Over 1,500 toast fancy furniture gallery's expansion
By Jason Sheftell
They don't make them like they used to, furniture or parties. Unless you're Ralph Pucci, who makes both like no one else in New York City. Pucci recently held an art and furniture show announcing the growth of his gallery showroom from two floors and 26,000 square feet to more than 30,000 square feet, now possibly the largest luxury furniture showroom in the world.
More than 1,500 people showed up. It was so crowded that Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry couldn't get in. Downtown personalities Robin Byrd and East Village drag queen Joey Arias mingled upstairs, checking out photographs by Marcus Leatherdale, Robert Mapplethorpe's old assistant. On that floor, glass vessels from Lianne Gold and Andrew Thompson lined the entryway.
Pucci's other showroom, called nine (gallery), is on the expanded floor. It's a sea of white space dotted with some of the most important new pieces of furniture in the design world.
New lighting from David Weeks was in the center room, flanked by midcentury work from eighty something legend Vladmir Kagan, sultry photos by Diego Uchitel, a mural by Malcolm Hill, and leather and steel furniture from Jim Zivic.
'This is what Pucci International is all about,' says Pucci, who built the company after taking over his parents' mannequin- repair business in the 1970s 'People, art and furniture all coming together in one giant space.'
These might just be the last of the great down town design parties. Pucci, Whose first event 24 years ago drew Basquiat , Kieth Haring and Warhol, has the space and the furniture to keep people coming back.