Last week, 14 of the industry’s most respected boutique brands traveled to Louisiana to be a part of the New Orleans Design Social, a curated multi-brand pop-up for the design trade created to better connect designers with makers. During the one-day event, more than 150 local interior designers were invited to “pop in” to Paul Costello and Sara Ruffin Costello’s restored church off of Magazine Street and meet makers and creatives from Moore & Giles, McKinnon and Harris, The Urban Electric Co., Peter Dunham Textiles, Marika Meyer Textiles, Rule of Three Studio, Alex Conroy Textiles, Gregg Irby Gallery, Woven, Marked NY, J. Samuel Textiles, Ferrick Mason, CW Stockwell and Cristina Buckley.
While shopping the latest collections from these brands, attendees were able to get a glimpse into their creative processes and learn more about their influences and inspirations. Notable attendees included Melissa Rufty, Jane Scott Hodges, Ware Porter, Katie Logan Leblanc, Jensen Killen, Sweet Dupuy, Bill Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman, and Bunkhouse Group’s Liz Lambert and Bobby Johns, who were in town from Austin, Texas, to oversee work on the Saint Vincent, their new hotel project on Magazine Street.
The day’s highlights included two panels: “Meet the Makers,” moderated by Business of Home and sponsored by the New York Design Center, and an evening panel moderated by Veranda and sponsored by Oldfields Advisors and James Showroom.
Kaitlin Petersen, editor in chief of Business of Home, led a spirited discussion with Alex Mason of Ferrick Mason, Cristina Buckley of Cristina Buckley, Katy Polsby of CW Stockwell, and Paige Cleveland of Rule of Three Studio about their creative processes and how they are keeping their craft alive in a digital age. As part of its sponsorship of the Business of Home panel, the New York Design Center collected business cards from designer attendees to enter to win an exclusive New York Design Experience featuring a day of guided tours and activities, lunch with NYDC president Jim Druckman and an iconic New York designer, and a special evening of design at one of the industry’s top events.
“The New York Design Center is thrilled to announce that the winner of the exclusive New York Design Experience is Boo Randle of Boo Randle Interiors,” said Chelsea Fagan, director of partnerships and events for the NYDC. “We look forward to additional partnerships with the Design Social and are grateful for the opportunity to continue to cultivate some of those new relationships in New York.”
Ellen McGauley, deputy editor of Veranda, took the stage at the close of the event for a lively conversation with interior, furnishings and textile designer Peter Dunham, exploring his unique design journey, and how travel, mentors and inspiration—and a few leaps of faith—can lead to a successful career.
“Part of the magic of the Design Social concept is to focus on emerging markets that are somewhat underserved in terms of design resources,” said Brooks Morrison, vice president of product design and merchandising for Moore & Giles and organizer of the Design Social. ‘These are the communities where there is remarkable opportunity to connect with and better serve designers.”
The next Design Social will be in Charlotte on March 11 at The Duke Mansion. Birmingham and Charleston are also on the list for 2020, and as momentum gains, Design Social hopes to expand into markets in the Midwest, West and Northwest.
“As our industry becomes more and more digital driven, experiential events like these have never been more important,” said Morrison. “The designer/maker connection is one of the best things about our industry. We inspire one another. We need more opportunities to connect and have meaningful face-to-face conversations to make it all worth it!”
Images courtesy of The Design Social Pop-up.