Twin brothers and design partners Nikolai and Simon Haas were born in Los Angeles in 1984. Their mother is a writer and opera singer; their father a painter and stone carver. The brothers spent their youth in Austin, Texas, where they studied construction and carving under their father’s direction. At the age of 19, Nikolai moved to New York to work as a touring musician—primarily as a drummer, though he plays multiple instruments—with artists like Sean Lennon, Vincent Gallo, and Jim O’Rourke. Simon attended the Rhode Island School of Design for two years, studying painting and architecture. In 2007, the brothers reunited, moving to Los Angeles to join the experimental band RRIICCEE. Nikolai toured with the band for two years, playing the drums, while Simon toured for one year, playing piano and keyboards. After leaving the band, the brothers settled again in L.A., where Simon pursued painting and Nikolai wrote music.
Not long after the brothers returned to Los Angeles, friends approached them about designing and constructing a few small projects. In September 2010, the twins were asked to design and build a small Johnston Marklee project at L.A.’s Sony Studios, and “The Haas Brothers” moniker was officially born. They set up shop in a downtown L.A. studio, and since that time, the pair have earned a great deal of attention through collaborations with the likes of Peter Marino, Versace, Lady Gaga, L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and artist Lita Albuquerque. Their work is characterized by a commitment to material experimentation, and spans the arenas of original art and furniture pieces, material consultation and fabrication, set design and props for video and print, and unique fashion pieces.