Why Iacoli & McAllister Work So Well Together
He’s a Capricorn; she’s a Virgo—even astrologists can vouch for their compatibility.
McAllister (left) and Iacoli.
Jamie Iacoli was about done with Seattle in 2007 when she met Brian McAllister, who was studying industrial design at University of Washington. “Brian knew how to weld, and I said, ‘You should bring me over and show me how to weld,’” Jamie recalls. BOOM. With those magic words, a beautiful artistic partnership was born: They moved into a studio space together stat and figured things out from there.
Another Iacoli & McAllister piece: a matte-black powder-coated step ladder with pink washed oak treads and brass hinges.
Once they determined what this new project Iacoli & McAllister should be—a furniture and jewelry outfit driven by a clean-lined ethos—how did they figure out how to work together so well? “We sketch an idea really poorly together, and then Brian does a modeling of the concept on the computer—I art-direct over his shoulder. Then I create quarter-scale models of the design. Brian doesn’t really have the patience to build the models,” Jamie explains. “But our skills really complement each other. I’m the brains; he’s the brawn. He’s the one who figures out engineering and production, and I’m the front-of-house.”
The duo inspiration-hunting.
And to answer that question you’re definitely asking in your head: “No, we’re not a couple. We were a couple, and it shows just how well we work together that we still get along after that. We’re like brother and sister now. We’re done with that,” Jamie laughs. Impressive—almost as much so as the design magic they make.
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Seattle’s Finest, According to Iacoli & McAllister
The designers give us a tour of the seven spots they heart the most.
Being based in the moody, beautiful, artist-nurturing city of Seattle has had a huge impact on Iacoli & McAllister, and one of the best parts of town, in the humble opinion of the duo behind the line, is Capitol Hill, where they have their studio and create stunning, clean-lined furniture and jewelry. As Jamie Iacoli says, “It’s the densest part of the city, and it’s also the hippest and gayest. I can stumble outside, and there’s a ton of amazing local, seasonal restaurants within a five-block radius and a real sense of community.” Here, Jamie gives props to the places in her adopted hometown—Capitol Hill and beyond—that she and her cohort Brian McAllister can’t get enough of.
Elliott Bay Book Company
“They have a great magazine stand and amazing coffee, and the space is beautiful. It’s a half a block from the studio, so we go there every few days to have a coffee and to flip through magazines.” (elliottbaybook.com)
Volunteer Park Conservatory
“This park is a 15 to 20 minute walk from our studio. The conservatory has stunning views of the city, an Asian Art Museum, and a gorgeous greenhouse.” (volunteerparkconservatory.org)
“Walking in here makes you feel like you’re on a movie set—it’s that sickeningly sweet Pacific Northwest sort of place, and it’s great. There’s a sandwich shop, cheese shop, flower shop, butcher, oyster bar, wine bar, and one of Matt Dillon’s restaurants, Sitka & Spruce.” (melrosemarketseattle.com)
“This Belltown neighborhood shop was started by our dear friend and photographer Charlie Schuck. He carries beautiful—beautiful!—objects [Ed: See the America mirror above], and he throws some fun parties, too. We call him Good Time Charlie. He’s magnetic.” (hereisobject.com)
North Cascades Highway
“The photos of this road say it all. It’s part of what makes this area magical.”
“Our great friend Jill Wenger is the owner of Totokaleo. She’ll be moving to our neighborhood, Capitol Hill, soon, opening a much larger store with home goods. I go to her site at least three times a week for wardrobe inspiration.” (totokaelo.com)
Ferry to Bainbridge Island
“It’s a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle across the sound to Bainbridge Island, and it is the best way to see the city—for only $6.50.” (wsdot.wa.gov)