New design studio launched by ex-Wilson Associates bosses

by | 13 Jun 2021 | Design

Following the closure of Wilson Associates, two former members of its Dubai management team have joined forces to launch a new interior design firm, Etherington, McLaughlin & Associates.

Co-founded by Tim Etherington and Iain McLaughlin, Etherington, McLaughlin & Associates (EMA) will serve clients across a range of sectors, including luxury hospitality.

The demise of Wilson Associates

In February 2021, it emerged that one of the world’s most high-profile interior design firms, Wilson Associates, had filed for bankruptcy and liquidation, as revealed by TOPHOTELNEWS. The news sent shockwaves throughout the design world, graphically illustrating the effect that Covid19 has had on the industry.

Many of its talented staff have since been recruited by other firms, with perhaps the most eye-catching example being Campbell House, established by former Wilson Associates CEO Beth Campbell earlier this year.

Now, two of Wilson Associates’ key figures in Dubai have decided to open their own studio. Tim Etherington, former managing director of the Wilson Associates Dubai and Gensler Shanghai offices, and Iain McLaughlin, ex-operations director at Wilson Associates, are the founding partners of EMA, which is headquartered in Dubai. Both boast impressive track records, having previously designed and managed projects across categories such as hospitality, luxury yachts, flagship stores and showrooms.

Capet and Djohan join EMA

They have been joined by a high-powered team that includes Maud Capet and Julie Djohan, Wilson Associates’ former design directors, who have played pivotal roles in major hospitality schemes like the yet-to-open Marsa Al Arab, Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort and MGM The Island.

“We stayed together because of the legacy we’ve built,” said McLaughlin. “Our objective remains the same. With a clear vision of strengthening and enhancing a team capable of designing and implementing luxurious projects, EMA’s emphasis is on creative excellence, documentation quality.”

A distinctive approach to design

EMA will work on luxury and lifestyle hospitality briefs, as well as F&B, premium residential and workspace developments. It intends to provide superior project management, timely project completions and ‘on-brand’ creative design that gives each scheme a unique personality.

“As a firm, we want to establish and maintain strong client relationships and deliver excellent creative solutions,” explained Etherington. “The firm’s primary focus centres around creative innovation, talent development, maintaining and developing key client relationships and strategically positioning the business to support and optimise client’s position in their respective sectors.”


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