Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Boutique

Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Boutique

For me interior design happened organically through designing my own spaces with John Rawlins – our relationship began in friendship and developed in a design partnership. Over the years John helped me see that I had a unique eye in curating a room and encouraged me to refine and further my ”nack for design” and go back to school.  I studied at Parsons and interned for a year at a few boutique design firms in NYC before establishing Rawlins Calderone Design in 2007.  Our work has since been featured in various design publications including NY Times, Elle Decor, Living Etc, Architectural Digest and Harpers Bazaar.

John’s background is in retail design so when dear friend Rebecca Minkoff asked for a hand in designing her first flagship Boutique NYC’s SoHo, we jumped at the oh-so-swoony opportunity!

To read more, hop on over to RM Edit.

Photography by Masha Maltsava

Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Boutique
Rebecca Minkoff Flagship Boutique

Design Swoon

with rawlins calderone design

What was the inspiration behind for the NYC Flagship? The inspiration or perhaps the “mandate” was really more about allowing the product to be the star of the show vs. having any type of thematic inspiration. The design solution is quite minimalist in spirit with materials limited to bleached-oak, cement-like plaster, blackened steel, clear mirror and crisp white walls. We did find inspiration in the pyramid-stud hardware details seen on many of the RM bags. We abstracted the pyramid-studs into a sculptural wall treatment made of bleached-oak which serves as a backdrop to mannequin displays as well as a framing device to the touch-screen monitors.

John, How did you get into interior design?

I studied Interior Design at Pratt Institute. Upon graduation I joined Tucci Segrette Rosen which was a large architectural firm specializing in retail design. I was assigned to clients such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. When Neiman Marcus bought Bergdorf Goodman I was recruited to be the Creative Director of Store Design which was a new position for the store. I remained there for 7.5 years overseeing a total overhaul of both the women’s and men’s stores. While there, Athena and I began to collaborate on residential interiors. Initially, we worked on her own homes and eventually we began to take on outside clients. I resigned from BG in 2008 to focus on our partnership full time.

Who are some of your favorite artists and designers? We’re inspired by many mid-century designers such Niels Moller, Maria Pergay, Gabrielle Crespi, Philippe Hiquily and Edward Wormley. As far as current designers, we admire the work of Peter Marino, Joseph Dirand, Steven Volpe, Herve Van der Staeten, James Huniford and Darryl Carter.


Fine art is also always influencing us…..

John : I love the work of Donald Judd, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Reyle, Huma Bhabha, and Glenn Kaino

Athena : I am most often inspired by mixed media and contemporary artists.  A few faves are Mary Weatherford, Oscar Murillo, Urs Fischer, Bjarne Melgaard, Ryan Foerster, Mariah Robertson, Kika Karadi

Describe your aesthetic in 3 words: Minimalist, Elegant, Eclectic

What are your tips for someone decorating their home on a small budget? You can 100% transform a room and create a moody elegance with a statement color. Even a small space deserves a focal point, so hone in on one wall to tell a story and build from there. You can’t go wrong with a bold color (I’m currently obsessed with navy walls), a small sofa in a lush fabric like velvet, and a collection of mix/match framed art hung above. Juxtaposing palette and texture can go a long ay in a small space. Also, there should be no rules in interior design… mix periods, modern and antique, high and low… buy what you love because it’s an expression of yourself.

Do you think an eye for design can be taught, or is it innate? We think having a strong sense of style is innate, but the functional aspects of design can be taught. First and foremost, one needs to have an appreciation for beauty and design and be intrigued by interiors, architecture and spacial awareness. One must be committed to solving problems that arise when meshing the required functions with the given space. One must be open to understanding how different people will live and use the space. One must love the process of curating a space and enjoy “the hunt” for furnishings and oddities that will make a space unique. If one also swoons for the tactile qualities of textiles and how a color palette can transform a space, then a career in interior design is most likely an appropriate path.


Share this Swoon   –  


Subscribe to our newsletter

Get exclusive access to recipes, promotions, videos, and original content.
We'll never share your information.