Following along in our series of how designers are managing through this pandemic, I had to devote an entire post to
Just like everyone else, we found ourselves with more time on our hands once the pandemic-fused shutdown began. Some of us have binged on NetFlix (don’t judge), others have read War & Peace (?!), and yet others have taken to Instagram Live to see friends and industry peers chat about life from the living room.
To Iantha, these IG Live sessions seemed like a new kind of salon, only this time anyone was welcome. “I was always intrigued by Perle Mesta,” she says of the famous DC “Hostess with the Mostess” who convened epic soirees during the 1940s, 50s and 60s for A-list luminaries of all political stripes from government and diplomatic circles, the arts, and entertainment. “I think I’m having my Perle Mesta moment,” Iantha notes, since she’s started a weekly IG Live chat with talents across DC’s design community.
“I was listening to Instagram Live” once the shutdown began, she says, “and there were a bunch of New York designers. They never had anyone from DC.” Then she remembered a years-ago conversation with a prominent New York designer who disparaged the DC design scene — a comment that irritates her to this day. “I’m sick and tired of people disrespecting DC!”
So she finally saw the opportunity to do something about it. In May, she started a weekly IG Live show called DC Design Matters, which “airs” each Friday at 2 p.m. She’s already interviewed seven DC talents, including designers, the COO of an audiovisual company, and a showroom manager at the Washington Design Center.
The intention is to bring together professionals and experts from all across the design industry, Iantha tells me. Her list of future guests also includes artists, shop owners, craftspeople, textile designers, photographers and furniture makers. “I want to show the diversity in DC, and show that it’s a design force, and that we are important,” she says. “I don’t think we come together enough and support each other. That’s what makes designers important in other cities — their communities come together.”
Here’s a quick review of Iantha’s guests so far, plus some of their work:
Go to Iantha’s IG Live Channel to hear any of these interviews, and tune in Friday for more!