New York Cottages & Gardens November 2017: "Designer Timeline: Richard Mishaan, A Brief History of a Brilliant Career"
June 30, 2017
1958: Richard Mishaan is born in Bogota, Colombia, but political unrest forces his family to flee to South Florida when he's five years old. 'What Colombia meant to my family has stayed with me my whole life," he says.
1976: Studies communications at Emmerson College in Boston, then decides to "wing it" and transfer to New York University in 1978.
1980: Graduates with a Liberal Arts Bachelor's Degree and, a year later, enrolls in Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. 'During undergrad, I discovered a love for artisanal work, decorative arts, and the historical aspect of design,' he recounts. 'I thought architecture was my way into the field.'
1982-91: After completing his studies at Columbia, Mishaan takes a position with an acquaintance's athleisure company, where he helps with everything from sourcing materials to sales. In 1983, he starts his own casual athletic-wear company, Chose Classic, and rebrands it under his name three years later to include everyday and formal wear, which is sold at Bloomingdale's and other stores. But eventually, he says, 'I realized that interior design and architecture were still really my first true love.'
1993: Launches Richard Mishaan Design, 'finally doing what I had originally set out to do.' A year later, he welcomes his first child, Nicholas, with his wife Marcia, whom he married in 1985. Their daughter, Alexandra, is born in 1996.
1997: Opens Homer, a store that features the work of international artists and craftspeople, on the Upper East Side. He closes it in 2008, but debuts a new location in Greenwich Village in 2013.
2003: Participates in his first Kips Bay Decorator Show House and debuts a furniture collection with Donghia two years later. Mishaan goes on to design lighting for the Urban Electric Company, accessories for Asiatides, fabrics for Stark, and tableware for Lenox and Dansk.
2009: Decorates the presidential suite at Manhattan's St. Regis hotel and releases his first book, Modern Luxury (Monacelli). 'Hospitality design allows you to explore thematic and whimsical schemes,' he says, 'which you don't always have an opportunity to do in residential work.' Mishaan has also collaborated on the interiors of the Shelborne South Beach in Miami and the Tcherassi Hotel + Spa in Cartagena, Colombia.
2010: Purchases a 16th-century home within Cartagena's UNESCO World Heritage site. 'The front of the house was overgrown and in shambles,' he recalls. 'It has been a fun restoration and an opportunity to experience my home country again.'
2015: Always keen on furthering his education, Mishaan returns to Columbia University, where he receives a Master's Degree in Real Estate Development. 'In the future,' he says, 'I hope to form my own hotel brand, as well as work alongside developers on residential and commercial buildings.'
2017: Mishaan decorates a sitting room for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.