David Stark Tells Us How He Creates the Wow Factor
By Lynn Byrne. I was most certainly tardy to the party when it came to knowing the work of event planner extraordinaire, David Stark. I had the pleasure last night of attending a lecture by David sponsored by the blog, Apartment Therapy, where I learned all about his fabulousness.
David just doesn’t plan a pretty party with nice flowers and invitations (though he can do that too). He creates a total environment. His clients are wide ranging from Beyonce and Target to the Robin Hood Foundation (the famous charity sponsored by the scions in the financial and entertainment worlds where 100% of benefit proceeds go to those in need) and weddings and other events for “regular folk”. He does this through the use of innovative materials and completely unique ideas. Plus he strives to be green and generally achieves that goal.
Here is what he did for a Robin Hood Foundation benefit. He created a world where all of the decorations consisted of items that the needy could later use. In this first shot, the “house” is actually a large shelving unit filled with towels and sheets donated by Ralph Lauren that were later distributed to those in need. The survival sign is made up of first aid kits. In the second photo, you are looking at a tornado of shoes that were tied to a net that was raised by a motor. After the event the shoes were simply lowered, untied and given away.
Photo via Design Sponge
Photo from psfk.com
David was recently charged with creating the Liberty of London Target “pop-up” store in Manhattan. You had to be quick to see it. The setting was so beguiling that Target was forced to close the store after only 2 days. They sold out of everything.
For the pop-up store, David explained that he and his team of 24 full time employees went for an “Alice in Wonderland” effect by playing with the scale of Liberty’s floral prints. 12,000 flowering plants were used. All of them were later donated to the New York Restoration Project and planted throughout New York’s five boroughs. In David’s gorgeous setting the merchandise was truly irresistable. Take a look.
Photo from Cool Hunting
Photo from GlamNest
Photo from BizBash
Love this supersized mug.
Photo from NYC loves NYC
When David’s friend, the creative director of West Elm, lamented to David about all of the waste that resulted from opening a new store, David developed the idea of celebrating the opening of the Broadway branch of the chain with a benefit and auction to aid the Cooper Hewitt museum. All of the event decorations and auction items were created with the refuge caused by the store’s opening.
Here is a shot of laser cut cardboard vases from the event.
Photo from Unbeige
David also made these clocks from recycled materials for the event. Be sure to look for David’s new line of holiday decorations out in October at West Elm. They are certain to be great.
Photo from the Haystack Needle
David also is incredibly creative for private events as well. At this wedding, he found numerous stacked logs at the site because the owners of the property were preparing the land for construction. Ever “green” (pun intended, sorry), he put the logs to good use by using them as the backdrop for the wedding’s band.
Photos from Kennedy Creative
David says his goal is to completely captivate those who see his work. WOW is the reaction that he wants (and gets!). David will be releasing a book on his work on April 27. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.
Photo from Amazon
When asked about his views on the economy and its impact on the design world, David proclaimed, “Over the top is out, but ingenuity is always in.” Indeed.