On my first trip to Paris I traveled with a group gathered from our many friends from Sacramento and Los Angeles who were interior designers and architects. One of our private audiences was at the studio of Andree Putman. The year was 1995.
How impressed I was by her individual style and presence as we reveled in a designer of her stature and global influence taking time to meet with our group! She was an emissary of Parisian chic culture and rediscovered forgotten 1930’s French Modernist furniture found in the flea market chic which she then marketed through her own Ecart International. Ms. Putman’s designs favored simple lines and a few good pieces that enhanced an otherwise hushed, monochromatic environment. “Good design is pure and simple, and I am interested in the kinds of things that will never date.”
Her career changing commission came in the early 1980’s when the NYC hotelier Ian Schrager hired her to design the interiors for his new Morgans Hotel. This became the prototype of the new boutique hotel, a small artistically designed answer to standardized mass-market hotels.
Now, as I celebrated my own milestone birthday in Paris this past January, I was saddened to read that this legend in interior design had passed away. I immediately went online to read more about her firm and how her daughter Olivia had become the artistic director at her expressed wishes in 2009.
The notice of her death gave the time and location of her service at St. Germain des Pres. Arriving as the church bells rang, I watched as her simple wooden casket was received by the classic black hearse. Andree’s stunningly attractive daughter, Olivia, with her three sons received condolences from a cluster of black cloaked friends and colleagues. Multiple flower memorials were coordinated in white flowers only. The mourners walked a few steps across the street to Café Flores upstairs for the reception. It was as simple and elegant as the designer herself. I was gratified to have witnessed and whispered my own goodbye. Her influence on my profession was profound.
To learn more about the amazing Andree Putman visit her website: www.StudioPutman.com