Turning what was once a small family business of mannequin repair into what is now an internationally received vision of contemporary fine art and furniture, Ralph Pucci's massive 30,000 square foot showroom spread over two separate floors sits in the epicenter of Manhattan's popular Flatiron district. A design buff's hotspot for the most unique pieces, trendiest digs, or even those classically timeless works of art; the Flatiron district is the place to go to for any home decorating needs. And if you were thinking of sauntering through Pucci's two floors of flawlessly designed spaces, we insist you get on that phone and make that appointment, because you will want to see what mingles in this showroom of furniture mastery.
The showroom boasts around 500 different unique and timeless pieces, all created by Pucci's team of 18 artists. "I like to call them artists not designers," said Pucci.
"They are true original thinkers."
The 12th floor showroom features many of Pucci's European designers such as Michael Anastassiades, Herve Van der Straeten, Paul Mathieu, and the late Andrée Putman. Your eyes will wander toward their dark oak finishes, bronze accents, lacquered tops, and sparkling gems all incorporated seamlessly within the room. "This is all my vision," said Pucci. "It's all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together." He attributes his sculptural ideology not only to his background in the mannequin business, but also to artistic idols like Giacometti, Bráncusi, and Henry Moore.
What really steals the focus of this grand space is the limited edition, Andrée Putman exhibition entitled "Time Flies." A wall filled with snapshots of Putman's life, the iconic coffee table included in each collection, and the signature and authentication on each piece personalize the space in such a charismatic yet subtle way that we had to take a few snapshots ourselves. Much of Pucci's success started from a chance meeting with Putman and a mannequin show for Barneys. Joining forces and taking over the world of ultra high-end furniture, Pucci has since rubbed elbows with Andy Warhol and collaborated with fashion industry moguls Anna Sui and Christy Turlington. Pucci, in turn, has been putting other designers on the map. The 9th floor showroom hosts a completely different look than the 12th.
Featuring the likes of Chris Lehrecke, Jim Zivic, Vladimir Kagan, and Jens Risom, this space boasts more material play within the collections of Zivic and Lehrecke. "Here, we like imperfections. Bronze tarnishes, leather that's been distressed, woods that crack - it's beautiful," said Pucci. Balancing earthy charm, the aesthetics of mid-century modern giants, Kagan and Risom offer that coveted clean, minimalistic feel. Each collection being exclusive to Pucci, you can expect to find not only unique pieces, but pieces that aren't mass-produced and sold by the hundreds in stores just down the block. Wether you gravitate towards the fine European aesthetic of Van der Straeten, or you envy the woodwork of Lehrecke, within mere months you can own a piece you will one day pass down to your grandchildren.
With introductions of new collections becoming available almost every three months, the aesthetic of Pucci is ever changing.
"We do not follow trends, we create trends," said Pucci. With a recent expansion to Miami, Pucci has mastered the art of knowing when to take on prospective designers. "If they have something new and fresh that fits into our aesthetic, and it's in the right spirit, I am certainly interested in representing them," said Pucci. And rather than opening in Miami's well-known Design District, Pucci opted to debut the collection in the up-and-coming Wynwood Art District. In Keeping with the brand's clean look, the Miami showroom boasts 20-foot ceilings and white gallery-style walls, allowing the pieces to showcase themeselves.
"In New York we have about five to ten pieces from each designer," said Pucci. "Our Miami showroom will only have one to five of the best pieces from each."
Despite being smaller than New York, Pucci's Miami space easily makes up for it by featuring only the best, most coveted elements of each designer.
So, if you are on the hunt for creative ideas, executed in an old-world technique, you may want to take a peek at Pucci's offerings either up here or down in sunny Miami. We'd gladly wager that you won't be disappointed.