clé conversations: mike moser of mike moser studio
by clé tile | published: Jul 9, 2021
undulating display shelves tiled with clé tile zellige 2×2 squares in henna
We see a great number of inspiring installations by our clients, but the recent work by designer Mike Moser really stood out to us for its sophisticated design that highlighted our artisan-crafted tile in furnishings and fixtures.
Moser designed Teller, a 2,800 square foot multi-brand womenswear store featuring independent labels (such as Bella Freud, GANNI, and IRO among many) from around the world. Located at the acclaimed Culver City development known as Platform, Teller is owned by Platform founders David Fishbein and Joey Miller.
The design, with a nod to Mexican modernism and its close tiles to Los Angeles, incorporates an unexpected and rich but muted palette, and luxurious materials with a heavy emphasis on texture. The store blends muted maximalism (curvy velvet sofas, pink-lined dark wood cabinets, and hand-troweled walls) with pistachio polished concrete floors and undulating shelves, tables, and cases featuring clé’s golden henna zellige 2″x2″, shattered pearl zellige 2″x6″, zellige tea ceremony 4” x 4”, antique terracotta 6″x6″. Our tile set off the rest of the design perfectly, with the zellige offering an unexpected pop of glimmer and shine, while antique terracotta brought the zellige, velvet, and sinuous shapes back down to earth.
We caught up with Mike between his many projects to learn about his studio, his inspirations for using our tile, and his outlook on design as a whole.
clé: Tell us about your practice.
Mike: We’re a small team based in LA that has projects in retail, hospitality & residential. We are super passionate about the projects we take on and focus on really working with clients who want to try new things and explore!
clé: What gets you excited about sitting down to design something? What gets you excited once the project is complete?
Mike: To me, the beginning is the most rewarding. I love the puzzle of client expectation, design, budgets, and architecture. All these elements working together is so rewarding. Also there is nothing better than sitting down with a client and just dreaming what a space can be! I still get surprised when something turns out better than I imagined. I was so worried about over-doing the tile in our Teller project and was so happy to see it be so successful.
clé: Do you have any go-to inspiration sources? Or how do you find inspiration?
Mike: Everywhere! travel, my friends in design, and life in general! For example, during the pandemic, living in NYC, I would take long walks through the city and just get inspired by architecture, colors and the city itself.
clé: What do you think you’re known for? What would you like to be known for?
Mike: I’d say the hotels I designed in Tulum with Derek Klein for Casa Pueblo Hotels. (clé NOTE: we very much approve of that checkerboard pool and surrounding area.) I’d like to be known for taking risks, being adventurous in design and most importantly, making the clients I work with feel taken care of, involved, and happy with the entire process. I want to be known for being a positive and a joyful contributor to design, doing & focusing on fun things!
Also, I hope to keep being a chameleon, changing aesthetics and passions for different designs as I grow and evolve.
clé: Tell us about the Teller project.
Mike: David and Joey at PlatformLA were a dream to work for. They let me go crazy and just dream up the space from scratch. It was an industrial blank space into which I got to come in and concept the architecture myself and play with shapes, forms and concepts.
We wanted the space to feel ethereal, relaxed and all about scale. I have had that ochre 2×2″ sample in my sample room for ever and never got to use it. it’s been a favorite so I knew I wanted to incorporate it in a place that someone would be confronted with every time they picked up a piece of clothing off the rails. Having it undulate along the parameter of the store is such a fun visual break from the troweled walls.
clé: What’s coming up next? so many projects!
Mike: We have some really exciting projects I cannot wait to photograph this year. Montecito, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and many here in LA! I am so lucky to have the clients I do. All of them are trusting, kind, and so fun to work with.
clé: What’s a dream project for you?
Mike: Dream project: more hotels! I love the creativity at your disposal in hospitality. I’d also say I have a couple of dreamy residential jobs right now that I am so proud of. I love how they are evolving and cannot wait to show them off in the fall.
Overall I’m just feeling so lucky to have the work and team I have, and grateful for the opportunities to create.