Our annual spotlight on floral design luminaries delivering innovative performances on the global stage.
By Tonneli Grüetter
It is with great excitement we share our curation of rising “International Design Stars” for 2023. Each year, we look forward to preparing this feature for you, with great hope and enthusiasm, as a predictor of styles and trends soon to emerge in North America. As with other sub-specialties of the design industry, international flower design trends are key drivers of innovation in a broader sense. It is our hope that by staying up to date on the latest trends around the world, you may be inspired to push the boundaries in your own creative practice and design new and innovative arrangements that capture the attention of prospective and existing clients alike. In this feature, you are invited to participate in the global conversation around flower design, and connect with others who share a passion for the flower arts.
On this list, you will discover a collection of rising flower design stars from around the globe—designers who we believe are forging the latest trends, forming preferences in the marketplace on an industry-wide level. The flower arrangements and installations imagined and created by these designers are important because they help to shape and define aesthetic preferences reaching far beyond the flower cooler. These trends provide inspiration and guidance for designers across a wide range of disciplines, from fashion and product design to graphic and web design. It is through the language of flowers that we, as florists, create a sense of shared cultural understanding and appreciation. When a particular trend takes hold across multiple regions and countries, it can create a sense of connection and shared experience among tastemakers and consumers around the world.
In this year’s cohort of “International Design Stars,” expect to see several global trends emerging, including an increasing focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness; a returned focus on simplicity and elegance; a return to bold, vibrant colors; an intense emphasis on texture; and one-of-a-kind and alternative containers.
Atelier Tamamo was founded by Tamamo Taguchi 23 years ago, at the turn of the millennium, and reborn as a flower design atelier, with a focus on spatial decoration, in 2017. At the age of 21, Taguchi began her design journey in Tokyo, Japan. While balancing a budding career in aviation, she enrolled in flower school. Later, through an opportunity with Japan Airlines, Taguchi traveled to Europe to further her flower education, learning from the greats, such as Jane Packer and Paula Pryke.
Atelier Tamamo’s statement-making designs feature a blend of permanent flowers and natural materials. It is through this approach that Taguchi is able to create lasting designs that would be difficult to express with fresh flowers alone. Each design is created bespoke on site, according to the space in which it will be displayed. Atelier Tamamo is a trailblazer and modern master of its signature artform, redefining what permanent flowers can do. When speaking to what makes Atelier Tamamo designs so special, Taguchi shares, “We design with effective colors based on color optics and color psychology.”
Sydney, NSW Australia
Since childhood, Avery has felt a personal connection to nature, and he deeply enjoyed his upbringing spent both splashing in ocean waves and enjoying mountaintop views. That love of nature revealed itself as an artistic medium when Avery discovered his talent for flower design.
“Floristry isn’t about color to me; it is about creating a surreal environment and transforming and transporting the viewer into another realm,” Avery explains. “I’m attracted to form and texture before color. Being color blind doesn’t affect me because I’ve never known a difference.”
Interacting with nature still plays an important role in Avery’s process, which typically includes a thoughtful client consultation followed an ocean dive. “When you’re under water, everything slows down, and it becomes quiet. I take this time to not only think about form and shape but also view the environment I’m in as inspiration, whether it be a rocky outcrop that a cuttlefish is hiding under or all the seagrass beds that are slowly swaying in the current. There is such poetry in the way that marine plants move under the weightlessness of the ocean.” After immersing himself in this natural source of inspiration, Avery returns to his flower studio ready to create.
“Being color blind doesn’t affect me because I’ve never known a difference.” — Benjamin Avery
Ana Paola Mendoza and Rolando Torres
Carlota Flower Lab
México City, México
The mission of Carlota Flower Lab, founded in 2016 by the wife-and-husband team of Ana Paola Mendoza and Rolando Torres, is “to spread the love for flowers and flower art in Mexico through creations that break traditional rules and move toward the most innovative techniques on the international scene, that buying and giving away flowers go from being an obsolete act to an experience that generates emotions in an extraordinary way, governed by the values of quality, creativity, innovation, excellence, love, joy and community.”
Since the couple’s first series of workshops in 2018, Carlota Flower Lab has set the benchmark for excellence Mexican flower art. To date, Mendoza and Torres have trained approximately 2,000 flower designers from throughout the Americas and beyond, and they have introduced to their students top-name design collaborators from around the globe, including Susan McLeary (a.k.a. Passionflower Sue); Sofia Veyber, of Lacy Bird and Lacy Bird Floral Design Academy; and McQueens Flowers and McQueens Flower School.
