Ray Azoulay - Obsolete
Ray, you are arguably one of the most successful antique dealers on the planet. Your website is exquisite and your eye for quality is second to none... and I’m not just saying that because you buy from me! What does it really take to make it in this business?
I believe any business today whether it is selling eggs or antiques you must remain relevant. That means different things for different markets and products. For us it is delivering unique antiques from all periods, strong on form and good quality.
With a celebrity client base and Los Angeles interior designers to please, how do keep on top of the current trends in LA?
We just move forward, don’t really pay much attention to trends but more style. I feel a chest of drawers can be as exciting as an artist model for drawing... the juxtaposition of these are what interests us!
The juxtaposition of items is something you do really well! But is there anything that you don’t like, don’t buy or generally doesn’t fit in with your look?
Not anything specific, good form, character and soul is what I gravitate towards.
Obsolete is a work of art, both in terms of the website presentation, the showroom and your exceptional catalogues. Have you put your blood, sweat, and tears into Obsolete’s creation or would you describe it as a labour of love?
Obsolete began in 1999 as a science experiment, it has continued to evolve year after year, I never really consider it work. It is what we all enjoy doing everyday. We surround ourselves with cool things and I work with cool people, then we have cool people buy from us, so not really work. My passion is greater than antiques, it is for beautiful items from the past and intermixing them with fine art of today. I like fashion, food, art, antiques... love it all.
You source your stock all over the world, but do you get the opportunity to travel and hunt for pieces in person?
I’m the one who travels - love it, always solo, like a coyote!
Are you constantly on the lookout for stock, or do you still find the time to party?
I don’t really go to parties, I prefer staying home and charging my iPad!
What did you do before Obsolete, and do you have any plans or goals for the future?
I was a menswear clothing designer. Never really had goals, rather just evolve day to day than projecting into the future.
What advice would you give to someone new to antiques, who’d like to introduce old pieces into their home?
Be discerning, be in love, don’t compromise!
What drives Ray Azoulay?
Sometimes Uber... sometimes a Mercedes G Wagon!