Perspectives of the Designer Vincent Wolf
Vincent Wolf shares his perspects and philosophy on the business aspects of interior design.
34 | At Home Tennessee • JULY 2011
Perspectives of the Designer,
text HOWARD WIGGINS/Howard Wiggins Interior Design
On a recent trip to Atlanta, I had the opportunity of meeting the highly talented
and acclaimed designer, Howard Wiggins and Vincente Wolfe, while attending a lecture highlighting his
perspectives and philosophy on the business aspects of the industry. Based out
of New York City, Wolf established and built his interior design business from a few
clients to a range of residential and commercial projects on an international scale.
He achieved his great success in the design industry after initially overcoming dif-
ficult circumstances. He and his family came to the United States as refugees in the
aftermath of the Cuban Revolution in 1961. Wolf studied, worked in fashion and
photography, and eventually became best known for his global approach to the
world of interior design, based upon his travels around the world. Using elements of
old, new and different styles mixed together, Wolf's unique approach to eclecticism
has remained timeless and relevant since he firmly established his reputation in the
1970s. His use of various shades of white blended with different textures and scales
is but one example of the pared down look and simplified approach for which he
has become famous. The foundation of Wolf's design philosophy has always been
based upon logic and an uncompromising professionalism coupled with crystal-
clear vision in formulating any project.
Wolf has always focused on coming up with creative ideas rather than following the
dictates of commercialism and popular sentiment. Most important, perhaps, is his
belief that empowerment of the design community can be achieved through the re-
alization and understanding of its value to the manufacturers and commercial outlets
that rely upon its trade and talents.
Howard Wiggins: Can you tell me
about some of the business partner-
ships that have helped develop your
brand as an interior designer?
Vincente Wolf: I'm the only U.S.
designer who has ever been asked to
create a line of crystal for the French
company Baccarat. This particular
line is referred to as the Latitude
Collection and is exclusively carried
by Neiman Marcus. I'm also the only
designer who has ever created a line
of custom fixtures and hardware for
Sherle Wagner. This custom line of
hardware was specific to a project I
did for 15 Union Square in New York.
Also, I've created textile designs for
Kravet, a manufacturer of high-end
fabrics, the Vincente Wolf Collection
of upholstery and case goods for the
Henredon Furniture Company, luxury
carpets for Tufenkian, china and
flatware for the luxury brand Sasaki,
and furniture pieces for Ralph Pucci
and Niedermaier, an elite furniture
distributor, to name a few.
HW: You also have a love of art and a
background in photography. How do
you go about advising clients on their
VW: Some of my clients rely upon
art consultants who help them build
their art collections. However, I will
make visits to an art gallery as well,
especially when it pertains to pho-
tography, and recommend an artist to
clients whose taste might match the
art that I have found.
HW: I understand that you are a fan
of social blogging. Can you explain
your philosophy on that?
VW: I consider it important to use
the social networking platforms of
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so
forth to gain exposure for one's work
as well as to stay connected with col-
leagues and with what's going on in
HW: Not only are you a sought-after
public speaker in many countries
around the world, but you have writ-
ten several books.
VW: I've published three books, the
titles of which include Learning to See,
Crossing Boundaries: A Global View of
Design and Lifting the Curtain on
Design, that focus on my many design
inspirations throughout the world.
HW: I understand that you are the con-
summate professional when it comes
to dealing with your clients.
VW: Before discussing budget, I out-
line a plan detailing any architectural
changes to be made before the actual
room design. I take a room-by-room
approach to create a flowing and co-
hesive environment as the end result.
Also, I will discuss with the client the
logic and the process by which I derive
my ideas to formulate the project.
HW: In so doing, you have created,
as you have said, “a visual dialogue
between pieces” that are so effortlessly
incorporated into your roomscapes.
The awards bestowed on Vincente Wolf
are impressive. Architectural Digest
included Wolf in their “AD 100” edi-
tion and he was also named one of
the top 100 designers by Metropolitan
Home’s “Design 100.” House Beautiful
named Wolf one of the 10 most influen-
tial designers in the United States and
Interior Design Magazine inducted him
into its “Designer Hall of Fame.” He is
a recipient of the Pantone Color Award
and, in 2009, was named one of the
“Top 20 Designers of the Past Twenty
Years” by Traditional Home Magazine. In
September 2009 he was honored as the
“Design Icon of 2009” at the Las Vegas
all photos taken by Vincente Wolf
Vincente Wolf maintains an aesthetic
for the clean, simple design.