PaperCity Magazine

October 2016 - Dallas

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Page 45 of 119

E arlier this year, Samantha Reitmayer Sano — founder and owner of the Dallas boutique branding and design firm Swoon, the Studio — got a call to meet her principal of design, Joslyn Taylor, at the Adolphus Hotel downtown. Executives from Rockbridge, the hotel's new owner, wanted to talk to them. Reitmayer Sano, who had given birth to her second child three weeks before, rushed over. "I was barely functional," she says. "I got there thinking that it was going to be a small project, maybe a room or two." Instead, they were asked to take on a sweeping renovation and reimagining of the storied 1912 hotel's lobby and public spaces, including a refresh of The French Room, plus the design of new restaurant and retail concepts. The plum opportunity was bigger and more complex than any of the residential interiors Swoon had previously done. "I'm like, 'You understand who we are, right?'" Reitmayer Sano recalls. "They said, 'Yes, we do.'" Rockbridge wanted a boutique, residential approach, particularly Swoon's signature layered, warm, and organic take on interiors. "What they loved — what all our clients love about what we do — is that we could also take the hotel fully through rebranding. That's our advantage. We think about projects from both sides." A talented graphic designer, Reitmayer Sano founded Swoon in 2009 with one employee and a roster of golden clients including Neiman Marcus, AT&T Stadium, AT&T Performing Arts Center, One Arts Plaza, and George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Her popular blog Style/Swoon helped launch her as an interior designer. (Internet fashion sensation Jane Aldridge and her mom, Judy, were among her first clients.) Seven years later, Swoon has 15 BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY SHAYNA FONTANA. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. HAPPENS employees including Taylor, who joined three years ago to lead the interiors division. Most recently, Fossil and Neiman Marcus alum and art director Larry Oliver joined as creative director. In a short period, the firm has become the city's go-to for sophisticated brand identity, with a megawatt list of clients that includes the Joule Hotel, Forty Five Ten, and Highland Park Village. It's even conceptualized graphic elements and exhibition design for shows at the Dallas Museum of Art, including "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk." And, for the last two years, they've collaborated with the Joule and Planet Productions to conceptualize and execute The Eye Ball, the Joule's soirée finale for Dallas Arts Week, held in front of artist Tony Tasset's dramatic three-story Eye sculpture. The Swoon crew has a knack for producing elegant invitations from unexpected materials, such as a slab of brushed metal, or heat-reactive paper that appears blank, revealing the print only when handled. Taylor, a former corporate marketer and editor at D Home, was tapped to grow the interior- design side of Swoon — and it's exploding. Of the firm's current 150 projects, 55 are interiors related, including several ground- up projects. Clients tend to be creatives and out-of-box thinkers — they recently finished the Lakewood townhouse for Tracy Achor Hayes, Neiman Marcus editorial director. They're also in the midst of a total renovation of the Preston Hollow home for WHERE THE MAGIC INSIDE SAMANTHA REITMAYER SANO'S BOOMING BRANDING AND DESIGN STUDIO Samantha Reitmayer Sano, Joslyn Taylor The Joule's in-room compendium, do-not- disturb sign, menu, gift card holder and invitation for The Eye Ball. (Continued on page 46) 44

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