Interior designer Sasha Bikoff recently collaborated with Oliver James to launch a brand new line of luxury pools floats. These floats–offered in five striking, fruit-inspired colors–sell for $950 and are sure to make your pool day a day to remember. Read on to hear more about Sasha’s background, design work, and the gorgeous Oliver James collaboration.
Downtown: What is your personal background in Design?
Sasha: I actually do not have a background in interior design. I studied Art History and Fine Arts in college and went straight to work in the contemporary art world. My background in design comes more from my childhood being inspired by my grandmother, who was an original tastemaker. I would watch the way she decorated her homes, her floral arrangements, the way she would entertain, her garden. When I lived in Paris for college, I lived in Saint-Germain in a decorator’s apartment and amongst the city’s leading vintage and antique dealers. I frequented the Marché aux Puces and really immersed myself in design. It became a real passion.
DT: Growing up did you always see a career in interior design?
Sasha: I knew I would have a career in the arts, I just didn’t know it would be in interiors. I think I was meant to do this all along as I have a love for the home and for all things beautiful. It’s my passion and goal to make the world a more beautiful place, one room at a time. And to bring happiness and create memories and experiences along the way.
DT: Based on using your keen understanding of design and culture, what does your design process look like when meeting with a client?
Sasha: I am firstly inspired by my clients, the environment, the architecture, and the overall lifestyle of the project. When designing a space, I set a clear vision as to what story I am going to tell in that space, and the story evolves just as paint builds up on the canvas. It becomes layered and more complex as it goes along.
DT: How has your hometown New York City inspired you?
Sasha: Growing up in New York City was very important to my creative lens because I was constantly stimulated by exhibitions, architecture, and just the overall sense of being savvy when it comes to business. In a way, being born and raised in New York City makes you want to hustle to really make something of yourself.
DT: What is your personal favorite location abroad to get inspired?
DT: How has working at a world-renowned art gallery in the beginning of your career helped transformed the way you view art and design?
Sasha: It helped me learn how to be a businesswoman, seeing the way a gallery was run and how to work with private clients.
DT: What is the story behind the colorful pool lounges collaboration with Oliver James?
Sasha: Oliver James bridged the gap between luxury lounge chairs and pool floats for the first time ever. It’s one of those innovative design brands I genuinely admire, and I couldn’t be any happier to be able to design for them a capsule collection of pool floats (or ‘lilos’, as they call them) that reflect my personal playful style. The neon colors were inspired by 1990’s RLX sun bleached fashion, adding a little summer fun to every pool setting.
DT: What was it like creating fun colors for the pool lounges with Oliver James?
Sasha: I did a lot of research, and we sampled a bunch of colors to get the perfect combinations. I wanted to use Oliver James’ luxury pool floats as a canvas to add a pop of color to pool settings, which typically have a neutral palette. Along with old RLX collections, I also took inspiration from nature, in an array of bright, neon colors with contrast details.
DT: How did you produce the names such as The Dragonfruit or The Blueberry for the floats?
Sasha: The colors of the five inflatables reminded me of tropical fruits. It goes with the whole notion of fun in the sun, in line with my personal style.
DT: What is one obstacle you had to face as an interior designer?
Sasha: Getting clients to trust the process and trust you is very important.
DT: Has there ever been a collaboration that seemed hard or impossible and how did you overcome it?
Sasha: No, a collaboration shouldn’t be hard, hence why it’s a collaboration. Both parties should be on the same page, it’s a relationship.
DT: What has been your favorite project so far?
Sasha: Working with Versace.
DT: Are you working on any new projects?
Sasha: Yes, I’m working on a lot of great residential and commercial jobs, including a new hotel.
DT: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is looking to get involved in the design field whether that be fashion, interior design, art?
Sasha: My advice would be to create a brand for yourself, something that differentiates who you are and what your vibe is, and then stick with this. Look and run with it.
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