Although his heart is in the Czech Republic, Jakimic lives in Hong Kong from where he pulls the worldwide strings of Lasvit, the company he set up in 2007 (in Czech Laska means Love and Svit means Light = Love of Light). The name sums up his passion and positive outlook plus, he adds, "our national pride". Working in both hemispheres, Leon has managed to promote his young company incredibly well and in record time, the result of much travelling, true dedication and unwavering determination, all boosted by the fine quality traditional glass that his homeland has been producing for more than seven centuries. It is his aim to modernise the "material made from matter" by experimenting with all the known techniques, from complex mouth blowing to moulding, tested in every way possible. Leon calls it contemporary glass because he has coupled fine local designers such as Rony Plesl and Jitka Kamencova Skuhrava with internationally renowned names such as Philippe Starck, Fabio Novembre, Ross Lovegrove and Nendo, the last two of which have designed new products that will be presented at the forthcoming Milan Furniture Fair. Leon put their ability to the test with cutting-edge processes, the former in an extreme development of the moulded-glass process for Liquid Crystal and the latter in poetic creations such as Oki Sato's mouth-blown objects. Ross Lovegrove took the hi-tech route and, as is his custom, in turn challenged Lasvit's most advanced technology to produce transparent but undulated panels, visually extremely deceptive that escape formal definition and are made in a high-ceilinged hangar in Teplice, two hours from Prague. Nendo were at their second experience with glass and produced a family of the lightest (but only to the eye) boulders in the Ajeto glassworks in Lindava (co-owned by Lasvit) in a Bohemian countryside.
With more than 500 employees in Bohemia and as many again in ten offices around the world, Jakimic has put together a top-class team and returned his country to the centre of the international stage
Leon Jakimic thinks big. His next project is to build headquarters in the heart of his beloved Bohemia, in glass, of course, and with the aid of a starchitect whose name must for the moment remain a secret.