New design studio launched by former Wilson Associates bosses

Following the closure of Wilson Associates, two former members of its Dubai management team joined forces to launch a new interior design firm, Etherington, McLaughlin & Associates.

Co-founded by Tim etherington and Iain McLaughlin, Etherington, McLaughlin & Associates (EMA) will serve clients in a variety of industries, including luxury hospitality.

The disappearance of Wilson Associates

In February 2021, it emerged that one of the most prominent interior design companies in the world, Wilson Associates, had filed for bankruptcy and liquidation, as revealed by TOPHOTELNEWS. The news sent shockwaves through the design world, graphically illustrating the effect Covid19 has had on the industry.

Many of its talented employees have since been recruited by other companies, perhaps the most striking example being that Campbell House, created by former Wilson Associates CEO Beth Campbell earlier this year.

Today, two of the key figures of Wilson Associates in Dubai have decided to open their own studio. Tim Etherington, former Managing Director of the Wilson Associates Dubai and Gensler Shanghai offices, and Iain McLaughlin, former Director of Operations at Wilson Associates, are the founding partners of EMA, headquartered in Dubai. Both have impressive backgrounds, having previously designed and managed projects in categories such as hospitality, luxury yachts, flagship stores and showrooms.

Capet and Djohan join EMA

They were joined by a successful team that includes Maud Capet and Julie djohan, the former design directors of Wilson Associates, who have played a central role in major hotel programs such as Marsa Al Arab, which has yet to open, Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort and MGM The Island.

“We have stayed together because of the legacy we have built,” McLaughlin said. “Our goal remains the same. With a clear vision to strengthen and improve a team capable of designing and implementing luxurious projects, EMA emphasizes creative excellence, quality of documentation.

A distinctive approach to design

EMA will work on luxury hotel and lifestyle files, as well as F&B, high-end residential and workspace developments. It aims to provide superior project management, on-time project completions and creative “on-brand” design that gives each project a unique personality.

“As a company, we want to build and maintain strong relationships with our customers and deliver great creative solutions,” Etherington explained. “The main focus of the firm is on creative innovation, talent development, maintenance and development of key client relationships and the strategic positioning of the company to support and optimize the position of clients in their respective sectors.


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Joseph E. Golightly