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Omoi Style: Staff Alum Edition

Omoi Style: Staff Alum Edition

with Gabe Agatsiotis


Hi Gabe,

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You used to work part time with us before the pandemic, while studying architecture at Temple University. Now you've graduated. Congratulations!

This is the first shop staff ALUM interview we've done, and what prompted it was seeing on Instagram how you liked to style items from Omoi within your personal interiors. It's a contrast to how we depict our wares and yet one that I think demonstrates how context is key when it comes to presentation, and how something transforms from a mere item in a shop to an item of personal importance.

Your IG account is relatively subdued and personal. You're not out here selling anything or being an influencer, and yet the presentation and composition of your feed captures the space, light, detail, and texture of the various places you get around to (including your selfies!). I am trying very hard not to simply call it "architectural", but knowing your area of study, it's clear you have an appreciation and eye for design.

So let's talk about it!

Gabe holding an architectural model home against a soft yellow background

1) What's fresh on your mind from your university architecture studies?

Hii happy to be here! School was great for building my design skills and thinking critically about the built environment, but you’re never done learning when it comes to architecture. If anything, school taught me how to keep going and keep designing. Now it’s time to get myself licensed.

2) What kinds of buildings and spaces are you drawn to and why?

I'm always drawn to well thought out, well designed spaces, whether that be for a restaurant, bar, clothing store, etc. There's something about walking into a space and getting that feeling that a lot of work and time was put into making it beautiful. In terms of buildings, my favorites are usually anything Brutalist, Modern, or Minimalistic. Simple forms and repetitive facades.

3) Do you have any commentary you'd like to share about space and building design in Philadelphia?

I've really come to appreciate Philly's architecture. You have all these different styles and eras right outside your door, something from every decade. Everything's close enough to walk to, and you can watch the city change before your eyes, especially within the last few years, watching all the new development pop up. It feels like Philly has relatively stayed the same until recently, so I'm excited to see where it's going.

facade by Gabe
Gabe in space
angles by Gabe
arch by Gabe

4) What do you think makes a "good" design? What are factors and challenges to be aware of, and what do you think people miss or fail to consider (thus making a design or space fall short of its promise)?

Drawing a balance between different colors, textures, lighting, etc. is important for the visual impact of a space, but there’s also movement and functionality that bring it all together to achieve something that is both beautiful and functional. New construction has a reputation for being a little soulless and generic these days, but luckily we've been getting a lot of new, well designed buildings and spaces popping up.

5) What is important to you in a personal living space? For example, do you try to cultivate a certain aesthetic or let the space set the tone first or other factors entirely? And how do the objects and items you bring home fit in?

At times I'll convince myself that I wanna go for an entirely specific aesthetic, but either out of cost or convenience I have to pull back and be realistic... so most of the items I have now I've collected over time. I'll usually find a coffee table book or some sort of decor I like and just find a way to make it work in my space. Eventually it all comes together.

6) Do you have any thoughts about visiting spaces in person versus, say, only looking at pictures on the internet or in books?

They always prioritized visiting sites and buildings when I was in school. It gives you a proper understanding. Pictures are great, but you always need to see something with your own eyes.

looking up view by Gabe
Gabe's desk
Gabe's blind box figure collection from the shop
Gabe's decor
Gabe's accessories hub

7) What's your most used or favorite item that you got at Omoi? What about that's not from the shop?

My Bellroy tote has definitely gotten the most use, I’m still bringing it to work with me years later. I’ve also acquired a fair share of your different trays at this point that I have sprinkled around my place. Suddenly your remotes look like decor when they’re sitting in a tray… And who doesn’t love a good mystery box?

8) If you could blow a month's pay anywhere in the city, where would it be?

I could use a wardrobe refresh, so Madewell, Lapstone & Hammer, Atmos, etc. If it included a bonus I'd go down 3rd street in Old City and buy myself some real luxury furniture.

9) If you never got into architecture, what do you think you'd be doing?

Probably something like furniture design or UI/UX design. But my dream job would have to be owning my own store where I could curate and sell all my favorite products.

10) Finally, any shout outs?

Hey mom! If you’ve ever been to my parent’s house, you’ll see where I get my eye for interior design.

Gabe himself

Follow Gabe on Instagram
or shop his picks

TOYO Steel toolboxes

HIGHTIDE hourglasses

Maruman notebooks

Blind box collectibles

Bellroy bags & wallets

Organizational trays


Books & Magazines

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