The world of bespoke is small. After all, there are only so many individuals in the world who can afford to tailor their homes to their exact desires with items such as 24-carat gold plated foosball tables, personal helipads and hand-carved mahogany bars. Likewise, there are only so many artisans and companies who cater to these individuals and their discriminating tastes. After all, it takes a certain amount of wisdom…a certain amount of curiosity…and a certain amount of bravery…to meet the unique needs of those who wish to not only possess the best, but the bespoke.
You might say Gwen Carlton and Pippa McArdle, luxury mavens and co-founders of the online marketplace Bespoke Global, have all three qualities in ample proportion. Since 2011, the polished pair has been curating custom commissions from some of the world’s leading luxury artisans. In some respects, their site filled a void in the luxury home furnishing market.
“The world’s premier makers and their global clientele were highly fragmented,” explains McArdle, she herself a luxury branding expert with deep ties to global brands in publishing, fashion, hospitality, ecommerce and home. “There was no aggregated and vetted platform to showcase their work.”
Thanks to McArdle’s global relationships and Carlton’s background as a bespoke product designer, there is now an online destination where affluent collectors can shop for rare and custom house wares crafted by the world’s leading luxury artisans. (Remember the $150,000 Falconry Companion set in the Neiman Marcus 2013 Fantasy Gift Guide? That was them!)
No doubt, Carlton and McArdle have their pulse on what’s hot and haute. For that reason, Previews Inside Out asked McArdle to give us a taste of her life and style behind bespoke.
Previews Inside Out What sorts of things do you collect?
Pippa McArdle Well, I turned my passion for finding and collecting artisans and their work into a company with Gwen. So I’m a little nervous to turn my attention to collecting something else!
Previews Inside Out Describe your personal design aesthetic.
Pippa McArdle Classic, with a twist. Tactile materials, craftsmanship and providence are all important elements to create warmth and personality in a room.
Previews Inside Out Who are your architect and designer crushes right now?
Pippa McArdle We are fortunate to work with world’s leading architects and designers on projects all over the world. It would be unfair to choose just one crush. We attract designers who pride themselves on creating unique interiors and are dedicated to championing exceptional craftsmanship. Jessica Helgerson, Suzanne Lovel, Studio Reed and Mark Cunningham are diverse in style but constantly source artisans to create unique, warm and meaningful interiors. Peter Marino deserves his very own special love note. Call me…
Previews Inside Out If you could own a home in any city in the world, where would be?
Pippa McArdle Sydney, Australia—a waterfront property right on the harbor. It’s got to be the perfect combination of beach, city and wildlife. It’s all about the three L’s: location, lifestyle and libations. What else could you ask for?