The Invisible Collection’s Journey To Becoming A Global Platform For Contemporary Interior Design

In 2016, The Invisible Collection emerged as a trailblazing luxury furniture-sourcing platform, redefining how we perceive and acquire contemporary designs. Established by Anna Zaoui, Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays, and Lily Froehlicher, this e-commerce platform has rapidly become synonymous with exclusivity, sustainability, and a commitment to preserving craftsmanship, ushering in a new era of access to exclusive, made-to-order designs by over 200 renowned architects and interior designers. The Invisible Collection has since grown into a high-growth, independent, and founder-led global phenomenon, achieving $27 million in sales in 2023, causing them to look to expand their reach with in-person exhibits worldwide. With pop-ups already produced in London and New York, the Invisible Collection is looking to explore the European market with a new exhibit in France that aims to showcase the grandeur and opulence of French interior design with a contemporary twist. 

The origins of The Invisible Collection began with a chair– a Papa Bear chair designed by French designer Pierre Yovanovitch – that sparked a moment of inspiration. Anna Zaoui decorated her apartment in New York with Yovanovitch’s exclusive creation in 2015 and recognised the demand for exclusive designer home pieces. Partnering with Isabelle Dubern-Mallevays and Lily Froehlicher, they embarked on a journey to democratise access to bespoke furniture. Pierre Yovanovitch, the designer behind the initial inspiration, became the first to join the platform and has since expanded to feature the works of over 200 architects and interior designers, including prominent names like Charles Zana, Emmanuelle Simon, and Francesco Balzano.

The atelier’s ethos revolves around selling luxury while ensuring sustainability and social responsibility. The brand holds itself to the highest performance standards, transparency and accountability when considering its social and environmental impact, leading it to become the first luxury interior design platform to earn a B Corp Certification™ status. In its stance against mass production, Dubern-Mallevays and Zaoui support family-run workshops, preserving local heritage and promoting local business, reducing waste production, and underscoring that this furniture is works of art that stand the test of time. 

The Invisible Collection’s success lies in its innovative approach to customer engagement. The platform collaborates closely with designers and craftspeople to facilitate customisation, encompassing exclusive colours, dimensions, and materials to ensure each piece is unique and impeccably manufactured. This strategy guarantees authenticity and educates clients on cultural context, fostering a deeper appreciation for the artistry behind each creation. 

In addition to developing individual pieces between clients and designers, The Invisible Collection has assembled a furniture collection from the masters of the Decorative Arts’ golden era. This delicate balance allows the platform to be relevant whilst contributing to the conservation of design heritage.

In recent years, The Invisible Collection has transcended the confines of a typical online platform. While sales predominantly occur online, the brand has left its mark through pop-up exhibitions in global design capitals like Miami, Milan, London, and New York. Additionally, private showrooms in Belgravia, London, serve as an intimate space for clients to experience the curated selection in person. The most recent addition is in Paris, at the Rive Gauche gallery near Les Invalides and the Champs de Mars. 

The opening exhibition, ‘Passages,’ is designed by Lisbon-based multidisciplinary design studio Garcé & Dimofski. Drawing on inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s writings on Paris, Garcé & Dimofski have transformed the three-storey, mid-19th-century-style home into a display of vintage and contemporary design. With furniture from the French Arts Décoratifs movement, the curators wanted to highlight French crafts that honour interior design history whilst still reflecting The Invisible Collection’s commitment to embracing modern sensibilities.Designers such as Pierre Augustin Rose, Studioparisien, Louise Liljencrantz, and others contribute to this unique interpretation of Parisian culture, intertwining historical and architectural references. 

While the brand continues to follow through on its plans to expand to more physical locations, its major revenue is generated from its online platform. The Invisible Collection currently curates pieces from 150+ luxury designers, aiming to reach $195 million in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) within three years. The online platform allows the brand to capitalise on the global appeal of its curated offerings, with almost 50% of its annual sales generated in the US. With EMEA and the APAC market contributing to the remaining sales, The Invisible Collection has positioned itself as a worldwide leader in contemporary luxury furniture, putting it in good stead to achieve its 3-year goal. 

From its unique founding story to its commitment to sustainability and customisation, The Invisible Collection has not only redefined luxury furniture sourcing but elevated it into an art form. With a commitment to exclusivity, sustainability, and customer engagement, the platform remains a trailblazer in contemporary design. As The Invisible Collection continues its trajectory of growth, The Invisible Collection aspires to open exhibits in more locations worldwide that showcase its carefully curated offerings. The Invisible Collection shows that it is not just a marketplace; it is a testament to the marriage of historical legacy and contemporary vision, where every piece tells a story, and every purchase is an investment in artistry and authenticity.