Sharing how good design can affect lives. That has been Luminaire’s guiding philosophy since its founding in 1974 — 47 years ago this month.
The idea for Luminaire emerged out of Nasir and Nargis Kassamali’s love for the work of European design visionaries such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen, which developed while students of design in Copenhagen in the early 1970s. When they arrived in the U.S., the Kassamalis wanted to translate their passion for design into a retail experience in which they could make the best contemporary, international design products from Europe directly available to American consumers.
“Since age 16, I dreamed of having something like a church, where people could come to experience good design.”
Nasir Kassamali, Co-Founder
Since its inception, Luminaire has continued to both expand and respond to the needs of an increasingly receptive audience. When Luminaire opened, buyers looking for “good design” would have been hard pressed to find it without working with an intermediary or traveling to Europe. Anticipating this pent-up demand, Nasir and Nargis Kassamali opened a 500 square foot kiosk in North Miami Beach which focused primarily on European lighting concepts.
Within two years, they grew the store to 4,500 square feet, expanding into furniture and accessories. Before soon, an award-winning flagship showroom designed by Mateu Architects was built in Coral Gables in 1984 and five years later, a Chicago location debuted while the opening of Luminaire Lab in January of 2007 marked a new approach. Most recently, Luminaire’s journey has taken the company to the west coast with the opening of the Los Angeles showroom in 2018.
Over these years, our clients, partners, and the public has embraced our vision and supported us wholeheartedly. Their dedication, loyalty, and support has inspired us to great heights, and together have made Luminaire what it is today.
Born from the dream to affect and change people’s lives through good design, Luminaire continues to remain fervently dedicated to this vision some 47 years later. While we reflect on our journey, we continue to push ahead with passion and excitement. By rethinking the very idea of what a design store can be, we continue to explore new avenues to connect people to good design.