From the moment the elevator doors open to their penthouse apartment, Lisa and Richard Perry’s fondness for pop art is apparent.
“I had already started being a collector of Sixties vintage fashion, and for ten years it was all I wore,” Lisa said Thursday evening from her living room, where a Lichtenstein covered the wall behind her. “And so I said, ‘Since I love the clothing so much, let me see what else they are doing — with furniture, with architecture.’ It just felt like it was a part of me.”
The love of pop art led her and husband Richard, owner of Barneys New York, to discover the artist Leo Villareal, which, many years later, would lead to the reason for the gathering in their home on the first night of New York Fashion Week. Perry and Villareal were celebrating the limited-edition handbag they collaborated on, called the Scintillator.
“We collected Leo’s work going back to 2004 — Richard bought a sculpture for his office. It was a big light sculpture. And then Leo did the one in the powder room here that inspired the bag,” the designer said of the bathroom guests glimpsed at after exiting the elevator, which glitters with LED lights. “I walked back and forth past it a lot, and I thought, ‘You know, this could be an incredible evening bag.’” The bag is being sold in Perry’s Madison Avenue boutique and has already sold out at Barneys — though they are saving one bag for the new Chelsea store, which opens on Monday.
“I’m completely inspired by art,” the designer said. “My dad was a painter growing up — it was a hobby but it really was his love. We’d go in his basement and there would be drip paintings on the floor. Our weekend pastime was trying to put together a Jackson Pollock puzzle on the table.” Perry’s mother is a gallerist.
The bag — a clutch made of polished nickel-brass and dotted with LED lights priced at $2,995 — certainly has proven to be a conversation piece. “I was out to dinner with it the other night, and I was sitting poolside with it at the Four Seasons, and everybody comes over,” Perry said. “They think it is the coolest thing in the world.”