUL”

MOD­EST BE­GIN­NINGS

The story of Wind­fall be­gan in an apart­ment in Mu­nich: Dorn and Haag­mans were dis­en­chanted with work­ing for em­ploy­ers, and started out putting to­gether their chandelier pieces on the din­ing ta­ble in Dorn’s four-bed­room abode. In the firm’s early days, ev­ery­thing hap­pened in her apart­ment, from de­sign to pro­duc­tion of their crys­tal light­ing col­lec­tions. Al­though it was hardly shabby— the home was a beau­ti­ful space with stucco ceil­ings—it was not ex­actly the venue one might have wished for a visit by a po­ten­tial client; such as one hail­ing from Dubai, who called them up out of the blue, and wanted to see their chan­de­liers in per­son. In the end, the makeshift show­room was not an is­sue to the client; he was en­rap­tured and won over by the sheer beauty of their crys­tal chan­de­liers.

The pair had first met while work­ing on a project in Kazan, Rus­sia. Dorn’s back­ground in or­gan­is­ing art projects and Haag­mans’ ex­pe­ri­ence in clas­sic chan­de­liers were per­fect foil for their work. To­gether, they com­bined their out-of-the-box think­ing about how a chandelier should look like, with im­pec­ca­ble tech­ni­cal abil­ity and crafts­man­ship, to cre­ate crys­tal light­ing that weren’t like any chan­de­liers the world had seen. Gone were the can­de­labra arms, the scal­loped ropes of hang­ing prisms; in­stead, their in­ven­tive de­signs fea­ture in­ter­lock­ing arcs of crys­talline light, drip­ping jew­els of lu­mi­nos­ity end­ing in tas­sels, and float­ing flo­ral crowns that scat­ter light across the faces of awestruck guests.

MADE FOR YOU

Each Wind­fall chandelier is also a be­spoke cre­ation, cus­tom-made to fit the unique set­ting of each space it dec­o­rates. Most of its light­ing col­lec­tions are also mod­u­lar pieces that can be used as in­di­vid­ual lamps, or as a beau­ti­ful clus­ter of lights to cre­ate a state­ment piece akin to an il­lu­mi­nated art in­stal­la­tion. “It’s some­thing you have to fall in love with, like a sculp­ture,” says Dorn. Haag­mans com­pares the ex­pe­ri­ence of pur­chas­ing a Wind­fall chandelier to that of shop­ping for haute cou­ture: “Peo­ple who want some­thing es­pe­cially tai­lored will buy a be­spoke piece.”

EACH WIND­FALL CHANDELIER IS A BE­SPOKE CRE­ATION, CUS­TOM-MADE TO FIT THE UNIQUE SET­TING OF THE SPACE IT DEC­O­RATES

While an un­fet­tered mind is re­spon­si­ble for novel ideas, tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion also plays a big part in the de­sign of each Wind­fall chandelier. “We are de­vel­op­ing new tech­niques to de­fine a new lan­guage for crys­tal chan­de­liers,” says Haag­mans. “For in­stance, we ar­ranged crys­tal beads within glass tubes in­stead of con­nect­ing them with metal clips to al­low for dif­fer­ent shapes, which is very dif­fer­ent to clas­sic chan­de­liers.” This can be seen in the Tubees col­lec­tion: crys­tal beads are en­cased in glass tubes that take the forms of float­ing leaves and ocean waves. Such tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion is paired with strin­gent qual­ity stan­dards. Wind­fall works closely with ate­liers that have been do­ing the craft since the last cen­tury. Some of their projects are crafted by ate­liers in East Ger­many that have worked for the for­mer Bavar­ian king as well as Rus­sian aris­toc­racy. Even af­ter their blitz of suc­cess­ful projects, Haag­mans feels that there is still much to be done; the am­bi­tious de­signer as­pires to do bet­ter with ev­ery new cre­ation from their light­ing brand. “A de­sign should be time­less, and that is our big­gest chal­lenge— to be time­less,” says Haag­mans. Their brand phi­los­o­phy is sim­ple: “We de­sign with pas­sion and we want to do some­thing beau­ti­ful.”

OP­PO­SITE PAGE The Tubees col­lec­tion fea­tures crys­tal beads en­cased in glass tubes that take the forms of float­ing leaves THIS PAGE The Jewel col­lec­tion com­prises a se­ries of in­ter­lock­ing rings; the Serene chandelier fea­tures a re­cur­ring dahlia mo­tif...

Wind­fall is lo­cated at 2 Kal­lang Av­enue #09-22 CT Hub (By ap­point­ment only); visit wind­fall-asia. com for more in­for­ma­tion

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