I received a surprise call this May from my long time friend and colleague, Former White House interior designer Michael Smith, inviting me to a gala he was co-hosting with Margaret Russell, Editor and Chief of Architectural Digest, for the President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. Michael had selected our Eleanor’s Ribbon linens for the White House master suite, making the President and First Lady our esteemed customers. (I remember the call well, a week before the Inauguration. Timing was tough.)
The gala – an elegant affair – took place in mid June at the Plaza Hotel in New York. It was a decidedly designer – driven event, attended by luminaries from the world of interior design and architecture, including trade magazine editors and writers and a myriad of textile, furniture and accessory designer / owners.
I was seated at Margaret Russell’s table and had the pleasure of sitting next to an admired colleague, the very talented architect Calvin Tsao and his partner Zack McKnown of Tsao & McKnown. We had lots to catch up and reminisced about favorite collaborative projects. At the same table were Lisa Kravet of Kravet Fabrics and Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; Michael Smith sat at the adjoining table with an equally fascinating group.
It was an honor and delight to meet the President and First Lady, who were both elegant and extremely gracious. When I told the First Lady that I was the designer of their bed linens, her face lit up and she gave me an unexpected, spontaneous hug. This was not only gratifying, but certainly made the evening particularly memorable.