Catching up with David Stark: the event planner extraordinaire on his new book

David StarkCatching up with David Stark: the event planner extraordinaire on his new book
By Neesha Arter

Last Tuesday night, on the seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman, NYC’s leading event designer David Stark not only launched his new book, The Art of the Party, but also launched his signature paper décor line, sold exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. Linda Fargo, Lizzie Tisch and other guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed the sounds of Avalon Jazz Band while getting their copies of The Art of the Party signed. Stark is one of the most sought-after event designers in the country, having designed for the Whitney Museum, the Joyful Heart Foundation and the Metropolitan Opera. The CEO and President of David Stark Design and Production talked to SCENE about his new line, new book, and what he has up his sleeve for the rest of the year.

You’re releasing your fifth book, The Art of the Party, which focuses more on the process of your events instead of the final product. How did you come up with this focus after having four books published?
You know, I always say to our clients, “Of course, the party needs to be special, fabulous, fun, exciting – all of the things that a party needs to be and more, but the journey to get there is just as important as the end product.” We take the service aspect of what we do at David Stark Design really seriously, and the photos show just how rousing, and action-packed a team sport event preparation really is.

What has been the biggest challenge for you when it comes to the publishing industry? 
Now that is a loaded question! Sure, the reality is that the digital world is giving the bookstore a really good run for its money, but I still believe that there will always be great love for a beautiful book, the object of a book.

You are also launching a signature paper décor line exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman. How did you decide to partner with them? 
I have long been a fan of EVERYTHING that Bergdorf Goodman stands for. From their mind-blowing window displays that have long been an inspiration to me, to the stores’ embrace of forward thinking design. The 7th floor has always showcased exquisite, hand-made art pieces and I am honored to be included within that roster.

How did you develop the concept for this line? 
We started making hand-made, paper pieces as décor elements for events a couple of years back. The guests and our clients were so taken by them that requests poured in for us to create more works independent from the events we design. We’re excited to share the new pieces, making them available exclusively through Bergdorf Goodman.

At what type of event do you suggest New Yorkers to use the Paper Tale pieces? 
The pieces make wonderful displays on buffet tables, on fireplace mantles and sideboards for parties at home–they are wonderful conversation starters! The smaller pieces even make wonderful centerpieces on dining tables. I am excited because they all contain the charm, surprise, and magic that appeal to children, but they are so exquisitely made with the finest craftsmanship that they are serious adult statements too. It’s wonderful to own art pieces that can enhance your home and world every day but provide built-in décor for your next party.

What are three things every aspiring designer/artist in New York City needs?
Passion, fortitude, and commitment. New York is a wonderful place, but a hard place. If you work really, really hard and give your dream your ALL, you can totally make magic. There are so many artists who are the New York dream that have spurred me on over the years. They are the examples that everything is possible and more.

What do you have up your sleeve for the rest of the year? 
We have amazing event projects we are working on–from very special weddings to product launches and Museum galas, and I am getting my toes wet creating a collection of ceramic tableware. Knock on wood, that all works out, as that would be really GREAT fun.

Published in SCENE Magazine

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