- CHARITY BENEFIT
Jordan Rogas has followed her passions straight to the design opportunity of a lifetime. A long time fan of Iris Apfel, Ms. Rogas noticed she had been gravely overlooked. Iris is a self proclaimed “geriatric starlet,” fashion icon and fantastic interior designer. Researching Iris’s company Old World Weavers, Jordan compiled a client list of mega stars and presidents, as well as custom design collaborations. Ms. Rogas has assumed the task of cataloguing Iris’s furniture, lamps, and interior designs with awareness to their increasing historical significance. This became personal as my family has known Iris for 59 years. My father first met Iris at a party and fell in love with her fabric. In collaboration with my mother, Iris designed 4 of our families’ homes and her office. People used to comment at Francesca for Damon, how beautiful the offices were. Now Apfel is quickly becoming an American fashion legend.
T2C: What style of architecture/clothing/style/era are you drawn to?
Jordan Rogas: I have an intense love for Art Deco, in the Parisian sense; its combination of luxurious materials, such as Japanese lacquer and exotic African geometrical motifs is truly breath taking. It was still a time when artists worked with their hands and valued the natural beauty of the materials. In this regard I would have to say my favorite fashions come from this era as well with designers such as Paul Poiret, with his eradication of corset and strong Oriental inspiration from the Ballet Russes.
T2C: What is your background?
JR: My mom is an interior designer so I grew up in fabric showrooms and antique stores. My mother passed her knowledge and passion on to me. At Hollins University I studied Art History. I am currently in my second year of graduate school at Parsons, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt for History of Decorative Arts and Design.
T2C: Tell us about your newest project?
JR: I’ve been inspired by Iris’s work since Rara Avis: Rare Bird of Fashion, was exhibited at the MET in 2005. Since then, I have kept up with her publicized fashion ensembles and business endeavors. It was through the course, New York: Design and the City, at the Cooper Hewitt that I proposed researching Iris’s much unknown Interior Design career. From there, fate really stepped in and, in a meeting with my professor, I connected with you and your mother, to catalogue your family’s furniture designed by Iris. Iris’s growing popularity and unique nature of her designs warrants an exhibition and a book.
T2C: What makes this project unique?
JR: All this material has been completely untouched for the last 50 years and there is nothing like it today. Iris has a truly unique vision and it is rare for such visionaries to be so appreciated in their own time. Iris is having increasing exposure in the fashion world, with her recently launched jewelry line, eye wear collection, and collaboration with MAC makeup, I believe her interior design to be of historical interest. Her unique and striking composition of furniture and overall interiors is a design feat. Her enthusiasm for color and her striking arrangement of objects and ways of upholstering are truly unmatched.
T2C: What drives you?
JR: Design is what drives me; it is what put a fire inside me and it is through my explorations of my interests that I have stumbled into such an incredible project. I think the design industry is entering into a new era which will allow me to continue to follow what inspires me.
T2C: What advice would you give to younger people?
JR: Be true to yourself and do what you love. If you follow your passions you will excel because you will bring a fire to whatever you are doing. I’ve chased every dream I had career wise; you try on as many different hats as possible, that’s how you find what is truly right for you. What is great about today’s business world is that if you can dream it, and are passionate about a project, you can find someone who shares your vision and from there anything is possible.