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We noticed the following article in a January, 2005 Women's Wear Daily Accessories Supplement and thought it might be of interest to you. The hat on the vintage figurine brooch looks like it was made from Guyot item number 6240.
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Madeline Weinrib travels the world to bring unique objets to her new atelier.
By Marc Karimzadeh
Madeline Weinrib admits she has a hunters personality. She hunts in India, Turkey, Nepal, Morocco, Uzbekistan and other exotic regions of the globe for new and vintage fabrics that she then uses to design cushions, sarongs and handbags. And now Weinrib is selling those items in a sixth-floor atelier tucked into Manhattanís luxe living emporium, ABC Carpet & Home. The move for Weinrib is a a logical one. The designer is the great-granddaughter of Max Weinrib, founder of ABC Carpet & Home, and her family continues to own the specialty store today. An established painter, Madeline Weinrib joined the family business about seven years ago to put her artistic spin on the rug trade. However, back then she had mixed feelings about designing carpets. "I was ambivalent toward the idea of decorative work and what that would do to my idea of fine art and painting," Weinrib admitted. "So I started this very cautiously. I came out with a series of carpets and immediately fell in love with the entire process."
Last November, she created the atelier in a former storage area as a means of retailing her experiments with fabrics for cushions, sarongs, handbags and other au courant objet. The space maintains ABCís cozy atmosphere, with armoires and grand chandeliers. The idea to channel her creative energies into this specific concept came to her organically, she explained. "I wanted to show things in a certain way," she said. "Thatís really how it began." Weinrib started traveling to faraway locales, there she would discover unique textiles, and, she said, "Thatís how I started moving into other aspects, using these old pieces and recycling them by reworking them into modern pieces." In addition to pillows, which sell from $300 to $1,400 at retail, she now offers a collection of exquisite clutch bags that are rich in color and texture, made from antique ottoman or ikat textiles. They retail from $700 to $800. "They were just pieces of antique fabrics that you couldnít use for anything," she said. "I was hoping to give them an heirloom quality, and I perceive them like jewelry. These are timeless and should be well maintained, and should be thought of as unique and special. You can pass them on to your daughters."
Weinrib is also selling silk and cotton sarongs, priced at $120, and this month, she is adding to the mix vintage jewelry that she has collected over the years. The baubles range from Victorian costume jewelry Weinrib had purchased mainly in England to pieces by Kenneth Jay Lane. Other pieces are from the Fifties and prominently feature Chinese figures. The vintage jewelry collection will typically sell for $200 to $1,000. "I have always loved jewelry," she said. "I started collecting some of these vintage costume pieces when they werenít that popular."
First-year sales projections are about $1 million, and there are plans to wholesale her accessories to other high-end specialty stores. The exception will be her vintage jewelry. In fact, Weinrib said the thought of selling it all give her pause.
"Itís hard to sell them actually, but itís more about putting together a vision and not being afraid to mix things up in quirky ways," she said, adding with a laugh, "I am not a great retailer. I come from this whole nonprofit art tradition. Iíd be very happy just to exhibit."
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