PaperCity Magazine

October 2013 - Houston

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MITCHELL GOLD BOB WILLIAMS TAKE THE TOWN. C A T H E R I N E D . A N S P O N H A S A S I T - D O W N ON A DR. PITT SOFA — WITH THE HOME-FURNISHINGS DUO WHO ARE TRANSFORMING THE IDEA OF MADE IN AMERICA. THE OCCASION: THE OPENING OF THEIR NEW HOUSTON HIGHLAND VILLAGE FLAGSHIP STORE. PORTRAIT SHAU LIN HON. ON FOUNDING MG+BW. Mitchell Gold: I think one of the first inspirations for much of what we do is that people are moving back to neighborhoods that are close to cities. (Bob realized this some time ago.) And we create the furniture for it. Of course, for me, it resonated because I grew up in the '50s and '60s, and my parents had really beautiful Milo Baughman and George Kovacs lighting. Bob has a real affinity for it, too. Bob Williams: Some of the old cottagestyle houses and all those neighborhoods … That was our initial inspiration. materials that are a bit richer … We're doing Tibetan-wool things, dressing up fabric on a table with nailhead jewelry. Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams at their sparkling new Highland Village flagship store ON COLOR AND THE DOW JONES. BW: One of the things we've noticed is that when people start to feel good about the economy, they in general want brighter, happier colors. So we're trying to take a little more of a chance on those to give things more pop and interest. ABOUT THE POWER OF STRIPES. MG: We were in Paris a year ago, and Lanvin had a whole new relaunch, and they did these beautiful stripes. When we were looking at it, we realized that people like to wear stripes — it makes for this great classic look. Then we started thinking, 'How can we really start doing that on furniture?' That, I think, is the brilliant detail that Bob and his team do: The stripe is just the right proportion. It's not too skinny; it's not too wide to make it look like a cabana stripe, which is a little too casual. It's just the right thing. HOMETOWN HOUSTON. BW: I grew up about an hour and a half north of Houston. When I moved out there, it was called Spring, and now it's The Woodlands. When I was in junior high, we actually moved to Conroe. I went to school at Southwestern in Georgetown and North Texas State. MG: We were going to have on the window of the new store: "Guess who's coming back home?" I grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, the capital of the state. The chartreuse-and-gray palette is heralded by the Zondra slipper chair in Runway stripes. DESIGN JOURNEY. MG: I was a history major in college, and then I went to work at Bloomingdale's. In a store like Bloomingdale's, when you're in merchandising, you are involved with designers, and you have to understand the business. That was, to me, one of the great luxuries of life — learning how to run a business — and I learned from the best of the best: Marvin Traub, Lester Gribetz and Carl Levine were premier merchants of the last half of the last century. But the other thing that's kind of magical about our business is that Bob and I have an incredible synergy about what we like and design. We've been traveling together all over the world for close to 25 years now. It's exciting, but we look at something together, and we both like very similar things. BW: I actually studied graphic design. That's why I moved to New York — to go to design school — and I worked for Seventeen magazine and a small ad agency. Then Mitchell and I decided to start a furniture company. DESIGNERS THROUGHOUT HISTORY YOU'RE TRACKING. ON DAVID HICKS AND FIT. Daughter Georgia Mae and Jerry Hall's campaign for Sunglass Hut, 2013 A vignette starring the Victor console BW: The patterns on the Wyatt chairs are inspired by David Hicks. It's very interesting to look back and to get inspiration. This past weekend, I saw somebody who graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology. She said, "Oh yes, we have your books and we Kalinda's chair, The study you guys." And Good Wife Collection it's like, oh gosh, we're influencing people now! PEEK INTO SPRING 2014. Too Sexy Sadie chairs flank the polished Lawson chest. Dr. Pitt Collection also makes conversation in the White House. BW: Well, it will have silver in it, because it will be our silver anniversary. We may have a lot Otto cube ottoman of metallic in general as well. We have a collection that's bright, almost gold. Then we also have a bright four-poster bed that's more of a bronze-y [color]. It all complements the upholstery. It will be sort of a glamorous theme. MG+BW AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE. Cary's Office sofa, The Good Wife Collection BW: Different periods have been a big influence. Right now, the late '60s and early '70s … Furniture designers Duncan cocktail ottoman like Milo Baughman and Paul McCobb have been fun and interesting to study. And then just the infusion of different societies and cultures, whether it's Danishmodern and mixing it and creating something that really becomes truly America. It's really being observant of people around us. We're getting a little dressier. People are wearing more vibrant and robust colors and MG: We have the Dr. Pitt, which is a large sectional, in the private quarters, and then we have a swivel rocker chair and ottoman there as well. WHITE HOUSE TALES. MG: I met the President [Obama] a couple of years ago. It was a small group, and he and I got to talking. I finally said, "You know, our furniture is in your residence." And he said, "I heard that a guy was going to be here that did some of the furniture. Which pieces did you do?" I told him, and he said, "That's the chair I sit in! And the girls love the sectional." It was really very sweet. I met Mrs. Obama, who is very close with Tipper Gore; it was Tipper who had suggested us to do some of the furniture. The Wyatt chair channels David Hicks. ON FURNISHING THE GOOD WIFE … For more design dialogue with Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, peruse "IWAS A SMALLPRESIDENTTOOBAMA A COUPLEFURNITUREYEARS AGO. MET GROUP, AND HE AND I GOT TALKING. I FINALLY SAID, 'YOU KNOW, OUR OF IS IN YOUR RESIDENCE.'" IT — MITCHELL GOLD

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