In Her Shoes: Marisa Gutmacher, Executive Design Director at Samuel & Sons

As Executive Design Director for Samuel & Sons, Marisa is recognized as one of the industry’s foremost trimmings designers. Among her many collections for Samuel & Sons, she designed the Optix Collection, which won the Textiles + Fabrics Innovation category in the Hospitality Design Awards for 2016. Her trimmings have also been featured in noted publications such as Architectural Digest and Elle Décor.

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Q: What is your favorite part of working at Samuel & Sons?
I love pushing boundaries, and creating new ways to translate the language of classical passementerie into patterns, constructions, and color combinations that are relevant today. Luxury is synonymous with fine craftsmanship and more recently, the hand of the artisan. We create trimmings of such complexity that some components can only be created by hand. Conversely, we continuously experiment with new technologies because there are some things that wouldn’t be possible to do by hand.

Q: What was it like doing a fashion collaboration?
A: It’s marvelous to be involved in an initiative where passementerie is used as it was originally intended: to embellish apparel. Throughout history, trimmings have always brought an unparalleled level of sophistication to both fashion and interiors by delineating edges, and introducing patterns and color. The Samuel & Sons x Sarah Flint collaboration demonstrates the versatility of passementerie, and how a beautiful silk cord or rosette intended for upholstered furniture can become the perfect detailing for the Perfect Pump.

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Q: What’s a trim you love?
A: I have many favorites for different reasons. I love the sculptural nature of the botanical Giardino Appliqué Border and the juxtaposition of matte chenille with the strands of Lurex in the Clermont Strié Border. Another favorite is the documentary silk Palais Double Tassel Tiebacks with its 37 different color positions and festoons of hand-covered flowers and leaves.

Q: Is there a textile or trim that you always gravitate towards?
A: I’m drawn to luxurious, textural fabrics and trimmings—those that have dimensionality and accentuate the inherent characteristics of the fibers.

Q: What’s your favorite interior design trend?
A: I’m intrigued by biophilic design, which is a counter-response to the fast-moving and increasingly virtual world we find ourselves today. Instead, this trend connects us with nature and the powerful effect it can have on our health and well-being when integrated into the design elements of our homes. 

Q: What are three words people use to describe you?
A: Visionary, empathic, and strategic.

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Q: Name your favorite comfort food?
A: Chocolate truffles from Le Chardon Bleu, Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert, France.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from your mom?
A: Don’t let others define you. Create your own story.

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