Women’s Month: Commemorating 5 Iconic Female Interior Designers
To commemorate this Women’s Day earlier this month, we used our Instagram stories to introduce you to five iconic female interior designers who have shaped the interior design space - then and now. You enjoyed it so much that we decided to share it with you again.
1) First up on our list is Elsie de Wolfe (1859-1950). Credited as ‘the mother of interior decoration’, Elsie was inspired by French 18th Century elegance, which saw her veer away from the dark, heavy Victorian aesthetics of her time, opting for light, warm feminine spaces, often peppered with soft upholstery, animal print and antiques. She’s also the bestselling author of 'The House in Good Taste', which offers timeless design advice still today.
Elsie de Wolfe is the grand dame of interior design as we know it – many credit her with inventing the profession of interior decoration. This interior legend was commissioned by Stanford White to design the interiors for the Colony Club in New York City, and for the likes of Conde Nast and the Frick and Vanderbilt families. The tea house (shown) is one of de Wolfe’s only remaining designs intact. Originally designed for the Coe family, it is now a part of Planting Fields Arboretum and State Park in Oyster Bay, New York.
2) Dorothy Draper (1889 -1969) is one of the earliest female interior decorators and one of the first to professionalise interior design as a fully fledged career. She was commissioned to design high-profile public spaces, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs. She also put her skilled hand to product design — from automotive interiors to cosmetics.
3) Kelly Wearstler is one of the world's hottest celebrity designers. The American interior designer (a.k.a. the queen of Maximalism) has worked on a number of iconic projects, from the Viceroy Hotels in Santa Monica and Miami, to the Four Seasons, Anguilla, and the Bergdorf Goodman restaurant, New York. Her interiors are absolutely fearless.
4) French interior designer India Mahdavi has worked on covetable product collaborations with the likes of De Gournay (wallpaper), Louis Vuitton (table and tray) and Pierre Frey (fabrics). Her accolades also include a long-standing relationship with Laduree and Valentino, resulting in those delicious and instantly recognisable pastel interiors.
5) In a career spanning more than two decades, the Soweto-born interior design genius Nthabi Taukobong has managed to demonstrate a high level of design skill and creative vision that sets her apart. Nthabi Taukobong has curated awe-inspiring spaces for presidents and the who’s who of South Africa’s business and entertainment industries, including some of our biggest and most respected political figures.