My father’s courageous journey from Port Au Prince, Haiti, to the Bronx was embraced with a mixture of excitement, loss, and great expectations. With no command of the English language, and very little friends or family, the first few years were a struggle; assimilating to American culture while desiring nothing but the best for my brother Gilbert and me. His vision of pale white coats and stethoscopes extended to the two additional children that followed. Why not? It’s a well-known fact, or long-standing joke, among the Doret children that most Haitian parents want their children to be doctors. As the eldest son, I puzzled my father with an elementary predilection for painting and sketching. I won contests and received notoriety in our urban enclave as the best artist in school. My father joined the crowd, soaking in every bit of my success; I exceeded his expectation as an artist with a promising future.
Never standing pat on past success, we’re always looking to expand the company’s design vocabulary.
My entrepreneurial skills were revealed in mini contracts with neighborhood kids. They would pay for an original design on the back of their denim jackets during the graffiti craze of the ’80s. My passion did not elude me, and I developed a portfolio strong enough to earn me a coveted spot at the High School of Art & Design on 57th Street in New York City, where I majored in Industrial Design. While attending, my father encouraged a carpenter friend to construct my first drafting table (which is still positioned in my studio today), and I also met my beloved wife of 15 years, Angielina.
Upon graduation in 1986, industrial design remained a focus of interest as I attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I gained seminal experience in furniture design, residential and commercial interiors, consumer products, and private aircraft interiors as a junior designer for several small and large design firms during my college years.
Graduation from Pratt in 1991 with a BID in Industrial Design put me on the fast track to work for a New York-based furniture designer, and I worked on exhibits for AT&T and Sony music, as well as interiors for Walt Disney World. Then, after a position as a senior designer in a private aircraft interior development firm, I established Edése Doret Industrial Design, Inc. in 1998, offering multidisciplinary design services in product, graphic, interior, and transportation design.
My first aircraft interior project was an Embraer 135, which was completed with flying colors; the only challenge was the tight schedule placed by the client. Beyond this, everything else went smoothly. I had spent several years at a design firm as a designer, therefore when I established my own agency I had the experience that ensured the project’s success.
From there, clear skies laid ahead. Over the last decade my company has developed interiors for a litany of aircraft, including: Falcon 900B, Agusta A109E Power, Airbus A319CJ, A320CJ, A340-600, A380-800, Boeing 727-100, 757-200 ER, Business Jet, BBJ2, 747-SP, 747-400, McDonnell Douglas MD-11ER, and a Lockheed L1011-500. My firm is listed by Boeing as a qualified agency for the BBJ, BBJ2 and BBJ3, and it is now branching out into the boating world with work currently being done on an 86-meter yacht.
Never standing pat on past success, we’re always looking to expand the company’s design vocabulary. Recent projects have seen the application of new materials like decorative lighting, jet mirror, and jet surface from Air Cabin Trading Co., new leather textures from Edelman Leather, carpets from Kalogridis, and wood veneers from Carl F. Booth & Co. My current work on a Boeing 747-8 reflects the owner’s lifestyle in terms of furnishing materials and cabin interior architecture. We’re also working on a BBJ2, which embodies the same criteria in terms of cabin layout furnishings and amenities.
There are some who have fallen into to this field and have taken on the title of designer, and there are those who have spent years learning the true fundamentals of design. When I think about design, I like to describe the difference between the good and the bad in terms of the relationship between objects within a given space. A good interior will have an excellent balance of the elements. This supports my belief that spatial integrity can be kept even within the new, larger-bodied aircraft.
I’m always forward thinking. For example, at this year’s NBAA, what I was on the lookout for was simply dependent on the project that I was working on at the time of the show. I always keep my eyes open for something new that I can add to my palette. It’s an ever-developing palette that I’m proud of, especially when I think back to being that young boy who defied the odds by holding onto my vision amidst the wayward distractions of my peers, the culture, and the times.