Imaginative, curious, and endlessly playful: A thoughtful portrait of Vladimir Kagan emerged during a tribute held yesterday at a private New York club. Celebrating the life and work of the designer, who died of a heart attack earlier this month at age 88, members of Kagan’s inner circle shared memories, poetry, photos and music with an attentive room packed full of the late icon’s friends, family and design fans.
Remembering Kagan as a lover of many things, from Nantucket summers and perfectly prepared black coffee to his gaggle of young granddaughters, speakers shared their reflections. Architectural Digest editor in chief Margaret Russell spoke of the designer’s philosophy—“More is more. Who would want less?”—and mused on his storied furniture, which she called “aesthetically pleasing from all vantage points,” as being capable of holding a conversation even in a room with no people present. Illya Kagan spoke of his father’s many gifts, none more significant than his great “capacity for joy.”
Kagan’s blog, which the designer used to gather his own witty observations, collections of sketches and meditations on life and art, will, going forward, host photos of the designer and his life, his family said. In lieu of flowers, the Kagan family suggests considering a donation to The Nantucket Conservation Foundation, “which protects the land and beauty of the island Vladimir loved so much.”