I visited Santa Fe years ago.…Last year, my longtime designer who is very involved with the International Folk Art Market, Peter Speliopoulos, asked if I would be interested in attending, so I went and I was blown away. It’s like traveling the world in three days. Meeting the artisans and discovering their culture is my passion. And that’s what Urban Zen is all about, raising awareness and inspiring change in preservation of culture. I think there is nothing more important than respecting cultures and the artisans of each and every country. They are my inspiration. I want to connect on a deeper level, it’s not just about the product it’s about the community and bringing awareness to their artistry.
For this year’s market, IFAM asked me to curate a group of artisans that I have a connection to. This was truly the most exciting thing for me. Bringing Haiti to Santa Fe was an honor. Highlighting and sharing the soul of their work was a dream come true. Everybody can be an artist. Giving them a fishing rod instead of a check is what it’s all about.
Beyond the market, Santa Fe has it all — art, fashion, food, culture and artisans. I could stay here forever. A true playground of collaboration and culture.
To be continued…Love, DK.
Some of my must-go to places:
Seret & Sons is a one-of-a-kind experience. My brilliant friend, Ira Seret, who I’ve known since we were kids in the Five Towns and his wife Sylvia have a beautiful showroom/store with an extensive private collection of Asian imports and antique Tibetan furniture. I stayed at their hotel, the Five Graces Inn. It was like traveling back in time. It’s a must see!
Duke and I is an amazing concept store offering fashion, textiles, antiques and artisan products. Randolph Duke and Irene Salas are amazing with a phenomenal eye. I love how the space feels and the eclectic mix of styles from around the globe just like Urban Zen.
Shiprock Santa Fe is an art dream — everything from jewelry to paintings to pottery to furniture and more. It brings the history of the culture alive, embodying the people, land and culture of the artisans and is so inspiring.
Santa Fe Dry Goods is an amazing store. I love Shobhan the owner, she has amazing taste and she carries Urban Zen. I checked out their new home store Wildlife where everything is handmade and many items are sustainable.
Geronimo was one of my favorite restaurants. OMG! It was the best salmon I’ve ever had. And those cocktails. It was like heaven.