It’s been 3 years since Stacy Waggoner and Kate Reynolds opened Studio Four in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. I recently heard they’d expanded into a larger space flooded with gorgeous light, so I went in to see them. Their beautiful new showroom is a spacious and airy “white envelope” – quintessential downtown chic – showcasing the fabrics, wallpapers and rugs they’ve curated. I had the opportunity to meet them both upon my arrival, and within seconds felt right at home. As they walked me through the 27 lines they represent, it became incredibly clear that they share a point of view, a sense of style, and a generous dose of southern charm (hailing from Texas and South Carolina respectively). On the whole, Studio Four’s collection is casually sophisticated, understated (in the most glorious way), and fresh. These ladies both worked for A&M collection, among other stalwart showrooms, and I could easily see how their history has influenced them – but they’ve moved their aesthetic forward in a more youthful, colorful (the key word) and exuberant way.
While there’s very little not to like, by far the most fascinating part of my visit to Studio Four was my introduction to Soraya Shah, the resident in-house weaver. One of the corners of the showroom has been turned into an atelier; complete with a hand-loom, where Shah makes custom samples of the 8 signature hand-woven fabrics in the eponymous Studio Four Textiles line. She explained that each pattern in the hand-woven collection comes in 6 standard colorways, but that is just the tip of the creative iceberg. Working with Studio Four’s clients as inspirational springboards, the sky is the limit with regard to custom combinations, and they only require a 5 yard minimum purchase (which is astonishing to someone whose been in the textile manufacturing business like myself). On the loom at the time of my visit was “Tigres” weave, an alternating diamond pattern, being woven to the specifications of an espresso brown warp with crimson red weft. Gorgeous! The loom itself produces 30″ material, so it’s perfect for pillows; but with an approved strike-off to work from, 54″ wide material is produced off site to match by a hand-weaver commissioned by the firm. Here’s the chance to order a one-of-a-kind textile, have samples woven within days (yes, DAYS!) for your client meeting, and take delivery of small runs within a few weeks…. not months. Shah also shared that these 8 designs are only the first in what is planned to be a much wider variety of patterns, so I’ll be checking back often to observe and share the line of hand-wovens as it expands. Be prepared to see old world technique combined with modern color sensibility, and client service the likes of which I sincerely doubt you’ ll find anywhere else.
Spend some time reviewing Studio Four’s user-friendly website to see the entire collection, and by all means make the trip to see the showroom/atelier in person. Be prepared to stay an hour or two, mark my words you’ll be glad you did.
Soraya Shah at the hand-loom
900 Broadway Suite 201 New York, N.Y. 10003 212-475-4414