I’m ever so grateful to Elle Décor magazine for featuring the re-design of my own loft in their April 2022 issue. In my very personal home, modern furnishings are juxtaposed with period pieces as well as those personally sourced finds from my remote travels. As an inveterate traveler, I bring the world home to my peaceful and ever-evolving Manhattan loft. My art-filled apartment mixes such treasures as a 19th century daybed I picked up in Borneo, a Burmese table repurposed as a vanity, Stupa antiques from Thailand, several mid-century pieces from Paris – and many custom furnishings of my own design. Museum quality art, and especially my black and white photograph collection that rest throughout on picture rails, are continually being shifted around. I find that if pieces stay in place, they become part of the background rather than maintaining their visual interest. My loft is an invigorating, sophisticated and edgy-yet-warm space pairing furnishings that are both calming and simultaneously add a certain tension to the environment. This is my happy place.
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We have all been transfixed with the images and news coming out of Ukraine. Such evil is being perpetrated on innocent people; people we just can’t turn our backs on! Like you, I feel I have to do something, and perhaps you already have. I’ve made a public pledge to support the humanitarian efforts delivered by the International Rescue Committee (IRC https://www.rescue.org/). They have been at the forefront of providing food, medical care, and emergency shelters for the thousands of Ukraine refugees. Notably, 87% of their funds are dedicated to their relief programs. I am donating this month’s profits from both my companies, Vicente Wolf Associates and VW Home to IRC.
Please join me in subsidizing their relief efforts with your donation. Here is the link:
Donate to IRC
It’s been two weeks since the 2021 Elle Décor magazine’s A-List of top interior designers was announced. Though I have been on this esteemed list for more than two decades, it was an utter surprise to have been selected as one of two dozen industry TITANS. Apparently, the Titan honor roll celebrates exceptionally influential talents, which I must say, is quite humbling.
Personally, there is a juxtaposed of feeling bafflement while simultaneously feeling profoundly rewarded for reaching this point. Without a formal education beyond high school, I pressed through early adversity as a Cuban refugee with severe dyslexia, that made traditional schooling near impossible, coupled with bountiful early failures. After moving to New York as a young man, I’d been fired from many jobs; trust me, it was not an easy path. I could only rely on my own tenacious appetite to learn by exposing myself to things that inspired me; training myself to trust my gut and fight for my principals. My fortune began changing with the exposure of my work in design publications that in no small way propelled my career.
But each day there were always new opportunities to conquer challenges. In my early years it was difficult, even scary dealing with project hiccups (there were many) and clients (enough said). Through experience – and a confidence that can only be achieved by experience will a budding design firm learn to properly deal with the ‘business of design.’ Adding to that is today’s unfortunate pace of the world that’s increased exponentially – thank you internet, which adds another layer to instability and vulnerability.
For these reasons I find myself embracing my role as a mentor. Recently, I also had the honor of judging a magazine’s Home Design Awards. All this have afforded me the opportunity to become acquainted with young designers and their work as they are launching their careers. I cannot help putting myself in their shoes. With the shifting availability of media and the plethora of design information at everyone’s fingertips, their paths will necessarily be different than mine. Young interior designers are certainly challenged to gain footing in their chosen industry.
From where I stand, it’s critical that novices define their business goals. Do they want more clients? Higher profit margins? Would they want to work in partnership? Seek media acclaim? Or simply preserve a sustainable, livable practice. However, their business is sculpted, they must develop their own style vision and to maintain professionalism in all presentations and practices.
Patience my friends,
What a surprise; I never thought I’d appear on a list like this. Here’s what the editors at Love Happens magazine wrote:
While we love women at Love Happens, we also love men! And regardless of gender, we love innovative, inspiring designs! So, in celebration of male design talent around the world, we have curated this list of 25 of the most charming male interior designers and architects. Not only are their designs beautiful, so are they :)!
What They Said About Me
For decades, Vicente Wolf has been at the top of the interior design world, known for his inspired residential, hospitality, and commercial interior design. He has perfected the vocabulary of modern design with a strong reference to the past. When he is not guiding his design team, he takes photographs, gardens, attends the theater, visits museums, and travels to remote corners of the world.
“Vicente is a delightful combination of funny and dead-pan, hard-working yet an escapist, political and unconscious, political and concerned – all mixed into a Latino interior and covered in a shell of New York sophistication.”
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Vicente Wolf, a 1998 Interior Design Hall of Fame inductee, has stood at the pinnacle of the industry for many decades. In 2019, his eponymous firm celebrated its 45th anniversary, an occasion many would use to celebrate the past, but Wolf’s creative engine moves in one direction: forward. The designer, photographer, and five-time book author is very much inspired and informed by his frequent travels, during which he sources artifacts and furnishings for his modern-minded interiors and his showroom, VW Home by Vicente Wolf. Always moving, he takes time out of his busier-than-ever schedule to reflect on the current cultural moment and his recent work.