By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
With a solid background in fashion and design, Tomas Frenes, who was mentored by Gianni Versace himself, has realized a long-term dream of opening his own luxury design retail space, despite the challenges that follow a global pandemic.
Your career has taken you all over the world – how did you end up in Atlanta?
For many years I’ve been blessed to work for luxury brands from all around the world, designing homes, stores, restaurants, and hotels. After years of living between New York and Miami, I was re-introduced to Atlanta about four years ago by my fiancé Chad Wick. I was taken aback by how the city had become a creative mecca. I felt a connection right away, and I knew this is where I could express myself freely. The community became my family. Chad and I are involved in several charities that we are passionate about, including Chad’s charity, More To Love. The city has become more than just a place we live in. It became the growth of our souls.
You have always been deeply involved with design and interior design. Can you tell us a little bit about your career background?
When I was going to school in New York, studying Law, I knew that it wasn’t my calling. One day, as I was walking around the city thinking, “what was I going to do” I walked into a store and struck up a conversation with a gentleman. I soon learned it was the owner of the shop (Gianni Versace), who asked me if I would like to work for him. Being a starving student, I agreed. That owner became my mentor, opened the doors to my true calling, and taught me everything about design. I worked for him opening boutiques around the US and in some European cities. I became Assistant Director for the US all the way till the tragedy. After his death, I took some time off. Soon after, I was asked by several people that knew my work to design residential and commercial spaces, including the Creed perfume stores in the US. My company Tomas Design was born.
When and how did the idea for Basik Spaces come about?
Basik Spaces came about one day after getting off a conference call with one of my corporate clients. I was listening to the band XX’s song Basic Space, and I was thinking how not basic it actually was. How things we find to be basic have more depth. To me, the simplest things are sometimes the most precious. I thought, what if I create something that emphasizes simplicity and luxury.
What is your vision behind Basik Spaces?
My vision of Basik is to become an international Brand. Right now, we carry brands from around the world, but the dream is to produce our own products and have them distributed. The retail store is a creative hub for me. It is where we have a combination of known luxury brands, local artists, and our own products displayed and for sale. We will also be having events, like drag sewing lessons, crocheting classes, makeup classes, art shows, and much more once the pandemic is under control.
How has it been starting a new business and creating a new space during this pandemic?
Opening during the pandemic has been challenging, to say the least. We postponed twice and finally opened in November. I have always been more hands-on when it comes to design. I like to feel, touch, and see things in person. The pandemic has made me more creative, pushing me to find solutions to creating the same excitement with technology and social media. In the coming months, we will be creating more content with this in mind.
What kind of experience do you want customers to have in your new space?
The store itself is a combination of industrial and luxury design. I took the warehouse structure and mimicked the metal ceiling work with fixtures with LED lights you walk through. We have glass garage doors at both entrances, black concrete floors, and a black marble reception area. So you definitely feel the mix when you walk in. I wanted to create a space that, when you walk in, wasn’t just one thing. Again, merging simplicity with luxury. Bringing together products that challenge the senses of the mind, body, and soul.
Talk to us about some of your favorite brands you carry in the store.
We have many great brands at the shop. We have the honor to be representing the Missoni Home collection. You can order from fabric to bed Linens. Another great line is LLADRO. It’s a very well-known company famous for its fine porcelain that has reinvented itself, making a whole new modern collection that I love. We have customizable beautiful crystal Czech glassware that comes in amazing color options, as well as Lalique crystal. We have Dutch-made furniture, wool and silk rugs, Italian silk pillows, Turkish cotton towels, fun, printed matchboxes, and even flavored specialty toothpaste. So to say we have a little bit of everything is an understatement.
Tell us about your plans to develop your own line of products.
We will be developing our own Basik products from candles to even some fashion, keeping true to our vision that simplicity and luxury coexist.
What are your hopes and dreams for Basik Spaces?
My dream is to have Basik become a lifestyle brand that evokes the sensation of one’s thinking. Activating the mind and challenging new thoughts of curiosity.
Visit Basik Spaces at
The Works ATL | 1235 Chattahoochee ave NW | Suite 108