In January 2013, the interior design world lost one of it’s greatest – Andrée Putman passed away, aged 87.
Shortly after hearing the news I realised that many in Australia did not know her name and history, even if they had come across her work indirectly.
When I say “Boutique Hotel”, you probably imagine something of Andrée Putman’s – she was the first to embrace the boutique hotel concept in 1984, in the Morgans Hotel in New York . The iconic black and white bathroom, that has inspired so many interior designers, was also her creation.
“I loathe pompous luxury. I take interest in the essential, the framework, the basic elements of things.” Putman has said.
In 1978, at the age of 53, she founded Ecart, a company who’s aim was the breathe new life into forgotten design from the 1930s: Herbst, Jean-Michel Frank, Charraud, Mallet-Stevens, Gaudi and Eileen Gray. Putman says of this project, “My only concern was to interest at least ten persons and I would have accomplished something which would carry me for all my life”.
From Ecart, opportunities arose with Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and Guerlain, along with countless hotels world-wide. One of Putman's most memorable interior designs schemes was for the the Concorde aeroplane.
Many have said Putman is the creator of modern luxury – the first to have combined minimalism with decadence in perfect harmony.
“Unless you have a feeling for that secret knowledge, that modest things can be more beautiful than anything expensive, you will never have style.”
Andrée Putman (1925-2013)