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Summer Reads

New York Daily News July 2009

Summer Reads

Ralph Pucci can throw a party. Combining mannequins, furniture and art into huge events attended by thousands of people, Pucci has wowed the home design industry for almost two decades. He's done most of it from three 15,000 square-foot loft-like floors on W. 18th St. off Sixth Ave. Andy Warhol and David Byrne hung in the loft.

His first book, 'Show,' takes us through every event Pucci has thrown for the last 15 years. A manufacturer of high-end mannequins like the kind you see in Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys, Pucci turned the family business into a high-end furniture making company and art gallery. It commissions some of the finest craftsmen and artists in the world to design products which, in turn, his company sells to interior designers and home owners. Couches, lighting, side tables, commodes and daybeds designed by young furniture designers all over the world highlight the book's sometimes surreal pages as furnishings mix with art installations, fashion shows and strange-shaped mannequins.

'One of the things I've tried to do is find young furniture makers before they become huge, and help them on the way up,' says Pucci, who joined his parent's Manhattan-based mannequin repair business in 1976. 'I try to combine home design, art and fashion with mannequins. Every event is more like a great show. That's where I got the name of the book.'

Pucci started creating mannequins out of a general dissatisfaction with the industry's lack of innovation. He used well-known artists to reshape the heads and hands of mannequins, and even used Christy Turlington's body and face for a yoga line. The book's photographs by Antoine Bootz show how Ralph Pucci International morphed into a showroom for all things creative and artistic about home furniture.

By New York Daily News