MARIO BUATTA 1935-2018
To the general public, he was probably the most famous of all interior designers. He was dubbed by a reporter as "The Prince of Chintz" after a Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in 1984 that was obviously filled with the very popular glazed cotton.
Having gotten his start at the famous B. Altman & Co. Dept store, he learned much of his craft. His personality is what set him apart from all other design professionals. I considered Mario a friend and a collegue. He was a very private person. I would see him through the years at luncheons, events, showroom parties and of course, I would always see him at the little lamp shade store that use to exist on Lexington Avenue called Oriental lamp shade. He would always have his glasses on his head and be flipping through his pages of lists. He always had a smile, a story and was a very warm person. There was no drama and he was no diva.
He was also quirky and happen to be very funny. Being super talented came easy to him and he was a master at furniture placement, draperies, layering fabrics and so much more.
He never had an assistant, rather opted to work alone his entire career. How he did it all alone is still a mystery to all who knew him well. He designed the Blair house (White House Guest House) and several celebrities including Maria Carey and yes actually did have a great love for glazed cotton.