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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When shocking really isn't

The apartment of professional skateboarder Chad Muska.

Ryan Korban is being touted as the design world's latest wunderkind.  His age has been listed as "25" in articles for two years now which tells me he's probably closer to 30.  This week, 1st Dibs takes a look at his work, a style which the designer himself describes as "romance, sex and fantasy."

Korban takes a certain pride in his lack of design training stating "People pay me a lot of money and I don't even know how to draft a floor plan."  What lucky clients.  He feels "[i]n the design world, there is an obsession with time and era.  I like people to walk into a space and feel like they're entering a time period that hasn't existed yet."  Zebra skins, chrome tables, and "edgy" little chairs?  Hmmm, seems like that time period would be the late Aughts.  And the middle finger waving "Hello!"?  Yawn.


Korban hangs with the downtown New York fashion set, including designer Alexander Wang.  In February, Wang opened his first retail store in Soho and had his buddy design the interior which includes a fur hammock.  For Korban, high-end shopping is an opportunity for rekindling love's lost fires.  "Even in these urban settings, I strive to bring a revival of lost romance." 

Korban also decorated Wang's showroom which looks like the shoe department at Restoration Hardware.

A private residence designed by Korban includes topiary balls on candlesticks and what looks to be a coffee table from LaBarge.  For this inspired vision, he charges $250-$500 an hour.

Korban's previous apartment resembled the Richie Rich edition of "Hoarders."


If Korban had been executing his signature style back in the mid-1990s (which seems to be his sartorial inspiration), the look would have been edgy and glam.  Today, it looks like the decorating equivalent of the Victoria's Secret model girlfriend of a wannabe rock star.

The Talent: Ryan Korban [1st Dibs]
The Anti-Minimalist [The Wall Street Journal

40 comments:

Kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Teeple said...

I love this post - way to go! Sometimes I think people dare us to say "THIS IS UGLY" or not that special - good for you for having the guts to have parameters to your good taste.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

I actually like parts and pieces (of these photos), but your take on his approach is much more entertaining than the work.

Kelly

Karena said...

Mediocre at best and how long can this be avante garde?

A Special Gift on my site just in time for spring!Come Enter!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

claire said...

What a place. Love that hammock! x

Julie @ Chapman Interiors said...

haaaaaaaaa rainaface. You make me giggle. But I still like ryan's style. Except the middle finger is dumb, It's trying way too hard.

David said...

Yeah, nothing especially groundbreaking here. Oh, and anyone who hangs a hammock of any kind inside is immediately and irrevocably crossed off my list.

brismod said...

Hmmm...reminding people you have no skill or training in a job, where you were paid a lot of money, doesn't instill much confidence...

Three Owls said...

well you couldn't really hang a fur hammock outside could you? lol. I think you've summed it up nicely Raina. Pretty pricey, personally I like to get kissed when I'm getting f&^(*&^... but maybe that's what that poster is for...

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Amen sister! And I prefer to hang my fur hammocks in the bedroom.

Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...

He has one space I really like. Getting paid $250-$500 an hour...in NY money that's like half? I aint mad, just dizzy.

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Jimmy The Undercover Designer said...

I feel there is some sort of creativity somewhere hidden under all the skins and furs that just wants to come out. Sometimes trying too hard ends up looking like not trying at all. Having said that, there are certain elements that I like.

ktgirl said...

Do you think one person has sat on the fur hammock? It appears to be hung high enough that that never happens. I hate that shit.

nkp said...

Thank you for that. I couldn't agree more. Don't believe the hype.

my favorite and my best- MFAMB to you said...

i don't doubt the guy has talent, it's the taking himself too seriously aspect that makes me wanna throat punch him.
and you are 100 percent accurate...his look his high end z gallerie.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

I so heart you, my friend.
I pulled the 1stdibs images to post about yesterday, then stalled and didn't...and I couldn't be happier for you to do the honors in the most hilarious way possible.
Although, give or take an awkwardly-placed faux boxwood ball or the completely un-shocking birdie art, I do generally dig Korban's work.
One thing's for damn sure though, the guy is not 25.
Cheers and hope you're feeling better, Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Funny....funny...funny...you, definately not him!

Design Junkie said...

I'm never offended by anyone who makes money off of people who have a lot of it.

ModernSauce said...

Trying to clean the sex fantasy stains off of a fur hammock probably ruins the "romance" of a room.

(In the interest of full disclosure I'd rather look at this look over 'bubble gum decor' any damn day of the week.)

tenderleaf said...

Rich people buying expensive things makes them think they're designers.

Also, your snark is like heroin to me. Please, more.

life, in small chunks said...

Lots of hype out there. Leave it to you t cut right thru it. Cheers!
Karin

Teri said...

Nothing says sexy and makes me feel romantic then a large middle finger in the family room.

I'm not a designer, and before I rearrange furniture I make a floor plan to scale. I am OCD and enjoy planning.

Take care of yourself! I think this injury requires a margarita machine in your bedroom.

Bri@Meyouandawiener said...

I've been wanting to see the rest of his apartment ever since I saw the stacked books and art pic. To bad you can't unsee shit.

Raina Cox said...

Susan Teeple and Jimmy the Undercover Designer - Hello to you both and welcome to this deliciousness!

A Blog By Eliana Tomas said...

wow. so much character in here! i'm loving it. reason to say "live as you are"

Shauna said...

Takes himself way too seriously - or, at least it comes across that way in print. If you have to tell people you're edge-y, you're probably not.

But I'd totally nap in a fur hammock.

longlist said...

"shoe dept of restoration hardware" <-- hahaha

i kinda like the top room, but his leafy balls are just tacky.

bomm said...

This is the perfect opposite of the Happy Weekend Nest from last Fri. One: fresh and alive and inviting. Other: stuffy and dead (or dead and stuffed) and uncomfortable. So Victorian in its aesthetic.

Anonymous said...

How is he really different than any other overpaid, under-educated, over-praised designer whose work gets shown in Elle Decor? More power to him for not even trying to disguise his expensive mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE!! No more animal hide rugs! No more fur draped chairs! It's overdone! OLD!

I like the edgy artwork in the first photo and the mirrored wall installation in the 3rd photo.

Madam Pince said...

I'm getting tired of these so-called "designers" bragging about their lack of formal training. Believe me, it shows.

dave said...

He missed his calling as the set designer and/or an interior designer character on "Absolutely Fabulous". Which was a hit show when he really was 25.

The Down East Dilettante said...

what is it with this sudden explosion of Cousin It chairs?

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I heard that Kramer Design Group designed the interiors for Alexander Wang's shop. I think it is pretty obvious as the look of this project does not reflect the look of his other work.

Raina Cox said...

Anon 9:52 - OOOOOOH! Busted.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Kramer Design Group- they do a bunch of cool stuff.

Eryn said...

wow....ok, never thought of his work that way. I've always loved his apartment. i'll let you have your licks on korban, but if you start in on miles redd, ima cut you ;)

xoxo

Raina Cox said...

Eryn - Oh Lord no. Miles is a GOD.

Also, hello and welcome to this deliciousness!

court. said...

ps. Eryn is court from Big beige box. I posted on my gf's computer and realized the err of my ways. hahah

Jane Schott said...

What a great post! It brought out the kind of comments you want to spend your time reading.
Kudos to every one of them!