“Carlota is … a nod to heritage, from which our love and respect for flowers and the sense of family that we wanted to give to the training project for future florists are born.” — Ana Paola Mendoza and Rolando Torres
Daniel Machado Cruz
Daniel Cruz Decoração Para Eventos
Rio de Janeiro, R.J. Brazil
Prior to finding his talent for flowers, Daniel Cruz, who was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1967, found professional success working for multinational pharmaceutical companies. When Cruz was 28, in 1995, he was invited to help decorate for a wedding, and he realized a passion for event floristry, where his true talents could shine. He takes deep pride in identifying the wishes and dreams of each of his clients, and he decorated some of Rio de Janeiro’s most exclusive venues, including the Copacabana Palace hotel, the Museu Historico Nacional, and the Museu de Arte Moderna.
Fleur le Cordeur Floral Design Studio
Stellenbosch, W.C. South Africa
Heike Hayward, also known as “Mrs. Hayward”—the brand name of the linens produced by her company, Fleur le Cordeur Linen Designs—is the creative force behind Fleur le Cordeur Floral Design Studio, one of the premier flower design companies in South Africa. Over the years, Fleur le Cordeur Floral Design Studio has become world renowned for its unconventional and extravagant wedding and event florals, which are some of the most showstopping flower installations we’ve seen throughout the world.
“Beauty is everywhere, if your eyes are open to see it.” — Heike Hayward
Gábor Nagy Floral Design and Flamingó Virágüzlet
Based Budapest, Hungary, Gábor Nagy maintains a personal creative practice as a competition floral designer in addition to running a hometown flower shop with his parents in the countryside. Nagy has won several national and international competitions, including two in 2017—the “Hungarian Floristry Championship” and “Eurofleurs,” Florint’s European Championship for Young Florists. The next year, he clenched second place in the “Fusion Flowers International Designer of the Year” competition. Most recently, he represented Hungary at the 2022 “European Floristry Championship,” better known as the “Europa Cup,” where he also took second place and earned the title of “Vice European Champion.” Nagy also teaches his skills in live demonstration workshops around the world.
Luis Javier Estudio Floral
Luis Javier is a studio florist specializing in weddings and event floral design, with an emphasis on flower styling. In speaking to his unique approach to arranging flowers, he shares, “My style is simply governed by the dance of flowers and plants.” It is in this dance that Javier pulls his inspiration for flower design.
Mariann Dahlby Lynnebakke
Den Kreative Spire and DB Botanisk Design
Mariann Dahlby Lynnebakke began her career as a florist at age 29, as an assistant in a flower shop in her hometown. She fell in love with the profession immediately and decided to go back to school, to earn a certificate of apprenticeship. But for Dahlby Lynnebakke, apprenticeship was just the beginning of a deeper calling.
“In 2019, I started studying ‘botanical design and management’ at Norges grønne fagskole—Vea [Norway’s Green College], in Moelv, and I earned a master’s degree in aesthetic subjects and became a technician in botanical design,” she says. “As I got more knowledge and studied different techniques, I never could let go of my dream of working with handicrafts and botanical materials in a sustainable way.”
Today, Dahlby Lynnebakke’s work delights viewers around the world and challenge the limits of sustainable design. For those interested in following the evolution of Dahlby Lynnebakke’s work, her latest business project is DB Botanisk Design, which she is beginning with colleague Nina Bjørneseth.
Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine
Marianna Debchynskaya is a master florist specializing in wedding and event florals and a competition designer. Hailing from Kyiv, Ukraine, she has been in the flower industry for 20 years. In 2022, Debchynskaya wowed attendees at the 2022 “European Floristry Championship” (a.k.a. the “Europa Cup”) with her creative flower designs. Her design style fuses both a modern approach and the deep cultural importance of flowers in Ukrainian society. She often arranges flowers in a structured manner, with an emphasis on harmony, and traditional woven elements and vases are made fresh through her skillful application mechanics.
MG Floral Projects
Menderes Güneş’s journey to becoming a global trendsetter began innocently, with a sign in the window of flower shop in Bodrum, Turkey, that stated, “Helper Wanted.” It was two years after answering that call for help that Güneş committed to continuing his path as a master florist. One year later, in 2011, he opened a flower shop in an affluent neighborhood in the Şişli district on the European side of Istanbul, and for 12 years, Güneş has worked tirelessly to celebrate the beauty of flowers. “Flowers, for centuries, have been symbolizing love and peace, and the longevity of humans depends on love,” Güneş says about his flower philosophy. “To live and let live this emotion has become my priority.”
“Flowers, for centuries, have been symbolizing love and peace.” — Menderes Güneş
Orit Hertz—Floral Design School
Kibbutz Naan, Israel
An accomplished flower designer and owner of Orit Hertz—Floral Design School in Kibbutz Naan, Israel, Orit Hertz has worked for the 15 years to ensure the advancement of the flower arts through education. She teaches a range of courses in the field of floristry from beginning level to mastery. Hertz’s flower designs are inspired by the beauty of day-to-day life and nature in Kibbutz Naan, and she often takes walks in the fields near her home, collecting branches and other botanical treasures to incorporate into her designs. Viewers of her work can enjoy visual storytelling via the colors, textures, movement and shapes she incorporates into her floral designs.