In our increasingly sustainability-minded world, I am always in search of things—namely those at the intersection of joy-sparking form and everyday function—worth saving up for, not just for a season, but for years to come. Better yet, a lifetime. That’s how I found myself instantaneously and obsessively drawn to up-and-coming luxury home brand 1986, which offers hand-crafted, intoxicatingly-scented marble candles that double as both timeless and statement-making design pieces. Did I mention they’re refillable?
Zahra Ayub, the L.A.-based designer behind the collection, was inspired to create 1986 after reading The Illuminated Prayer, a book on Sufism. “I came across this quote by Rumi that I really liked, ‘Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love,’ so I decided I would just pay attention to things I’m drawn to,” she explains. “I started to notice that I spent most of my time homemaking, decorating, and collecting candles.” Teaming both her passion for design—Ayub studied fashion in her native London and is the former PR director of British fashion house Vivienne Westwood—and the local craftsmanship of her family’s home country of Pakistan (a major producer and exporter of high-grade marble), she set out to “tie in all the little pieces of my life journey and create something unique,” she tells Vogue.
Ultimately, Ayub felt a call to make consciously crafted, refillable objet d’art marble molds for scented candles, a category that could certainly stand to be more eco-friendly, from wax formulations to proper disposal and recycling. It felt exciting from both a design and sustainability vantage point. “I wanted to design a multi-functional candle that could be collected and kept forever and that didn’t create waste,” explains Ayub. “I also wanted to use organic coconut-wax and provide a clean safe burn, which wasn’t common in the market. I knew that from being a lover of candles.”