it is nice to meet you and thank you for taking the time to look at my work.
My name is Stefan Boublil, I am French, a traveller from the start, settled in the U.S. since 1989, design entrepreneur since 1999, creative director-at-large since 2009, and yours from 2019…
Creative Director is an oddly broad title for a position that first starts with listening, not directing; indicative of an individual who, beyond taste, discipline and leadership, is surely mainly mandated to offer a different perspective, hopefully the result of lifelong experiences spent in the study of others’ instruments, only then becoming a conductor, encompassing a team's talents into a symphony that will not merely generate financial or practical value, but meaning above all.
The work contained herein is a sample of those orchestras it has been my privilege to be a part of in the past 20 years.
After a few years spent traveling and raising children in Europe, I returned to the U.S. and was lucky to have a conversation with a friend who had started to work for Google. For the first time in their history, they are being looked at as sophisticated, curious, and willing to take risks. They, like most brands, speak about building “experiences,” small gestures, events, conversations, all great starts. I joined the team to help dig deeper and look at every single way they can engage customers, because each moment is an opportunity to plant a seed. And water it.
Those are cultural moments, and the opportunity is ripe to become a cultural engine.
As Creative Director of Cultural Initiatives, I was able to create and be a part of a few wonderful teams across Hardware, YouTube and Marketing projects.
Design is neither a skill nor a discipline, it is a form of expression, a language..
No two projects are alike, and studying each client’s purpose and context before any work is proposed is foundational. Thoughtful understanding of behavior and psychology is the cornerstone of a line well-drawn, and the following pieces of work are examples of such consideration.
From promotional posters to a spa franchise by way of a master plan for a new city in the Ukraine, each industry not only has its own set of peculiarities but also changes with technological progress, trends and new insights. Each project must be given serious attention to detail in order to communicate correctly to their specific audience, and then, of course, go a step further.
Assembling different teams for different projects, from managers to graphic designers to architects to filmmakers to set builders, is one of the main reasons I love what I do, able to present bold new visions for each assignment that don’t merely borrow from the one that came before. To invent, always.
An experimemt in theater rather than retail, a band of misfits get together to create nyc’s first concept store and agency.
In 1999, I co-founded the first design concept store in New York City. Set up as a functioning apartment in SoHo, we presented objects of desire in a lived-in context, where you could lunch, watch tv, even shower, and buy everything you touched, from the Japanese toothpaste to the Italian sofa. We shaped our process around a simple philosophy: that since everything in the world is designed, we must be attentive and curate our lives only with those objects that we find personally relevant, useful and beautiful. Prioritizing community and consumer education, we were able to bring in a new audience to appreciate design for what it does, not just what it looks like in a glass box.
Originating as a retail store, we quickly grew into an agency, doing for clients what we had done for ourselves, tell stories, with a beginning, middle and end, even if not necessarily in that order. We conceptualized events, designed products, spaces and invitations, all in the name of creating a client’s narrative.
Culture is what remains when all else if forgotten.
Culture lays the foundation for all of the projects you’ve just seen, it forces us to place every idea, product and event within a context that people will recognize, identify with and hopefully aspire to. Creating culture is therefore what I am most passionate about because when I read a great story by a company, even though it doesn’t necessarily make me want to go buy their product right then , it shows they care about their craft, and creating something that is beautiful, so I start to assume that they put that same purpose into making their products. That is why cultural endeavors are so important.
Art is not a luxury, dreams not a distraction, pleasure not an indulgence, they’re all natural human needs, no less than food and shelter.
All that contributes to culture. And if we spend much of our time taking advantage of it, so must we give some back…
Without an orchestra, I’m just a gesticulating weirdo on a podium.
Through the last few decades of living in various places and working in various industries, I have been lucky to meet and join forces with exceptional people; hailing from the fields of design, art, film, music, theater, fashion and so much more, it has been my privilege to call them friends, mentors and collaborators. Moreover, it has been an honor to learn from all the members of this grand orchestra in order to become a more capable, knowledgeable and competent conductor. The ability to call on their gifts given a particular challenge is the moment I wait for every time a new client comes through the door.
The symphony would not sound like anything without them.