A memorial service is being planned for the spring for textile designer Jeffrey David Aronoff, who died Dec. 20 at age 62.
Aronoff, who was known for the hand-wove chenille he made for the accessory and interior design industries and who won a Coty Award for handweaving in 1980, died in his New York home after suffering a heart attack a few days earlier.
The designer made a name for himself working with interior and fashion designers under his business Jeffrey Aronoff Handwoven & Co. He opened a storefront in 2003 on Warren Street in Hudson, N.Y., that brought his designs to the broader market.
Hollywood came calling early in his career, with Lauren Hutton wearing one of his scarves and shawls throughout the movie “Eyes of Laura Mars” and they were also used in episodes of the original “Law & Order” television series.
Aronoff was a student of Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts and saw his business take off in the Seventies with his Babylon and Phoenicia scarves, the yarn of which was dyed at the time in Pennsylvania and New England.
Among his mentors was Mary Buckley, who Aronoff credited with guiding him in the direction of fabric design. Aronoff had been painting and drawing up until taking a course with Buckley, whereby his design work began taking on a more three-dimensional quality with embroidery of yarns into linen. It was then that Aronoff began taking weaving classes, purchasing the loom of weaver Dorothy Liebes.
The loom, along with all of Aronoff’s chenille yarns, took up his entire TriBeCa living room at the time. It was in that Tribeca space that most of Aronoff’s early works were produced.
Aronoff was born in West Orange, N.J., and was described by his elder sister Susan Aronoff Zimmerman as a people person and her best friend. His circle of relationships went beyond just the trade to the likes of Barbra Streisand and Ali MacGraw.
Outside of his craft, Aronoff worked closely with the New York organization AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, serving as chair of fundraising between 1990 and 1993.
“He was so passionate about AIDS research and assisting victims of AIDS more so than anyone else I have ever known in my entire life, but that’s who Jeffrey Aronoff was. He was like no other,” said interior designer and friend Shepard Vineburg. “He was a man filled with soul and warmth and dedication to others. He was such an advocate.”
A memorial service is being planned for the spring.
Aronoff was predeceased by his father, Dr. Solomon Aronoff, and mother, Rita Aronoff, along with his maternal aunt, described as a second mother, Barbara Gould. His sister Susan and her husband Richard Zimmerman, along with their sons Matthew, Darin and Daniel, survive him.