After a hard year, comes a bright new dawn for the David Collins Studio which is celebrating its newest venture, the release of ABCDCS – a beautiful A-Z of the designer’s defining moments. July 17th marks the year anniversary since the untimely passing of the interior designer to the stars; fittingly, this week, the stunning post-humous monograph – gold-leaf-paged, fabric-wrapped hardback – was delivered to our office, each page a beautiful eulogy to the designer’s colourful flair and master styling. Flicking through the pages, it’s easy to feel somewhat reverential about the man Madonna (who wrote the book’s prologue) calls a “genius”.
We spoke to the men who are continuing the Collins dynasty – Creative Director Simon Rawlings and Communications Director David Kendall – for their thoughts on the book and what’s next for DCS.
Q: Simon, this book launch marks the anniversary of David’s sad passing. How have you and the team continued in his absence?
Simon: We are very fortunate that there is great loyalty and support for our office and our work. Through The Studio, David created a unique design DNA that we continue to work with creating new projects in residential, retail and hospitality sectors across the globe.
Q: And, David, as well as being a fabulous insight into the mind of the master, the book charts David’s illustrious career in the design world. Was this something he’d always wanted to do?
David: Following the publication of David’s book New Hotel in 2001, which studied the role of contemporary hotels, he had always wanted to create another book. The joy of ABCDCS is that it is more than a portfolio, illustrating the thoughts and the logic behind the Studio and our projects. Realising the book has been an amazing project to be involved with and Assouline [the book’s publisher] was wonderful to work with – we would love to do it again.
Q: The book is an A-Z of terms which David Collins championed. If there could be just one word to describe his, and the studio’s work, what would it be?
David: I think that reviewing our past work and current projects, I would have to say that we are great ‘collaborators’.
Q: What did the book aim to achieve?
David: ABCDCS was a project that David and I worked on together very closely and was very important to us both and to The Studio. It was very fortunate that he completed the text early last year, but then he was incredible and very proficient with words. The book captures the detail, sophisticated use of colour, and ultimately, the hard work that has been put into creating the book and the projects contained within it.
Q: Madonna wrote a beautifully heartfelt prologue for the book – how did this come about?
Simon: Madonna was a very close friend of David’s, and a great supporter of our Studio. We were honoured that she agreed to write the foreword and thrilled with the very honest and personal piece she wrote.
Q: In our last interview with David, he was discussing his recent Bar Américain refurbishment and the book also covers a lot of the studio’s commercial projects. How do the residential projects compare to these commercial spaces?
Simon: Every David Collins Studio projects begins with a very clearly defined concept – the big idea if you like. That is then executed in a very detailed fashion, this remains true whether the project is a private home or five-star hotel.
Q: What’s next for DCS? Any exciting projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
Simon: We have a busy year with openings in New York with Goodman’s Bar in Bergdorf Goodman and The Charles residential building at 1355 First Avenue, in the far east with Vogue Lounge in collaboration with Condé Nast, and in London with Harrods Shoe Heaven and a new flagship store for Jimmy Choo on New Bond Street – it is a really exciting year for the Studio.
With thanks to Assouline