Resurrecting the Boris Kroll Brand

When Steven Stolman joined Scalamandré as its new president two years ago, he had no idea that the company had acquired the entire Boris Kroll archive in the early 1990s.

“It was this big thunderclap to me that they had it and that it had been mothballed,” he says.

Stolman grew up in a suburban midcentury modern home, furnished by his parents in period décor.

“My mother sent me into the city to Boris Kroll to get fabrics to recover chairs,” he says.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, Kroll’s textiles were au courant for the corporate offices in the glass boxes that lined Madison Avenue – and for airlines like Continental too.

“They’re incredibly saturated in color, and in unique combinations,” he says. “The hot Kroll palette is all about tomato reds, bright oranges and accents of purple. The cool palette is Cerulean blues mixed with aquas and black.”

Among the archives he found a blueprint for the interiors of a 1973 Continental Airlines 747, covered in paint chips and cloth swatches. “You look at these interiors and you wish they were still flying,” he says. “They’re so glamorous, with hipster lounges, and the hot colors in first class to the cool colors in coach.”

After poring through 200 boxes of archived material, Stolman and his staff organized an exhibit of Kroll’s work, selecting pieces that were decidedly Kroll-esque. “They made themselves very apparent,” he says. “When we opened the boxes they stood out as Boris Kroll.”

Mid-Century Maestro: The Textiles of Boris Kroll runs from October 2 to December 7 at the New York School of Interior Design Gallery, 161 East 69th Street, New York City.

And in November, at Boutiques Design New York at the Javits Center, Scalamandré will re-launch the Boris Kroll brand as a fully realized contract textile collection.

“There’s a definite appetite for it now, and I can’t wait to see what the future of Boris Kroll is going to look like,” he says.

Probably, it’ll look a lot like the offices of Sterling Cooper.

For more information, go here.

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