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WHO OR WHAT IS LMNOP AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
LMNOP is a Brooklyn-based branding agency. We help great companies realize their identities and bring them to life. While we work with all sorts of people and industries, the bulk of our work is with hotels and restaurants, and we think our job is the best—we get to play with colors, shapes, and textures all day, every day.
LMP: I've always had a thing for hotels. As a child, my family once stayed at a Sheraton with an indoor pool and the experience has never left me...I vividly remember the smell of the chlorine and the echo of pool. There is something transformative and magical about hotels, and when the experience is rounded out by amazing service and attention to detail, it's that much more lasting. We love playing a part in creating those details and memories.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and anything: movies or music, a conversation with a friend, a trip to Mexico, a subway ride through the city. As creative people, it's important to keep yourself open to creativity - nothing should be off limits!
HOW IMPORTANT IS COLLABORATION AND WHO HAVE YOU ENJOYED WORKING WITH THE MOST?
Collaboration is huge! Every new job is a collaboration with that client and the handful of others that make it all happen. Lately, we've been working with some amazing interior designers—specifically, Roman & Williams and the great guys over at Parts & Labor Design. We also collaborate quite a bit with illustrators—most recently, Jon Contino, The Blake Wright, and Larry Thacker. And then there are all the great photographers...Really, what makes this job so fun is all the amazing creatives who keep us inspired along the way.
WHO ARE YOU INSPIRED BY AND DO YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE IN THE FIELD OF CREATIVE HOSPITALITY?
What Freehand is doing is great. Also, The Wythe and of course, the Ace. Creatively, the Ace always kills it.
WHAT'S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU'VE SEEN IN THE INDUSTRY IN THE PAST 5 YEARS?
I think the biggest change is the sheer amount of competition as far as hotels go. Years ago, it felt like there were a few hotel groups that totally ruled the market. But now, there are some awesome little companies focusing on amazing properties popping up. They're breathing new life into the term "boutique hotels"...which for a long time was being applied to hotels that didn't deserve the honor.
THE MAJORITY OF YOUR WORK IS HOSPITALITY FOCUSED. WAS THAT AWLAYS YOUR INTENDED DIRECTION?
This wasn't our original intention...but we love it! Hotels and restaurants have always been some of our favorite projects. It's fun to leave our mark in some unexpected ways on some of these properties.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO BUDDING DESIGNERS?
Work with people that you respect creatively and people who will challenge you. Know that you are going to create some things that you are just not proud of, and that is ok, but make it push you to do better. And don't take this too seriously...we aren't saving the world here! It's supposed to be fun.
WHERE WILL YOU BE ON YOUR NEXT DAY OFF?
LMP: Running your own business you don't get too many days off! Lately, I've been trying to do things around NYC that I've never done or haven't done in a while. A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a Grand Central Day...Oyster Bar, whispering wall, staring up at the gorgeous ceiling. Next, I think we'll do a museum day. I've always wanted to check out the Museum of Sex and The Museum of Mathematics...which together would be an awesome and weird day.
LN: A day off for me has changed drastically over the years. It used to be planning out a nice 'alone' day where I would go sit at the bar of a favorite restaurant or go to a museum. But these days, it's packing up my son and heading to the park. Equally as amazing, but definitely different!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD?
LMP: For some reason that's a really tough question. Every hotel I've stayed in has special memories for me, so to choose one is impossible. Or maybe I just haven't stayed at my favorite yet! Any suggestions?
LN: Some of my favorite hotel experiences have been some of the simplest. I used to be a regular at this no frills place in Yelapa, Mexico called Hotel Lagunita. Simple little casitas right on the beach in a quiet cove. It doesn't get much better than that for me.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR LMNOP?
We are looking to expand the business beyond NYC - we're especially looking at you, West Coast! We just signed on a new client based in Georgia which is exciting and should warrant a trip or two down south. We were also just in LA, and the winter sun was intoxicating - we'd love to have an excuse to get over there more often.