Ladue News Feature Stories

Taking on the Big Apple

St. Louis interior designer Jacob Laws has made a name for himself locally with his fierce passion for art in all forms. The award-winning head of Jacob Laws Interior Design has worked tirelessly over the years to build a brand that reflects his style – and it’s paid off.

Laws kicked off 2018 in New York City, where he attended The Fashion Group International’s (FGI) prestigious Rising Star Awards. The designer was announced as a finalist in early January, and he was named the organization’s Home Furnishings/Product Innovation Rising Star winner at the Jan. 25 event.

Laws had attended the awards event last year, supporting two of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s inaugural class of designers, Emily Brady Koplar and Allison Mitchell, who themselves were nominated then as Rising Stars. A year later, a local member of FGI, Ellen Soule, nominated some of Laws’ work for the 2018 awards.

“Honestly, I hadn’t considered my interior design projects, custom designs or bespoke work as a medium that was relevant for a nomination, much less being a finalist and having my name called as a winner,” he says.

Laws’ interior designs are classic with a modern edge. He often juxtaposes old and new and traditional and contemporary, creating a unique and fresh environment. For his submissions, Laws sent in some custom ceramic dishes, a cut-brass sculpture and dish created from the same piece of scrap metal and a wood sculpture carved from a block.

“I submitted pieces that I had designed specifically for several projects,” he says. “I’m very proud to say that each piece has been handcrafted by local artisans, as I find it so important to support local talent and work collaboratively.”

Laws says that each piece was designed with more than just aesthetics as the objective.

“Every piece has its own bit of soul, and all my pieces are named after people who have been influential in shaping and cultivating my brand,” he says, naming the Dean Tower, Nancy Bowl and Holls Vases as examples.

The experience at the awards was surreal, Laws says. He remembers waking up the day of the event “just thrilled” that he was going. An enthusiastic group of supporters joined him in New York, including his partner; his parents; family members; Saint Louis Fashion Fund members Susan Sherman, Tania Beasley-Jolly and Helene Sayad; and his “design sister,” Jessie D. Miller.

The event took place at a sophisticated venue in Manhattan called Cipriani 42nd Street. Laws describes the atmosphere as “dreamy” and recalls feeling honored, anxious and excited leading up to the announcement. ELLE Decor editor-in-chief Whitney Robinson presented the home and interior category, and Laws says that “everything went black for a split second” when his name was called.

“I truly didn’t have anything prepared to say because I never imagined that I would win,” he says. “The first words into the microphone were ‘Oh, [expletive].’ Luckily, the room laughed and clapped.”

Laws says he dedicated the award to his style icon and inspiration: his grandmother Winnie Phillips Stahl.

Inspired by the movers and shakers he interacted with in New York, Laws is already deep in projects for 2018. At the beginning of March, he was back in New York, working on the initial stages of a new effort called Jacob Laws Lifestyle. He’s also in the middle of a few St. Louis interior design projects. Those interested in learning more about his work can contact him at

“I will never give up designing and working on projects,” he says. “Being able to love what I do positively influences my quality of life.”

As today’s design continues to evolve and morph to reflect the current culture and atmosphere of the world around it, Laws remains inspired by nearly everything around him.

“The beauty of design is that it’s an art,” he says. “Every artist has [his or her] own particular niche. I’m always inspired by other peoples’ talent. I always find inspiration in art, fashion, culture, history and travel. Those are the things that will always excite me.”

This story was originally published at Read it on LN’s website here.

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