Photography By CHICHI UBIÑA
The Collective and Fairfield County LOOK present the curators at The Collective. The Collective is a group of exceptional dealers of both vintage and antique finds. Visit their 13,000 sq.ft space located at 50 John Street in the antiques district of Stamford, CT. Just south of I-95.
Name: Gina Vivenzio
Company Name: Plumcake Designs
Where are you from? Where did you grow up? I’m from upstate New York. I left to study Interior Design at college in Boston then moved to Florida to study at FSU’s School of Interior Design. I lived and worked in Atlanta for 5 years and experienced all the glories of formal “southern” residential design before heading back up to my roots in NYC where worked for a commercial design firm. Once my husband and I started a family, we moved to Darien, CT, and that’s when I started my own interior design business.
Describe your personal style: My personal style and my design style simultaneously read both totally different and exactly the same. Alessandro Michele meets Miles Redd. In fashion I always desire the new and the next, seeking unique points of view from up and coming designers who create fresh cuts and lines. When friends and clients first come over to my house, expecting it to be clean lined and more modern, they are shocked to see that graciously, nothing matches. I use a lot more formal and traditional pieces from all the design eras. I juxtaposition everywhere I can, and 90% of everything I own is reclaimed, restored, or one of a kind vintage.
When did you start collecting? At a very young age. I started off being creative in fashion by putting outfits together using a combination of at least four different colors and pulling it together with no less than ten pieces of accessories. I loved decorating and redecorating my childhood bedroom every chance I could get. It must have changed 7-8 times before I moved out to go to college. Once out on my own, anytime I purchased something I always founds myself gravitating towards vintage pieces. New pieces lacked luster in my eyes. My first trip to the Paris flea market I bought paintings the exact same measurements as my suitcase to make sure they would get back home with me.
What might we find at your booth in The Collective? Colorful items. A peacock colored lacquered étagère. Citron linen antique dining room chairs. French regency prints. Malachite anything!
If you won the lottery, how would you go about enhancing your collection? I would not hesitate pulling the trigger on the seemingly overpriced antique treasures that have been sitting in the high-end shops on Dixie Highway for as long as I can remember. Some of these grand “goodies” call my name year after year; yet, to my chagrin have not budged in price. I would also send a container back from France filled with antique mantles, windows, and doors.
What are the pros and cons in your business that people don’t realize? My most favorite thing to do is hunt for unique treasures. There are truly remarkable antique pieces out there that you can find in any home in any given town just waiting for someone like me to scoop it up and bring it new life! The con is that clients don’t always recognize the value of a piece — a great deal of time and money is put into curating just the right pieces! Trying to convince clients that a certain piece is rare and that they would be lucky to own it can be a challenge.
Name a character in fiction or reality who would feel most at home with your personal style/collection? (And why?) My all-time favorite Miles Redd! I dream up color combinations and interiors in my head all the time. On several occasions, I’ve picked up an interiors magazine to find my like-minded images across the pages. Miles Redd’s style pulls me right in and represents my point of view.