Custom of the Country

Star designer Campion Platt finds success by living the life of his clients.

Campion Platt

Campion Platt’s New York-Palm Beach sensibility is detectable in the stylishly relaxed cut of his clothes, his Palm Beach home, his casual charm. And when he says that most of his high-end work comes from word of mouth—despite the copious amount of editorial ink devoted to his installations in Manhattan, the Hamptons and South Florida—you tend to believe him. This is the man, after all, who was rumored to have been the model for a character in his friend Bret Easton Ellis’ novel Luna Park (Platt demurs on this point, but says the idea is flattering).

Platt resists defining his style beyond “fresh and modern,” observing that “most of my peers in the business have a signature look. I think what sets me apart is that my clients know they’re going to get something that’s completely personal to them. My own home is from the 1920s—colorful but not chintz, historical but not stuffy, but my recent Palm Beach client wanted gray driftwood and light colors.”

Of the designers he admires, Platt cites Zaha Hadid and Giò Ponti, the midcentury Italian architect, industrial designer and furniture creator. It was Ponti’s “holistic” practice—his ability to play different roles—that Platt endeavors to emulate. “I do everything for most of my clients,” he says. “We work on the floor plan, the electric and the air-conditioning on the same day we’re working on the furniture plan and the fabric.”

Platt continues to stretch his creative muscles; his high-profile partnerships include designing fabrics for Jim Thompson, the company founded by the legendary textile magnate. Next up: collaborations with Casella Lighting and Stark Carpet.

Platt feels that his versatility as a craftsman enables him to offer more personalized services. “Historically, everything was made by hand, and there’s a great provenance to all that. Now everything is machine-made and people are looking for items that are more customized again to differentiate them and their style.” campionplatt.com

PLATT’S HOTS
Shangri-La hotel in Shanghai, Marrakesh, Moscow, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the color lavender, Montecristo No. 2 cigars, English gardens, organic forms

PLATT’S NOTS
Strong geometric patterns, ineffectiveness, being unproductive