In matters of design—as in love—it always helps to be on the same page. In this regard Delphine and Reed Krakoff are a perfect match. The power couple—she is an interior designer, he a veteran fashion designer—are consummate aesthetes and voracious collectors, who also happen to share the same philosophies when it comes to amassing treasures for their homes (it should be noted that this is a pair whose real estate portfolio, past and present, has included Jackie Kennedy’s childhood home in East Hampton and Huguette Clark’s estate in Connecticut).
“We are both really intuitive and it’s rare that we don’t have a similar feeling about something, even things that are more radical,” Reed says. Over decades of joint collecting, the two have seen eye to eye on a vastly eclectic and idiosyncratic array, among them: a surrealist “Abyss” table by contemporary artist Mattia Bonetti, a 1930 ceramic by Jean Besnard, Allan McCollum’s modern Plaster Surrogates, the 1920s-era minimalist masterpieces of Jean-Michel Frank, Tiffany lamps, a monumental mirror by famous Chanel collaborator Robert Goossens, and Lalanne sheep, which they were rounding up eons before they became a status symbol of Insta glitterati.
“A lot of people would say that that’s a strange mix of design philosophies together but for us, that’s what makes it interesting,” Reed says. “The best collections are personal. The best collections are not encyclopedic.”
Not only do they like the same things, the Krakoffs also embrace change. Which is great news for fellow well-heeled design aficionados: important pieces from their Upper East Side townhouse, including those mentioned above, are going up for auction at Sotheby’s New York on June 8. “For us collecting is more about curating than it is about accumulating,” Delphine says. “We’re more attached to the process—the traveling, the discovery, finding things before they become popular, creating an environment. And then after we live with them for a few years, it’s not that we don’t love them anymore—we’re ready to start creating something new.”
Yet as much as they are constantly evolving and recontextualizing their living spaces, the Krakoffs have held fast to one core tenet: that nothing is too precious. “We’ve always done houses where the children and guests can go anywhere they want,” Reed says. “You should be able to read a newspaper, keep your shoes on, just be comfortable on a sofa with worrying about veneers and water stains.”
The sale of A Collection That We Dreamt Of: Art and Design from the New York Townhouse of Delphine and Reed Krakoff will take place at Sotheby’s New York on June 8. Exhibits begin on June 3.
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