Sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar’s New Homeware Collection

Nadia and Laila Gohar at Laila’s apartment on the Upper West Side. It’s going to be a long day.
Photo: Andres Kudaki

For many years, Laila Gohar has been at Frieze Art Fair and Fashion‘s pre-Met Gala party, with installations that fall somewhere between canapés and conceptual art: challah thrones, jelly rice cake breasts, and fish-shaped butter sculptures, among others. It’s as if the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington was a caterer.

“When you put my work into these spaces, it’s kind of like an equalizer,” says Leila, 33. “Everyone is equally confused.”

Now the chaos comes home.Laila and her painter sister Nadia, 32, are launching a line of bizarre household items called Garhar world. To launch the collection, they’ll be hosting a rooftop garden party in a hideaway at Rockefeller Center, serving snacks in the shadow of St. Patrick’s Cathedral: trimmed towers of boiled potatoes and daikon radishes, alternately lined with carnations; long horses Woven ropes of zurilla cheese, waiting to be snipped by weathered iron shears; yard puffs like party submarines; and octopus candlesticks for cupping instead of votives. (Negotiations are underway to open a Gohar World store in The Rocks later this year, so the venue.)

Like Laila’s food, Gohar World’s aesthetic emphasizes artisan quality and craftsmanship, but is somewhere in between comical—what funny again-Ok? Egg Candlesticks are available for just $298. A pair of Egyptian linen bibs with ribbons for $135. A miniature lace shawl — they call it a hat — costs $42 a tomato.

Like the sisters – Nadia to the party in a sequined Chanel suit, Laila in a pink satin Prada miniskirt cut low back to reveal a (temporary) bean-shaped GOHAR tattoo – the items exuded a provocation A sense of playful luxury. “Most things, you know, you don’t absolutely need,” Nadia admits. “But it can be added to your desk.” Or your people: A beaded necklace resembling chicken feet (sold out) or a satin satchel for baguettes. “There needs to be a sense of humor,” Laila said. “Otherwise, it’s a bit overwhelming. If something is too chic for me, it really makes me nervous.” Fashion precedes conversation; Gohar World needs it. “I mean, if you take our baguette to the farmers market and you have ribbons all over your arms,” ​​Laila said, “people would love it, What’s the matter with you?

The Gohar spread provided the same experience and atmosphere as lighthearted; when Laila made food for her friend Daphne Javich’s baby shower, she was served with carrots that were still clumpy. “People don’t know if it can be eaten,” Javitch told me. “I have participated in similar events, This is beautiful but I’m wearing heels – do I need to peel a hard boiled egg? But I love this about her because I can get a peeled hard boiled egg in any old place. There are so few quirks left. She had this indulgent look, as if none of it mattered. “

The Gohars grew up in Cairo, where their father — a journalist, photographer and creative chef, just Gohar — would invite local dignitaries to dinner with fishmongers. “He rose to fame because he didn’t do anything twice,” Nadia said. “It’s always a little rough, but in a delicious way,” says Leila. “Once he made a fish tank out of strawberries. I remember Nadia and my mom not eating it. He and I were like, Mmmm, yummy, yummy. I definitely took a page out of his book. “

Both Laila and Nadia went to college in the US. Nadia studies Art, Leila International Relations. “I’ve always been interested in food,” Laila said. “But I thought I needed to do something smarter.” But when she moved to New York, she started testing recipes for cooking sites and started making esoteric snacks for her stylish and well-connected friends. Snacks became a business.

On the rooftop, a mix of fashion, design and hospitality genres (Leila’s boyfriend is restaurateur Ignacio Matos), they all do well, sipping mezcal margaritas. Jenna LyonsThe former president of J.Crew, dressed in a three-piece suit and no shirt, gravitated to a lace tablecloth; she grew up in California, “I’ve never seen a tablecloth,” she says. Laila replied that in Cairo they even have one for their roll of toilet paper. As night fell, ballroom MC Sister Nancy performed with a microphone, and DJ Mark Ronson and Cobra showed up, wearing trucker hats, to take pictures of cake slices and party attendees in sequence.

It had the feel of a chaotic dinner party; Sister Nancy hosted a round of “Happy Birthday, Gauhar.” At night, the tables are covered with Gohar World shirts and tablecloths – and collars – littered with half-eaten sandwiches, knives with pastry cream and small sausage pieces, and music can be heard beating seven planes landing on the street superior. After midnight, the police showed up. Laila was unmoved. “I think it’s better for a party to end on a high note,” she told me, “better than failure.”

Shortly after eight in the morning, Laila was brushing her teeth for the second time. “I usually get up at six, but I woke up at five today because I’m so nervous.”

Nadia took a taxi from her Lower East Side home to Laila’s Upper West Side apartment and spent the day preparing. Women who generally do not eat breakfast drink black coffee and spring water.

Laila’s boyfriend, Ignacio Mattos, said goodbye before going to work. Throughout the day, there are plenty of people running back and forth between the rooftops and Matos’ restaurant, cafe and bakery Lodi across the street.

Laila was dressed and ready.

The sisters were at the breakfast table with their mother Nevin, who was at the opening with Laila, and Mattos. “My mom is great. Very low key. I don’t have to take care of her as much,” Laila said.

Laila went to the party in the Prada dress she was going to wear that night. “I was filming once and they gave it to me,” she said.

The sisters head to Gohar World’s Chinatown studio, where staff are ready in shifts to bring everything to Rockefeller Center.

Laila has been in her studio for four or five years. “This is a kitchen that I built — kind of like a DIY kitchen. Now, in Gohar World, we’ve changed the space a little bit to make it mixed-use. There’s a studio space, a stock room at Gohar World, and then the kitchen.”

Laila and one of her assistants weave homemade mozzarella cheese.

Gohars’ sister Janna (left) came to help. Malena Burman, Laila’s longtime assistant and friend, packs potatoes for the trim tower.

photo by Andres Kudaki

Nadia provides spare carnations for Miguel Yatco, a florist who builds a food tower.

Laila, Burman and freelance pastry chef Lauren Schofield were handing a one-meter baguette custom-made for the event by Mattos’ Lodi restaurant.

Nadia and crew member Kieran Turner load up on a cherry-colored food tower. “We had to push it to Fifth Avenue. People loved it.”

Upon reaching the space around 12:30, Laila and Nadia lowered the curtains for a video installation by the sisters’ friends Hayley Benton Gates and Lena Green.

Building a cherry and potato food tower on site is a feat of engineering. “We also built the internal structure,” Leila said. “Miguel, who worked with us, has been working on this for about a week.”

In the rooftop garden, Laila fills the egg candle holder at Gohar World with deviled eggs. A total of 124 eggs were made for this event. The blend is “very classic,” says Leila. “Tabasco, mayonnaise, vinegar.”

Party Snack: An extra-long ham-butter sandwich with homemade mozzarella on a stretchy shirt-fabric tablecloth from Gohar World.

Laila gets dressed in the bathroom at the venue.

Preview time begins. “We were worried about overcapacity, and we were,” Leila said. “And we were worried we were going to be shut down, and we did” — but not until after midnight.

“The pigeons had to be released by a certain hour before they could find their way home,” Nadia said. “So we have a strict pigeon schedule.”

photo by Andres Kudaki

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *