Thursday, June 01, 2017

I Need Your Help!

You may not hear from me frequently this summer as I’ve just started work on my next book, which I’m happy to announce will be published by Vendome Press and edited by Stephen Drucker. Commissioned by Kravet to celebrate its centennial anniversary, the book will profile the 100 most important designers of the past 100 years.

In order to write this book, I need your help. Who do you think is the most influential designer of the last century? Your answers will be used to compile the book’s list of designers, so please do let me know. You can submit your comment below, or, if you prefer, you may email your answers to me at Jennifer@thepeakofchic.com

53 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Mary, Indeed, one of the greats!

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  2. Frances Elkins - I had the pleasure of living in Stern Hall in college and that experience shaped my design view.

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  3. Karen, Wow! Talk about first-hand knowledge of her work. Love, love her interiors.

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  4. Mark Hampton and his daughter Alexa have been great inspirations to me. Also, Charles Faudree, Mario Buatta, Timothy Corrigan, David Easton, Henrietta Spencer-Churchill and Bunny Williams are a few more.

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    1. Mark Hampton with his long and varied career, without a doubt.

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  5. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Valerian Rybar and Arthur Elrod....it's about time for them to be noticed.

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  6. I have no idea how I could possibly choose only one! For me, possibly John Fowler.

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  7. Anonymous10:29 AM

    David Hicks

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  8. Anonymous11:19 AM

    More and more, Elkins seems to be the greatest of them all - the Reed library is still ahead of OUR time. But most influential has to be Billy Baldwin. His aesthetic - the simple cottons, the Moroccan rugs, the tables and shelves - have become a universal part of our environment.

    (Don't want to start an argument, but Fowler and followers are looking more and more like an interesting period in design history, but not in the mainstream any longer).

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  9. I'm a no-big-name decorator in the Southeast USA, my career-long standout influences are: Renzo Mongiardino, Geoffrey Bennison, John Saladino, Mica Ertegun, Nancy Braithwaite. Good luck with your book, Jennifer!

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  10. What about Cedric Gibbons? Since his work was both broad and reached a large audience? Otherwise Jean Michel Frank.

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  11. Anonymous12:28 PM

    Sister Parish and Albert Hadley plus Mario Buatta within that order however I need to add some fashion designers since I believe they also influence design such as Chanel, Charles James and Elsa Schiaperelli

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    1. And in the fashion designer vein, certainly Bill Blass [though MAC II - Mica Ertegun and Chessy Rayner - were indispensible in pulling things together with/for him over the years].

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    2. Another fashion designer who influenced many of us interior designers [via his various published houses] was Oscar de la Renta.

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  12. Some already mentioned, but here's my list;
    Jansen/Stephane Boudin
    Sister Parish/Albert Hadley
    Mongiardino
    Dorothy Draper
    David Hicks
    Jean Michel Frank
    John Fowler
    Mario Buatta
    Billy Baldwin
    Michael Taylor
    Geoffrey Bennison
    Valerian Rybar
    Angelo Donghia
    Joe D'Urso
    Zajac and Callahan (sorry, couldn't resist)
    Mark Hampton
    Alberto Pinto
    Billy Haines
    Syrie Maugham
    Nancy Lancaster
    Frances Elkins
    Michael Greer
    Tony Douquette
    Jacques Grange
    Francois Catroux
    Henri Samuel
    The two below are relative newcomers, but deserve mention as they have contributed different, yet important styles
    Steven Gambrel
    Ben Pentreath

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  13. William Odom, Ogden Codman, Van Day Truex, Elsie de Wollfe, Ruby Ross Wood, Eleanor McMillan Brown, William Baldwin, Roderick Cameron (though not a decorator, per se), David Hicks, John Fowler, Albert Hadley, David Mlnaric, Geoffrey Benison, Renzo Mongiardino,

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  14. Anonymous2:27 PM

    John Stefanidis
    William Hodgins
    Mariette Himes Gomez
    Rose Tarlow
    Billy Baldwin

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  15. Don't see Rose Cumming or Thomas Britt listed above so adding!

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  16. For living designers please include Barbara Barry, Nina Campbell and Bunny Williams if your brief is 1917 - 2017.
    If you must be only the 20th century then please include Laura Ashley, she revived the English Country House of John Fowler and Sibyl Colefax, and Nancy Lancaster, all of whom you should include.

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  17. To all of you, thank you, thank you! Wow! So many talented designers mentioned in these comments.

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  18. Maybe outside the period you are covering, but how about Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman?

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  19. I agree that Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman were wonderful, and Elsie de Wolfe is a favourite, too. I've been to a few of Nancy Lancaster's houses and loved them. Dorothy Draper is a good one! I like Lillian Williams' homes, but I don't know whether one would consider her a decorator or collector. Robert Couturier and David Easton also deserve a mention.

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  20. Jeffrey6:25 PM

    Looking at the furniture retail market of the last 10-15 years, I'd say Jonathan Adler and Axel Vervoordt. But going further back the designers that are still influencing interiors to this day are Frances Elkins, Henri Samuel and Renzo Mongiardino, whether people realize it or not. And also I'd love to seeJoe D'urso get the props he deserves.

