Adam Lippes Lives By this Collecting Philosophy

There’s so much beauty out there. How do you start to define and edit what you buy? Well, one way is certainly price. That is a good way to edit. I always wonder, if I had no budget, how hard would it be to be a collector? You could just have whatever you wanted.

Oscar de la Renta always told me, always buy in pairs. You can edit that way, you know, never buy a single—that is not advice I have taken for the most part.

What are a few of your favorite sources for your finds?

Fairs, antique dealers, auctions—I follow all the auction houses, including the people who put them together, and Invaluable, and LiveAuctioneers. It’s varied; our stores have a lot of antique objects. We outsource a lot of those on eBay.

And does collecting influence your actual design process?

Yes, the fashion collection is inspired almost completely by interiors on some level, whether it be the great decorators of the past or present. We consider how they use color and texture and pattern, and we will bring it into the collection. But antique buying can influence us in other ways—sometimes, the shape of furniture can inspire the shape of clothing. So it really is the beginning point for me, and I think it’s because I spend so much time searching for objects and furniture.

Photo by Isabel Parra / Styled by Mieke ten Have

That makes sense. If you’re donating so much time to it, it’ll obviously bleed in. Is that specific to your homeware line with OKA, as well?

Very. The pattern we use for the entire collection came from an antique object that I bought in the French flea market that had a very similar pattern on it. We had it redrawn and recolored. Almost the whole OKA idea came from searching for objects, whether it was for the shape or for the pattern.

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