The winds have carried me far and wide. Another adventure, another expedition, another treasure hunt into the heart of ancient kingdoms. It is now time to share with you what I have found. It began with a place. A place that has always lived in my heart as a beacon of artistry and grace, and which continues to inspire me with each visit. That place is The Gritti Palace of Venice, Italy.
To visit Venice, with the meandering canals and golden hours, is to step into a different time. It is to venture outside of the clockwork of the everyday, and step into a labyrinth of creation and discovery.
Sitting along Grand Canal lives the Gritti. The architect Arthur Erickson once said that, "great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.” The Gritti is such a place. Steeped in timeless romance and magic, it has served as a resting stop for myself and countless artists, writers and explorers-- nourishing the mind and heart with its exquisite elegance and charm.
Nestled within this singularly enchanting space is RARE, a one-of-a-kind retail experience that brings to life my long time devotion to beauty, history and, above all, craftsmanship. Rare artisans. Rare traditions. Rare stories. And above all, a rare place.
Inspired by Venice’s age-old legacy of commerce and culture, I sought out artists, artisans and designers from around the world that each possessed exceptional talent, passion and devotion to their work. I found objects for living that imbue living with a sense of excitement, charm and wonder. Some objects were commissioned, some were selected from a body of work, and others I had the good fortune to create. Moments of inspiration, passed down from the hands of their maker, to me, and now to you.
The journey of meeting these individuals and hearing their stories was itself an adventure... An expedition that brought me to the souks of Fes, the woods of Upstate New York, the streets of Paris, and which continues in your homes and lives. It affirmed my belief that craftsmanship is not a thing of the past or a fleeting trend of today but a timeless practice that connects mankind with each other, with the earth, and with the great unknown - that creative spark- that lives within each of us.
I invite you to become patrons of this great tradition, Medicis of the 21st century, and stoke the fires of imagination and talent that drive it forth. It is my sincere hope the journey inspires you with the same pleasure and reverence it did me.