A Lesson in Longevity with Vicente Wolf

March 2, 2021

 

Interior designer, author and visionary, Vicente Wolf’s list of projects is an interior designer’s bucket list that includes hotels, retail spaces, apartment buildings and private residences across the United States and around the world. He’s been recognized as a leader or legend in every design publication you know including the AD 100, Elle Décor’s A-List, NY Spaces Top 50 Designer and House Beautiful’s 10 most influential designers, to name a few. In this “Lesson in Longevity” from the vault, Kim Kuhteubl speaks with him about his journey to interior design, licensing and the business of being an interior designer.


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Acclaimed New York City-based designer, Vicente Wolf is known for his clear, restrained and elegant aesthetic.  A passionate traveler, Vicente’s frequent jaunts to exotic destinations provide him with a global perspective that he weaves into his designs.  His interiors incorporate these authentic, globally-sourced artifacts and furnishings with modern décor in a warm palette capturing a sense of earthy charisma and timelessness.   Wolf’s spaces ‘travel’ through time and remain relevant and meaningful environments for his discerning client roster.

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TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Vicente’s circuitous journey to the interior design profession.

  • Is there an emotional experience behind his rooms?

  • Was his business built strategically or from the gut?

  • How did he get into licensing?

  • Is he comfortable with the visibility and being the face of the brand?

  • How big is his team?

  • Should designer’s who want to be published work for free?

#LESSONUP:

(3:30) It’s not something that comes to consciously. I’m a firm believer of working from the gut so it is very instinctual when I am creating environments. I think it has to do with the basic point of view that I tak towards life. I think I don’t like pretends. I like comfort. I like spaces that bring a sense of calm. I think that, as the saying goes, water seeks its own level, the clients want that for their own homes. So that’s how we sort of meet.I try not to think when I’m designing. I try to, as I said, come from instinct, what I feel is right. And I mean, it’s worked pretty well for me through all these years. And it seems to always create environments that have those common denominators and it’s been really interesting as an observer of my work to see how it just keeps repeating itself in my work.

(5:35) I was talking to a friend last night at dinner and she me Armani because of work. And I thought, how else would we have ever met these people if it wasn’t for what we do and how lucky one is to really be touched by these people then and walk away with really amazing experiences. So to me that is more important than what did that room look like, or how big or small the budget was for sure. It’s just the people, that’s what stays with you.

(9:43) I love to travel. And I think that that has kept the creativity alive because each time you’re experiencing different situations, it sort of gets your mind thinking about things about how to approach something in a different way, how to look at things differently. And so that was really the thing that has kept me moving forward because there’s always a new place to go and new things to see. And that has kept me excited.

(13:30) I think that it’s such a hungry animal to feed. If you want to be playing with the rest of the kids, you have to be in all these different social medias.

(15:02) When I started, it was a very different time than it is now. And so when I started to do interior design there was a very small group of designers that were doing modern things. Everybody else was very traditional. And so the magazines really came to us because it was news. Now it’s just so incredibly competitive. I think that when you give somebody something for nothing, you, they never respect you. I think that you need to maintain some sort of standard of what you can do, what you can do. I think when they’re trying to get you to do a whole apartment. for $2,000, you’re not going to be able to achieve usually what you want to express.

RESOURCES:

Homepage

https://businessofhome.com/articles/vicente-wolf-reflects-on-45-years-in-the-industry

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