Barbara Viteri and her creation Designerlebrity are a tidal wave that is set to hit the design industry at any moment and it really is exciting. Talking to Barbara is like being dropped on a treadmill that is going about 300 miles per hour and I love it. The design industry can be a bit dry at times but not Barbara she is witty, charming and has a huge heart. Don’t get me wrong this lady is 100% New York business. But truth is that she says what we want to all tell our boss or that person who cut in front of us in line. At the end of the day Barbara wants to connect designers with their audience in a way that has not been done to date. I raise my martini glass and say I got your back! Enjoy this article because it was a blast!
What made you launch Designerlebrity.com?
Actually I had to if I wanted to keep up the hype. My talk show aired late in 2014 and was a big hit. I landed covers of magazines and television interviews. When I declined the network a second season (twice) and to host another show for them, that became news within itself. Both the industry and the public wanted to know what was next for Designerlebrity™? It made me realize there was an audience out there that liked what I was creating and I could be on to something. So I thought maybe I should write and become a contributing editor to a few interior design magazines. When I got the side eye or worst, radio silence from some of these well known mags, I put my finger up and opted to collaborate with a newly launched lifestyle magazine in 2015. My articles gained major attention and sites like PopSugar, Refinery29 and HGTV were all linking my articles to their features. But here is the thing with new players trying to get into the publishing game, it’s grand opening and then grand closing. The lifestyle magazine I was writing for changed their name 3 times in one year to figure out their footing. That’s when I said I have to take my brand back and make it my own. So it was an obvious move to launch Designerlebrity.com and take full control.
I’ve never met an interior designer that wasn’t creative, but I’ve met creative people that will never be interior designers.
How does one become a designerlebrity?
Well there is no twelve step program, but the breakdown of what a designerlebrity is, is simply being an interior designer first and then a celebrity. There are a plethora of interior designers out there killing it with their work, but either choose to stay out of the limelight or the opportunity to get notice has not be presented. I saw this void in media a long time ago and wanted to create a platform that spotlighted these designers. They do have a celebrity factor, but it sucks they don’t get the cool pop-culture focus that could show them off as the rock stars they truly are. A great recent example of this is designerlebrity, Judy Becker. Ever heard of her…no? Well ever heard of FX’s hottest drama-series FEUD…yes! Well Judy Becker is the set designer for that addictive TV series and every article I found did not even have one photo of this cool woman. Not one! I had to google-smoogle her to know what she looked like, let alone to find out she had a cool haircut. Like for reelz? That’s why I think Designerlebrity™ is needed. It’s about putting a face to these fabulous celebrity interior designers and getting the public to recognize the artist behind the art.
Who in your opinion gets the award for 2017 Designerlebrity (so far)?
Oh hands down it’s designerlebrity, Cheryl Eisen. I still can’t believe this girl doesn’t have her own TV show. She is gorgeous and her work is mind-blowing. Making my point from before, many people go gaga over her design work, but have no idea who the heck she is. This woman is New York’s premiere stager and interior designer running a multi-million dollar empire, Interior Marketing Group. Her clients run from Ivanka Trump, Daniel Craig to Kim and Kayne West. But here’s the kicker, her work does get featured on popular Bravo shows like Million Dollar Listing NY and The Real Housewives of NY, but you never see her. Yet, the bravolebrities like Fredrik Eklund and Bethenny Frankel have to give her props, because they know the TV watchers we are salivating over the decor and know they are NOT responsible for it. That’s what brings my blood pressure down, when I see credit being given appropriately. I hope Designerlebrity™ becomes the Skinnygirl™ of the design industry so I can afford Cheryl to transform my own place. She always knocks it out of the park.
Some people in this industry have told me I’m too real and that makes them uncomfortable. Well I’m comfortable with that.
If you bottled your energy and drive into an energy drink what would it be called?
Listen I’m cheap and cheerful. Grab yourself a Diet Coke and a smile.
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Barbara Viteri |HBIC| at Designerlebrity™
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