History can often be a polarizing topic, and our world is no exception. It can induce nostalgia for days gone by or anger and frustration, even confusion.
Hopefully our History of Design issue won’t cause any of the latter. I doubt it will—there are so many beautiful voices speaking to us from the past through these pages that it was difficult for me to highlight just a few for this letter. But I think the best place to start is with our Mood Board on the left. You don’t get much closer to design history than the seat I took in the photo down below.
To my left is John Edelman, CEO of Design Within Reach, and next to him is Joyce Romanoff, president of Maya Romanoff. John’s parents, Teddy and Arthur Edelman, were responsible for breaking Edelman Leather into the upholstery business, and saw the talent and vision in a shy little guy with white hair who responded to an ad they placed in The New York Times in the 1950s for a graphic designer.
His name was Andy Warhol.
Joyce is the wife of the late Maya Romanoff, founder of the groundbreaking manufacturer of wallcovering and surfacing products (and material pioneers, in my opinion) who lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease just last year. As many of you know, Maya was an artist in his own right.
There were others sitting beyond them, all part of a panel I moderated last month at the Maya Romanoff showroom in NYC’s D&D Building for Be Original Americas, an organization dedicated to protecting the past by maintaining the value of authentic design.
Their mission also paves the way for the future of our industry, and while we obviously touched on the masters in our discussion, panelists talked about ways to find and foster new talent on the rise. I think the best piece of advice I heard that day was from Young Huh of Young Huh Interiors who said not to always wonder or worry about what your competition is doing. Pave your own way.
It’s what the Edelmans did. It’s what Maya did. And it’s definitely what Andy Warhol did.
Speaking of advice, you all certainly had some for us throughout this year. We definitely listened, and all our hard work to build a better and more engaging brand for you, our readers, will culminate this coming January when we unveil the fresh new face of Interiors & Sources. Our new Sources Spotlight on page 34 is just a tiny taste of where things are headed. And to jog your memory of the direction we’re moving in, I’ll leave you with a little piece of my own history: my first letter to all of you in August where I’m pictured with Bonnie Littman, CEO of USAI Lighting:
“It’s companies like these we plan to spotlight even more so in the very near future. Those that make you stop and do a double take. Those that know where they need to go, but don’t forget where they came from. Those that have a lot to teach us about how they reached (or intend to go) from point A to point B—not to mention the people, places, and things that help them get there.”
Anxiously awaiting 2016…
AnnMarie Martin | Editor in Chief