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WithIt New York Design Tour 2017

WithIt New York Design Tour 2017

WithIt is a Women’s Leadership Development Network that aims to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries…

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WithIt is a Women’s Leadership Development Network that aims to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries. I was thrilled to be a part of the 2017 New York Design Tour. My fellow WithIt tour attendees and I ventured from uptown to downtown Manhattan and far in between. We explored many different neighborhoods and the culture associated with each. Over three wonderful days we saw quite a bit. From the Dale Chihuly Exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Irving Penn Exhibit, to Harlem to see the National Jazz Museum, we surely did do it all.

Bernard Maisner is an amazing calligrapher who hand-crafts his designs using unique colors, creating beautiful stationery (See Photo 2 below).

Pintura Studio was founded in 1996 by Christine Isles and Edward Rollins after several years of working as decorative artists with a specialty in hand stenciled floors and walls, Pintura Studio was conceived as a way of showcasing the hand cut stencil designs the two of them had produced since their partnership began in 1990 (See Photos 3 & 4).

It was a pleasure meeting editors, Monika Eyers and Eugenia Soto of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine (Photo 5).

Lori Weitzner is a designer who focuses on fabrics and wall coverings. Her work has been seen in celebrities homes, and has been used in costumes and sets for major motion pictures (Photo 6).

Penn & Fletcher Inc. is a custom embroidery company out of Long Island City, NY that provides jobs to local needlework artisans. Their work is used for fashion, theatre, interior decoration and museum reproduction (Photos 7 & 8).

My fellow WithIt tour attendees and I were taken on a Brownstone tour and had cocktails at the home of a very famous designer. Dennis Decker was the VP of Design for Maybelline worldwide, as well as design director for Estee Lauder companies. He now focuses his time mainly on interiors (Photo 10).

Next, we made our way to Harlem. We visited the National Jazz Museum (Photos 11,12 & 13), and also went to the Malcom Shabazz Harlem Market which is full of traditional African crafts and textiles. Olivia Lowe spoke with us about the mud cloths and west African textiles she specializes in (Photo 14).

Photos 15 &16 were taken at the Costume Institute’s Rei Kawakubo Exhibit. Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo is known for her avant-garde designs. The exhibit features 150 pieces of Kawakubo’s womenswear all the way from 1980 to her most recent collections.

The Irving Penn Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was fabulous. Irving Penn was a photographer who specialized in studio photography. This exhibition at the Met celebrates the one hundred year anniversary of Irving’s birth (Photos 17,18 & 19).

I am so glad to have participated in such an amazing cultural journey, one that has affected me both personally and professionally!

Written by Denise Wenacur and Katie Baskind


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The common element throughout is good design. There’s always a reason why an element is chosen for a certain place, whether it’s a colorful painting in a room or a specific fabric on a chair. There’s also a functionality to every item that is unique to each project’s solution. It’s sort of like an oversized jigsaw puzzle with a place and reason for each piece.