Leonard el Zein

A clear and simple design - creators of the DesignerBox #52

“Leonard el Zein”: The name works so well that it could easily be mistaken for the alias of an illusive successful singer or famous contemporary artist… What a surprise then, to discover that behind the patronym lies a creative hive, almost exclusively composed of women nestled in a cobbled street in Paris’ 10th arrondissement with an equally evocative name: “le passage du Désir”…

The combination of their two surnames may be a happy coincidence, but the association between the co-founders of the Morgane Leonard and Jehane El Zein agency was premeditated. It was on the benches outside the school of design in Nantes that the two young women were struck by a reciprocal creative thunderbolt and swore to set up their own organisation when the time was right… Once their diplomas were in the bag, they each earned their own spurs, at l’Oréal as interior designer and as an event designer, Jehane at Yves Saint Laurent and Morgane at Chanel.


Verre à Paris illustration design by Leonard el Zein


Some 7 years later, the encounter with a potential client ended up sealing the fate of the two friends who decided to take action by leaving the large corporations to set up an agency whose credo is “clarity and simplicity”. For if the girls do not in any way deny their femininity and their aptitude for the fields of fashion and beauty – they count among their customers famous and eminently feminine brands such as Chloé, Saint Laurent Beauty and even Birchbox- they banish frills and other stylistic convolutions in favour of refined design whose form is dictated above all by function.


 Experimentations door handle design by Leonard el Zein

They can be seen in retail design, setting up luxury hairdressing salons, showrooms, boutiques and other pop-up stores, packaging, graphic design and event design, always with the same care for creating tailor-made solutions with that little extra soul that characterises their signature style. Now running a small company with seven employees, Jehane and Morgane are multiplying their projects and asserting their multidisciplinary dimension, eager to develop their product design activity. As adventurers, they do not hesitate to spread their talents off the beaten track of fashion and beauty where they have already proved themselves, to test new experimental fields. Like fish in water in the area of innovation, the challenge was successfully met when, in 2016, they passionately developed an aquaponic fish tank for the young start-up ‘Farm up’, bringing a breath of fresh air and poetry to interiors; and are currently working on a project of graphically astute and practical handles for contemporary furniture.


Farm up aquarium design by Leonard el Zein


A product of their creative fixation which aims to infuse poetry into practice, the perch issued by DesignerBox is a clever theatre for everyday pocket objects. If we like to hang the treasures of our collections on display, the covetous object is also and above all a practical utensil with a cork base, a smart, out of sight…


See Leonard el Zein online shop, by clicking here

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