Designer Robin Wilson Becomes Second Black Woman with Textile Line


She has her own line of custom kitchen cabinets—the RWH by Holiday Kitchens—candles, and spa amenities, but now noted eco-friendly interior designer and green lifestyle expert Robin Wilson, CEO of Robin Wilson Home, will soon have her name on her own line of textiles, too. In the process, she’ll become only the 2nd African-American woman to accomplish this at a mass retail. The line launches on March 8.

Wilson’s design work for residential and commercial clients focuses on the four principles of eco-friendly design—sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and non-toxic—but it also toes the line between forward-looking warm contemporary and classic design, which is why her firm was tapped to design the interiors of former-President Clinton’s Harlem office, the Robert F. Kennedy Jr., residence, and portions of Esquire magazine’s 2007 “Ultimate Bachelor Apartment.”

The designer seemingly has been everywhere, including an episode of HGTV’s Selling New York, NBC, CNN, CBS, and Fox, to name just a handful. But she has taken a little time out of her busy TV, magazine, and lecture schedule—not to mention, actual design work—to answer some questions for homeIQ.

What exactly is the new Robin Wilson Collection?

RW: We are excited to launch our home textile line at mass market on www.bedbathandbeyond.com with a collection featuring pillows, comforters, mattress pads and fiber beds. All of these products are hypoallergenic and specially woven to prevent penetration by allergens and bedbugs.

Your design work focuses on healthy indoor air, sustainability and eco-friendly options. Is the line an extension of that focus?

RW: Yes. We launch this line during the height of spring allergy season to provide consumers an option that will prevent ‘wheezing and sneezing’ in their bedrooms. All the pillows come with a free zippered pillow cover that can be washed weekly to prevent pollen buildup. The special weave allows items to dry faster which is energy-efficient and all pillows use recycled polyfill, which is becoming a common industry standard to ensure sustainability.

How will the line be different from other products I can buy at Bed Bath & Beyond?

RW: We are starting off on the Bed Bath & Beyond website so that we can reach more consumers, instead of featuring it only at select stores. As well, this will be the first branded hypoallergenic product line – and it is quite affordable.

Why did you want to introduce the line now?

RW: It is the spring allergy season and if you are ‘wheezing and sneezing’ in the middle of the night, it is probably time to replace your pillow. And pillows are the simplest solution to a better sleep. In fact, when you ask most people when they last washed or replaced their pillow, you will hear a range of six to nine years…so, it is time to visit BedBathBeyond.com and purchase a new one!

Which target market are you aiming for with the line?

RW: We are aiming for the mid-market consumer, which means that it will be a stretch for some, and more affordable for others. The challenge with some hypoallergenic products has typically been a large price increase, and we believe that all consumers have a right to a healthy home.

There has been more of an emphasis placed on U.S. made goods. Where are these products made?

RW: Our textile line is made in both China and the US. For example, our pillow shells are made in China, but a U.S. [factory] actually fills the pillow shells with the inner material.

I read on Twitter that you are only the second African-American woman with a branded line of textile products. Who was the first?

 RW: We are thrilled to follow in the pioneering footsteps of B. Smith, whose collection also premiered at Bed Bath & Beyond.

What are your plans/hopes for the line or extension into other areas?

RW: We have a new set of items from the Robin Wilson Collection coming out in a few months – bath and fashion bedding items! It is so thrilling to know that we will be able to cover almost every room in the home. With our cabinetry line made by Holiday Kitchens, we are able to ensure a quality product for the “hearth of the home”. Our next goal is furniture, lighting and hardware items…stay tuned.

Where can Robin Wilson products be purchased?

RW: Our textiles can be purchased at www.bedbathandbeyond.com. Our custom cabinetry can be purchased at 500 independent dealers nationwide. And our book, Kennedy Green House can be purchased on Amazon.com.

New Book Highlights Amazing Manhattan Rooftop Terraces and Gardens


As if we didn’t have enough to hate lucky New Yorkers living in fabulous upper East Side pied-à-terres and hip Tribeca lofts, now comes a book to show us yet another reason we’ll hate them even more. We’re kidding, of course, but not really. April 19th is the launch date of Rooftop Gardens: The Terraces, Conservatories, and Balconies of New York (Rizzoli New York, $45), a book that profiles “Manhattan’s most exclusive addresses and their private gardens for the first time ever!” Yes, this sounds like press release posturing, until you see these unbelievable green spaces in the urban jungle. What I like about the book is that it doesn’t bore you with long flowery prose. Written by Denise LeFrak Calicchio and Roberta Model Amon, the book gives you just enough pertinent information (in simple terms) to not put you to sleep and is illustrated with enough large images to keep you interested. But it also alerts you to the unfairness of the whole thing: these people get to live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world and they get private green spaces to boot! Take a look at some of the spectacular spaces below (click for larger images).

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath

©Norman McGrath