14.11.07

Edelman Leather & my 100th Post

This is my 100th post and I wanted to do something special to commemorate this event. When I started blogging, I had no idea where it would lead me. I have met such wonderful people through the experience of blogging and learnt so much in the process. I tried to find a cake with a 100 candles, but instead found this gorgeous yellow cake (continuing on my Yellow kick) with maybe 100 daisies thanks to Sarah Dennis from Toast and Tables. The following is an special interview I had with John Edelman of Edelman Leather fame. I learnt that they pay homage to a few great design Icons of the past in their continuing tradition of excellence.
Edelman Leather Interview with John Edelman, President I understand that Edelman was established in New York in the 50’s, and is still a family run business and that you started out supplying the Fashion Industry. Could you tell us a little about the legacy of your family business? My parents Teddy and Arthur Edelman joined my grandfather’s business in the early 50’s which was called Flemming Joffe (Joffe is my grandfather’s name). At that time they were tanners of reptiles, primarily for the shoe industry. I heard that Andy Warhol did drawings for your company in the 50’s before his rise to fame. Could you share some of how this came about? After a few years of joining the company, my grandfather retired and my parents needed a graphic designer. They put an ad in the New York Times and this nice little guy showed up with white hair. He didn’t talk too much and they liked his work. He was a working graphic artist and was unknown then. He came to work for my parents and that’s why many of his early pieces look like shoes with reptiles. He subsequently went on to become very famous, but this was before he did anything that he is now know for. My parents have a very large collection of Warhol paintings. We still use some of the early pieces he did for us. "This is a Chair" is one of our favourites and has been the theme for our Company since it was created in 1952 or '53.
You are known for your exquisite leather products. What are some of your more exotic products? We work primarily with cow hides which are hand worked and embossed in different patterns and textures. We refer to them as unendangered species and we have over 40 different patterns. A few are: crocodile, ostrich, shagreen, and wild boar. The only “exotic” skin we use is Python. Note by Patricia: Shagreen is a fascinating texture inspired by Jean-Michel Frank. A sharkskin (stingray) grain engraved on vegetable-tanned leather. Why Python? It is not endangered and it is big enough is for upholstery. Usually 30 feet long by 2 1/2 feet wide.
You use Swiss cow hides. How do these compare to other hides? Our cow hides are from Southern Germany and our calf skins are from Switzerland. They are the best in the world. They use no barbed wire, no branding and they even clean the animals off at night to prevent staining. Your leathers are advertised as being “100% GREENGUARD certified”. Could you tell us what that encompasses? We want to be as green as possible. Our product is a by product of the meat industry, so we are actually recycling before we get started. We use all water based finishes and solvents to finish the leather. And all the tanning products are recycled to be used again. Greenguard certifies that we do not have any harmful off gasing which in turn qualifies us for LEED certified jobs. Tell us about this wonderful Crypton finish you are using. I had a demonstration of the cleanabilty of stains on white leather by Matt Buckley, your National Sales Manager, and I was excited that it opens up new ways in which light colored leather products can be used. Most people try to protect their leathers by adding more paint to the finish so it’s less natural. We worked for over 3 years with Crypton. Now Crypton is the leading company for protecting fabrics against stains. We worked with their technicians to develop a formula that impregnates the hide, to stain resist from inside the hide. So we don’t need to add any extra finish, we don’t lose any of the hand at all, but we can repel stains. If it does get a stain on it, you can use our cleaner that we have developed with Crypton. You also have a furniture line. This is a new addition and we really did it as a service for Interior Designers. We picked classic Jean-Michel Frank pieces that were super simple, super clean; what we call ‘a canvas for our leathers’. So it goes back to “This is a Chair”. You take the basic club chair and every product you put on it makes the chair look different. If you put it in red Python it looks one way, if you put it in yellow Ostrich, or Metallic it looks another way. So you said you use classic Jean-Michel Frank pieces. He was Ann Frank’s uncle. He emigrated from Paris to Argentina to escape the Germans. He finally went back to New York when it was safe and did a beautiful apartment for the Rockefeller's and decided that design was dead and jumped off a building with no patents on his work or designs. We found the world’s greatest restorer of his pieces based in Massachusetts who had 30 years of catalogued restoration of his furniture. We had him make us models to the exact specs of the original Jean-Michel Frank pieces. We have 10 pieces in our line. The Upright Chair is an Iconic piece by Jean-Michel Frank - he invented the club chair. We also do a parsons table. He (Jean-Michel Frank) did the Parsons table when he was at Parson’s. It’s not very well documented, but that is what we have learnt. Upright Chair X-tra Bench Parsons Table The following are a few of the Interior Designers that use Edelman leathers in their work. Photos from the Edelman web-site. Vincente Wolf Shrunken Buffalo Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Royal Hide Emma Jane Pilkington House and Garden Nov2005 Royal Hide House Beautiful March 2003 Bunny Williams Royal Suede Robert Passal House and Garden Oct 2005 Royal Hide Steven Gambrell His own home Elle Decor March 2005 Cavellini European Hair on Cowhide Diamond Baratta Elle Decor Custom Royal Hide

Vantullis Interiors Cavellini Exotic Cow Rug

30 comments:

  1. what a great interview patricia! congrats on 100 post ~ here's to many many more!
    and thanks for the oda mention ~ it's such an inspiration to work with him.