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  21. Yves Saint Laurent, Mariano Fortuny, Piero Fornasetti

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  22. Anonymous11:50 AM

    Elsie de Wolfe, Jean Michel Frank, Albert Hadley, Sister Parish, Dorothy Draper, David Hicks and Billy Baldwin have all been mentioned in earlier comments. I would add George Stacey who is not as well known but should have wider recognition. My Wellesley classmate, Maureen Footer, wrote an excellent book about Mr. Stacey's career published in 2014.
    KL Gaylin

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  23. Anonymous1:38 PM

    I would include:
    Josef Frank
    Basil Ionides
    Adolf Loos

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  24. Mario Buatta, Charles Foudree, Arthur Elrod, Joe D'Urso, Mica Ertegun & Chessy Rayner, Frances Elkins, Jean Michel Frank

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  25. Sister Parish...taught A Hadley

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  26. Slightly off topic: Trying to recall an interview I read lonnng ago....either in House & Garden or in Vogue....Billy Baldwin telling of the employment interview he had with RRW. She told him to go around the corner to Kresge five and dime store, and bring back the 10 best designed things he could find. This was long before I entered the design field, but I've never forgotten the simple brilliance of it, and to this day I put myself through the same exercise when I'm in Dollar Tree or WalMart.

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  27. Anonymous1:14 PM

    Jansen, the pope of interior design, of course!

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  28. And more...! Madeleine Castaing, Anousia Hempel, Rita Konig and Tessa Kennedy.

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  29. Roger Banks-Pye, John Stefanidis, Nicky Haslam, Terence Conran.. I think all the others I'd mention are already listed above

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  30. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Jennifer, I am thrilled you will be doing a new book on the 100 most important designers of the last century.

    I would nominate Frances Elkins, an iconic designer who was praised as influential by some of the best designers, decorators, and architects of the 20th Century. I am doing research for a new book on her work, drawing from previously unpublished photos and other documentation of her over 250 private and public commissions.

    I second the suggestions of Jean-Michel Frank, Billy Baldwin, Ruby Ross Wood, Stéphane Boudin /Maison Jansen, Elsie de Wolfe, Eleanor Brown, Dorothy Draper, Michael Greer, Syrie Maugham, William Haines, Michael Taylor, Angelo Donghia, Albert Hadley, Sister Parish, Tony Duquette, Mark Hampton, Bunny Williams, and Mario Buatta.

    I also recommend you consider the lesser remembered talents Hobe Erwin of New York, whose impeccably crisp work was often published in the 1920s-1940s, Kalef Aleton of Los Angeles, a major figure in the later decades of the 20th Century, Billy Gaylord of San Francisco (admired by Billy Baldwin), a popular West Coast decorator from the late Sixties to the mid-1980s and Suzanne Tucker, perhaps the leading San Francisco designer today.

    And I think you should include the superstar textile designer Dorothy Liebes, who often collaborated with Elkins starting about 1936. She was hired by a large number of companies to design woven materials. Her upholstery and window fabrics were incorporated by many designers including William Haines and Samuel Marx.

    You could consider the completely forgotten Cornelia Conger, a Chicago decorator who collaborated with Frances Elkins and David Adler on certain homes in California and Illinois. She had an outstanding grasp of classical design mixed with modern-day comfort.

    Scott Powell

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  31. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Would like to add Rose Uniacke .

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  32. Anonymous12:15 PM

    David Hicks, Renzo Mongiardino

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  33. Anonymous10:52 AM

    I believe designers who commission great works from artists in different rarified fields must be included. Without patrons such as Medici there would have been no Renaissance and names such as Leonardo and Raphael would be lost to history. So I ask you to include: Howard Slatkin, Alidad, and Ann Getty

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  34. Soo glad you're doing a new book but I miss the blogs too! Good luck and happy hunting!

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    1. Thank you! Very kind of you.

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  35. I will miss your postings!
    I do second the sheer lasting marketing commercial and retail coverage of Laura Ashley, Pierre Cardin, Oscar de la Renta -- and yes -- even Martha Stewart. I will add Charles Faudree and Dan Carithers. Also the ever-deepening tie between movies and décor marketing - so I do nominate Nancy Meyers.
    Cheers! And do update us on your book's progress so I can look for it!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  36. It it's a matter of looking at the 20th century through a strictly American lens, then Albert Hadley's work stands the test of time in a way which somehow goes beyond eras or epochs. Influences come from many sources--some of them quite subtle. But the role of design magazines cannot be denied. Were it not for their coverage of Mr Baldwin, Mrs Parish, Mrs Draper, Mr Fowler, Mr Buatta etc then there would be no vehicle for the dissemination of taste. Which of us has had the privilege of taking tea in Mrs Lancaster's rooms or hung out with Daisy Fellowes in her Georges Geoffrey settings? (Well, perhaps that reference to Geoffrey was a stretch, since he falls into the category of elusive European, only just now on the radar, at least here in the USA. )

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  37. I would say that the most influential designer of the last 100 years is Frank Lloyd Wright. He isn't a interior designer in the usual sense, but his architecture has changed how we live in our homes. Other designers play with pretty fabrics, but Mr. Wright creates new spaces.

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  38. I am not involved in any professional way with design and decoration. Yet monthly I treasure reading the magazine The World of Interiors. It names and illustrates the sources for many of the products used, both new and antique. The book reviews connect with many of my interests. Many of the spaces and buildings illustrated are of interest historically, and are done by expert photographers. The editors of that magazine have piqued and stirred up interest in areas and fields of study that I did not know. For my money, they are the tops because they give me new eyes to see design differently. I see the work of many of the names mentioned above with more careful and critical appreciation. Put these editors on the list. By the way, I miss you Blog a lot.

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  39. Ralph Lauren created some fabulous showcases for his home collections.

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