The Style Files: Madeline Weinrib

Madeline Weinrib Headshot

Madeline Weinrib is a jet-setting tastemaker and designer. Best known for her extraordinary line of luxury ethnic textiles, Madeline has conquered the worlds of home décor and fashion. Originally trained as a painter, Madeline brought a fresh perspective to the world of ancient textiles, introducing beautiful rugs and vibrant textiles using old-world craftsmanship, but with a modern point of view. The Madeline Weinrib brand now encompasses carpets, pillows, fabrics by the yard, furniture, tabletop linens, wallpaper, and fashion including a line of beautiful tunics and caftans in Madeline’s signature fabrics. Madeline Weinrib’s stunning textiles are beloved by many interior designers and celebrities alike.

As one might expect from a globe-trotting arbiter of style, Madeline is always on the move, gathering new inspiration and ideas, and expanding her brand. Most recently, she launched a fabulous pop-up at Barney’s, so be sure to check it out if you will be in New York anytime soon. We recently sat down for a conversation about the things that inspire Madeline the most. You might be surprised that travel is not her top source of inspiration! I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know the fascinating Madeline Weinrib as much as I have. Enjoy!

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Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Madeline Weinrib: My home, the way I dress and my designs all take inspiration from different eras and places. I love the timeless and classic. Yet I also love contemporary. And I adore the unique and ethnic pieces I find on my travels. I think how I put them together would best describe my style.

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{The Madeline Weinrib Showroom in San Francisco}

PC: Has living in New York influenced the way you decorate in any way?

MW: Absolutely! Yes. I live in a loft, and have for a long time, in an area that’s very gentrified. In the 60s and 70s, this area was lined with run-down warehouses, but artists came in and transformed them into lofts to live and work in. The concept was considered bohemian at the time, but came to define the style of the modern New York loft. My home today still has traces of that grit and rawness in it, and I don’t like to cover it up–the style belongs to the city and the creative people who came before me.

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{The Madeline Weinrib Flagship at ABC Carpet & Home in New York}

PC: What does your home say about you?

MW: It says that I am a collector. I love art, I love decorative objects. I love textiles! Odd pairings of objects can be seen throughout my home–it’s how I put them together that defines my point of view.

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PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

MW: Looking at my designs, you can see that travel is important to me and influences my work. But my books are just as important; every morning when I wake up, I pull out a book by a different artist. It’s become a ritual for me. I love my mornings with my books.

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{Loads of Books and the New Hallie Rug via @madelineweinrib on Instagram}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

MW: Two women whose style I really admire are Peggy Guggenheim and Doris Duke. While they are both unique, they also have a lot in common–their wealth put them in a position to fulfill their fantasies, and I appreciate that about each of their personal styles. Both Peggy and Doris were wildly intelligent and devoted to the arts–Doris held a deep love of design and Peggy was an inspired collector–so, combined with their sophistication and developed points of view, there was always a bit of drama to the way they lived and dressed.

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{Tobacco Heiress, Doris Duke’s Moroccan-Style House in Hawaii, Shangri-La}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

MW: I never feel guilty about my pleasure.

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{Beautiful Madeline Weinrib Pillows}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

MW: Authenticity.

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PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence?

MW: My mother. For years I didn’t think my mother influenced me professionally because she didn’t work, but as time goes by I’ve come to realize how often I think of her when I’m working. She was very creative and had amazing style. She had a room in our home that was her painting studio; she loved fashion and designing our home. She mixed a lot of periods in her interiors, which something I love to do. She even had a file of images that inspired her, like a contemporary mood board.

The Style Files: Madeline Weinrib

{Madeline’s Lovely Mother at Age 10 via @madelineweinrib on Instagram}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

MW: If I’m home with my boyfriend and my dogs and I’ve just cooked a really good dinner with good music playing in the background and maybe we have company over we really enjoy, I am in bliss. I’d rather do that than almost anything. That’s the good life to me.

The Style Files: Madeline Weinrib

{ Dinnertime! via @madelineweinrib on Instagram}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

MW: I’ve just now opened a pop-up at Barneys, which is so exciting for me. I’ve spent the last year putting it together. I designed a lot of product for it, from handblown glass keychains to a set of porcelain dishes by Augarten, and collaborated on many pieces with artists and artisans I admire. Putting everything together was an immensely rewarding challenge. It’s called “A World of Influence,” and I think there is a lot to see inside.

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{The Madeline Weinrib Pop-Up at Barney’s}

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The Style Files: Madeline Weinrib

Go-To Outfit: I’m always dressed in either all-black or a vintage Kaftan. One or the other.

Style Mantra: Be original.

Scent: When I was in Paris I bought a perfume by Serge Lutens called “Clair de Musc.” I bought it at the Palais Royale, where he has a beautiful shop.

Piece of Jewelry: My sugarloaf sapphire ring from Munnu Gem Palace that was given to me as a present by my boyfriend.

Color I Never Tire Of: Black

Flower: Dahlia

Indispensable Design Element: Textiles

Era for Design: The 1970s

Fabric/Textile: My Ikat

Hostess Gift: My organic argan oil

Meal: Anything with truffles as long I’m in Umbria, Italy

Drink: My first cup of coffee in the morning

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: I change into a Kaftan the minute I come home and feel like I’m in a different place.

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3 Things I Love About My City: Diversity, the museums and the parks. The parks are particularly amazing in the summertime.

Weekend Destination: Bridgehampton

Hotel: The El Fenn in Marrekech, the Los Ottomans in Istanbul and the Taj in Mumbai.

City: Too hard to pick just one!

Museum: I love visiting small museums. There is something old fashioned and intimate about them. In New York my favorites are the Neue Galerie and The Frick.

Artist: It changes every day. I recently bought a Rene Ricard painting and am in love with it.

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Brazilian music. I like anything Brazilian.

Prized Possession: My dogs

Risk Worth Taking: Anything you believe in is a risk worth taking

Greatest Extravagance: Travel

Rule to Break: There are so many of them. Right now? Mixing metals–I do that a lot in my pop-up.

Movie Set Design: Scotty’s dream sequence in the Hitchcock classic Vertigo. I also love Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola.

I can never have too many… Dogs. I’d have more if I could, but my boyfriend wouldn’t like it.

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3 thoughts on “The Style Files: Madeline Weinrib

  1. Paloma you have featured one of my favorite women!
    Her interests and love of design , art, books connect me to her, even though we have not met.

    I love her authentic style and personality, as well as her love of life itself!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Palm Beach Chic

  2. Pingback: Lesen zu Hause - homeStories | homeStories

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