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  2. Congrats Patricia! (I think I let that anniversary pass me by!) Great post!

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  3. Yes indeed, congrats! And here's to the next 100!
    Thanks for the great interview, their leathers are beautiful. I used their calfskin on my own dining chairs and its gorgeous.

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  4. Congrats Patricia! ... It's been such so great to see your blog grow over the months, and the effort you put in, you've really helped inspire me to get back to blogging. It's getting hard to keep up with readers emails and life in general ... the timing of me visiting your blog always seems so perfect. Thank you for inspiring me ... I look forward to reading more of your insights - hugs to you and Nicole!

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  5. Oh, what a gorgeous post. So appropriate for your blog milestone celebration!!

    I adore the "nice little guy" reference. Just great.

    Look forward to many, many, MANY more of your insightful, generous offerings.

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  6. Congrats! I adore that cake :)

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  7. Very interesting and cool post, congrats- great daisy cake!

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  8. Happy 100th!! GREAT post!

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  9. Congratulations Patricia! Quite a milestone. So glad you decided to start blogging! I think that cake is absolutely gorgeous.

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  10. Happy 100th Patricia (you look so young!). Just looking at that cake makes me happy. Thanks for being here!

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  11. Congrats on your 100th post, that's so great!!! I am a huge Edelman fan and use then whenever I can...great interview Patricia.

    ~Kate

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  12. yay 100th post!

    Keep up the great blogs Patricia, love visiting and reading your blogs :)

    That second last image of the round white dining table / chairs, gorgeous!

    Jenn

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  13. Congratulations, Patricia! (Like Katie, I think I accidentally let that anniversary pass me by as well :) Here's to many, many more great posts. Great interview and let's have some cake!

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  14. Isn't blogging amazing? Especially the people you meet! You have a very nice blog. Congratulations on your anniversary!

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  15. La Librarian15/11/07

    Some colleagues and I had dinner with John last night. He is such a great man with an infectious spirit and a cool mind for business.

    (He showed us your interview before we went to dinner!)

    Congratulations!

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  16. Hi Everybody
    Thanks for all your 'congratulations' and feedback on my 100th post milestone. I am glad I am associated with such a wonderful blogging community and that I could share this interview.

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  17. Hi la librarian
    I wish I was at that dinner with you last night. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

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  18. Such an interesting interview, rich with information. Congratulations--looking forward to your next 100!

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  19. 100 - I didn't know you were that old!!!! HaHa Congrats and great interview. I have used Edelman's hides for years and love their quality. I'm looking forward to seeing what your next 100 posts will be.
    Jackie

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  20. Hi Jackie...here's to the next 100
    posts for all of us. Great hides Edelman...the best!

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  21. Congrats Patricia! Here is to 100 more amazing posts :)

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  22. Congrats Patricia on your 100th post!!!
    XO
    Anna

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  23. wow - fabulous. I am shocked by several things. first: 100????!!!!!! Congratulations! I'm so proud of you! Second: Jean M. Frank was related to Anne Frank?? I never, ever heard that before! Great detail!!! Third: Andy Warhol - how interesting is that???? And lastly - all that information about the hides and the Swiss and the barbed wire. It was really fascinating to read. And so you! Terrific post to mark your 100th. I hope mine will be 1/2 as wonderful as yours.

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  24. Hi Patricia,
    Fascinating interview! Congrats on your 100th post...you couldn't have found a more perfect and beautiful image to represent it!!
    Love your blog!

    Linda

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  25. Fabulous interview with such beautiful things. (That headboard!) I am so glad that you are a part of the blogging community. There are so many people out there that admire you, Patricia. Me being on the top of the list:-)

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  26. I have to say the pic with the huge WINDOW is by far the most amazing! I love lots of light and if the location were in NYC even better!

    Jen Ramos
    'Earth Friendly DESIGNER Cards'
    www.madebygirl.com

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  27. Congrats on 100 posts. Fabulous yellow cake. I love it.

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  28. Good work, good blog, here's to the next 100!

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Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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