RICHARD LE SAND
Country / City: SINGAPORE
Online presence (Facebook, Instagram, Weibo, etc.): http://www.facebook.com/pages/AKAR-de-NISSIM/453952931336528
Profession / Occupation: Founder/CEO AKAR DE NISSIM
A designer by trade with twenty years of practical experience in the decorating sector, Richard Le Sand understood very early on that there were opportunities to be had in Asia. From his first trip to China in 1998 to his move to Singapore ten years later with his wife Marianne and his children, he very quickly built up a very wide network of clients in the region, master craftsmen, and investors who helped him to launch his own upscale lifestyle brand AKAR de NISSIM in 2014. Two years of preparation were dedicated to designing the first collection of furniture and accessories. They were manufactured in Vietnam with the help of a handful of master craftsmen who had come from France (master cabinetmaker, chandler, upholsterer, coppersmith).
Richard took advantage of the arrival of the Maison&Objet design fair in Singapore in 2014 to officially launch the brand. The enthusiastic reaction in the media and from clients enabled him to work quickly on projects for luxury companies such as Four Seasons, SCDA Kelly Hoppen interior designers, and also Aman Resorts.
Why did you decide to live in this country? What aspect of your two cultures do you find most enriching?
We settled in Singapore because the City-State offers a unique entrepreneurial environment with a strategic, central geographical location to anyone wanting to develop an idea.
“East meets West” is everywhere here, all the more so since “Chinatown” is located in the business district. There is a stark contrast between ultra-modern buildings next to a succession of old teahouses or opium dens or the co-existence of three generations of individuals who have all lived through different cultural, sociological, or political revolutions. The republic of Singapore will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this year and time doesn’t mean the same as our 2,500-year-old history. Everything goes very fast because time has been accelerating here right from the birth of the republic to now.