Sourcing With: Scaramanga
Sourcing retro inspired pieces the world over, Scaramanga is a lifestyle brand specialising in original vintage and antique furniture. Here in this week’s Meet The Designer feature we sit down with owner and founder Carl Morenikeji to discuss their best-selling pieces, a Hollywood appearance and the inspiration behind the brand.
Introduce yourself! What is Scaramanga? And what do you specialise in?
I’m Carl, owner and founder of Scaramanga, which is an original lifestyle brand. We specialise in original vintage & antique furniture – we don’t sell reproductions. As well, we design original vintage style leather bags for men and women. Scaramanga is a small but growing, passionate brand where the originality and quality of what we sell always comes first.
How did Scaramanga come about? Is there a story behind the name?
I’m one of the fortunate ones that got to turn my passion for travelling and love of vintage into a job. I spent years travelling the globe, always exploring little bazaars or markets taking in beautiful old world items that told a story of place and time. I brought back an old leather satchel, small boxes and handmade leather journals found in the ancient town of Jaisalmer, India in ‘99. All my friends and family in the UK loved these items kept asking ‘where can I get that?’…so I thought why not bring more items back and sell them. I was ready to start something for myself and thought this could be a really great business, one that I would never tire of.
So with just a couple thousand pounds, I bought some vintage pieces and had some leather satchels made in India and started selling them online from my attic space. Fast forward to today and Scaramanga is an internationally recognised brand selling roughly 40 styles of leather bags and stocking an incredible amount of vintage furniture & interiors to a very specific group of customers, trade customers and stockists. And the name itself – I’m just a big Bond fan! I loved the name of the suave hit-man villain in the classic Bond film ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, Scaramanga, so decided it would be a great business name. A cool retro name for a retro-inspired business!
Where do you source your furniture from? Are there any interesting stories from your travels?
We source our furniture from all over the globe. A great deal of it comes from Jodpur which showcases the biggest variety and quality in vintage furniture in Asia. The craftsmanship of these old pieces is remarkable, not to mention the detail. You just can’t find anything else like it. I also travel around the UK, visiting auction houses and vintage fairs, but the best pieces come from old schools or post offices that are refurbished or closing down. I’ve been lucky to find incredible furniture restorers along the way, so I don’t have to worry about the condition of some pieces, we can always restore it, whilst keeping the original integrity. There is so much history in furniture whether it comes from ancient towns in India or a post office in Fife, we love to be able to give that story to our customers.
What are your best-selling items?
Our best-selling items are our original wooden chests – but that might be because I have a little obsession with them and we stock over 800 of them. Each one different from another from size to size to colour and each come with their own little history. We are working more and more with restaurant and bars because we can source vintage furniture in large amounts, so this time of year we see thousands of old metal chairs and tables go to them for outdoor seating areas. Our leather bags are of course one of our best-selling items, our loyal customers just wait for the next one to come out. We aim to launch 2 new collections a year and working hard on Spring 2018 just now.Any interesting clients? We’ve heard a rumour some of your pieces have featured on the silver screen!
We can confirm the rumour is true! We source a lot of furniture to props buyers and our pieces have been seen in huge Hollywood hits such as The Hobbit, Maleficent, Pan and Tarzan. It all started by chance, too! We were contacted by the Royal Shakespeare Company who needed old bags for their King Lear productions, and being able to fulfil that request led one props buyer telling another about us and the next thing we know a props buyer working with Tim Burton is calling us needing old chests and trunks for Dark Shadows and the rest, as they say, is history.
It’s not uncommon for us to get a call in the morning for vintage furniture that needs to be on set the following day in London, it’s manic, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You can also see our pieces in TV dramas including Peaky Blinkers, Jericho, Celebrity Big Brother, which is a lot of fun because me those who work for Scaramanga are big fans of those shows, so it’s great to see them on the telly on any given night. One of our leather bags almost had its starring role as it was bought for Tom Cruise to use in Edge Of Tomorrow…but it turned out to be too big, I guess the props buyer forgot he’s not very tall!
And finally, what are your trend predictions for A/W 2017?
I think people are becoming more confident in styling given all the inspiration on social media, so we will see a trend for eclectic interiors. Mixing styles, eras, colours, materials and patterns will be its own statement. It wasn’t long ago that people were buying sets of furniture for any given room, but now it’s about home interiors that complement each other, not match each other. Additionally, people are more and concerned about where their furniture comes from and the quality of it. To borrow a phrase that floats around a lot today, ‘own less, own better’. This is where Scaramanga stands out as a company. You can buy a really special piece from us that has been hand selected, not ordered from a catalogue, and it comes with a great original story of time and place. It will last for years and become a cherished statement piece that will take from home to home, it will mean something.Are you up to date with Warehouse Home magazine? Subscribe online today and receive Warehouse Home Issue Six hot off the press!