Wedding and event designers have one goal when they’re planning an event; they want to engage with all our senses and create a sensation that will overwhelm every single person in attendance. Guests should be able to feel an emotional connection with the event through the ambiance of the room, the décor and most importantly in the smallest details.
That is what the next 10 designers do. They are meticulous. They are creative. They are innovative. It’s the attention to detail and pure artistic ability with fabric, flowers and more that makes these 10 people leaders in the industry; people for the next generation to look up to.
Their roots, expertise and personality all contribute to the works of art they create. We’ll introduce you to them to help inspire you; just like they’ve inspired us.
David Stark: David Stark Design and Production
David Stark is more than a president of his own business; even more than a creative director. He is an artist through and through. He started taking art classes as a teen. He has a BFA, MFA and SVA in art. He always thought he would follow the fine arts route, but when he dipped his toes in floral design and catering, he found his true calling in event design.
Photo:Courtesy of DavidStarkdesgin.com
Stark started David Stark Design and Production in 2006. He has a strict structure to planning events and it all starts with his client's goals. Once he knows why someone is holding an event and what he or she wants the outcome to be, he can begin planning. He lets his team get as creative as they like. They create mood boards, renderings, samples, technical drawings, videos - whatever it takes to create a great event.
Stark's clientele includes The Robin Hood Foundation, whom he has designed for several times, Target and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Karla Dascal: Karla Conceptual Event Experiences
Karla Dascal is the owner of Karla Conceptual Event Experiences and The Sacred Space, both based in Miami, Florida. Dascal began her career in the floral industry but she grew her business to include catering and event planning. She always planned to include her own event venue and has done that with The Sacred Space.
Dascal creates events for individuals or corporations. She goes into each design with an architectural mindset. She doesn't want you to feel like you're a themed party. Her clients, just from last year, include Gucci, Lululemon and Eater Miami.
While Dascal loves event planning and design, her main goal in life is to help improve the wellness of those in her community. She hosted Miami’s first Mindfulness Festival at The Sacred Space. According to The Sacred Space's website, "The Sacred Space is home to plant-based eatery Plant Food + Wine Miami and Flow — a curated holistic lifestyle boutique."
Colin Cowie: Colin Cowie Lifestyle
Colin Cowie is the CEO and COO of Colin Cowie Lifestyle. Cowie has grown his business from the ground up. He started Colin Cowie Lifestyle with $400 and it is now one of the most sought after event styling firms.
Cowie’s design approach is what sets him apart from other designers. He uses the five senses to inspire his work. According to the Colin Cowie Lifestyle website, "What you smell, touch, taste, feel and hear are carefully orchestrated to create the ultimate experience for Colin’s clients."
Cowie has planned parties for some of the biggest celebrities. His clientele includes Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest and Kim Kardashian.
Javier Velarde: Triton Productions
Miami based Javier Velarde wasn't always planning on becoming an event planner or designer. Originally he studied marketing, but his marketing job got him started in the industry. While working at Coca-Cola he planned the soccer World Cup and Olympics events for the company. Which led him to pursue a new career in event producing.
Velarde started Triton Productions almost two decades ago. Due to his former career in sports marketing, he works with a lot of sports clients. He has produced events such as the Sony Ericsson Open and ESPN's College Football National Championship Tailgate. But Velarde hasn't stopped at designing sporting parties. His company produces events from concept to reality for a variety of industries.
Edgardo Zamora: Revelry Event Designers
Edgardo (Edgar) Zamora is the CEO, founder and lead designer of the Los Angeles based Revelry Event Designers. Originally from Argentina, Zamora's upbringing greatly influences his designs. He is the son of a Spanish metal industrialist and a renowned Argentinian fashion model. Between the two, he has an innate sense of style. Zamora also enjoys traveling and uses his adventures as inspiration for his work.
Revelry Event Designers creates luxury events and specializes in custom fabric treatments. Zamora has an extensive knowledge of fabrics and uses that knowledge to provide his clients with the best wall and ceiling coverings, as well as custom linens.
Zamora has helped design the Academy Award Governor’s Ball and Grammys, the Staples Center and Gala Openings and President Obama's last state dinner. He also works with clients all over the world.
Shia Tertner: Shiraz Events
Shai Tertner started Shiraz Events in 2001. Shiraz Events offers catering, model staffing, experimental marketing, production and design services. They have offices in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and London.
Shiraz Events began as a catering company but Tertner grew it to include even more services than most event or wedding designers offer. Because food has been the base of the company, it also becomes the base of any event. Tertner works to create food experiences for his clients and their guests and builds menus and decor around the tastes of his clients.
Tertner has organized events for big names like Google, Moet Hennessy, Microsoft, Versace, Vanity Fair, Calvin Klein, Crate & Barrel, Mac Cosmetics, Tommy Hilfiger and Bentley.
Melissa Andre: Melissa Andre Events
Melissa Andre, of Melissa Andre Events, is an event planner and designer. Andre has been running her own business for over a decade and is best at creating a unique and memorable event. She has offices in Los Angeles, Toronto and New York.
Andre excels at making her events “grammable,” so much so that even Instagram has hired her to plan and design events for them. She creates spaces that are picture perfect, so that attendees are prompted to share their experiences on social media. She does this by using branded walls and interactive props.
She has also worked with big names such as DRAKE, GQ, DJ KHALED, Dom Perignon, THE WEEKND, DSquared2, RocNation, Lacoste, Guerlain, Ronda Rousey, and Reebok.
Todd Fiscus: Todd Events
Todd Fiscus has over 20 years of design experience. He started event designing at his high school prom and has worked various jobs in the industry for years. Previous to starting Todd Events, Fiscus worked at a restaurant and a hotel, which is where he briefly became a wedding planner.
Now, he has built his business into more than just event and wedding design. Todd Events is a profit sharing company with 51 employees. He also started nine other businesses entities that work in correlation with Todd events. They include a rental space, a floral and accessories business, a lighting company, a restaurant partnership, a public relations firm and an interior design company.
Fiscus' style is top of the line. He uses everyday experience and translates that into inspiration for flowers, textiles, food and entertainment for his clients. He has had a wide range of clients such as Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, the Dallas Cowboys, amfAR, Audi, and Neiman Marcus.
Yifat Oren: Oren Co.
Yifat Oren, of Los Angeles fell into wedding and event design when she was young. She worked as a caterer and the owners of the business saw her potential and asked her to help plan events. She worked her way up started Oren Co. and now has a slew of A-list clients under her belt.
Big names like Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Donna Langley, Mariska Hargitay, Drew Barrymore, Adam Levine and more all praise her work. Celebrities especially appreciate her ability to work in privacy. She's not quick to release the names of her clients and is only credited if they talk about the event and mention her.
Oren describes herself as O.C.D., which accounts for the detail that goes into every one of her events. She pays attention to lighting, fabric treatments, food styling, space and of course, floral design. Every aspect of her designs is planned to the tee, but she is also known for being able to adjust things at the last minute. Tweaking her designs until they are pure perfection.
Raul Àvila: Raul Àvila Inc.
Raul Àvila is a New York-based Event Designer. Originally from Columbia, Àvila came to New York to pursue his passion and has worked in the industry for 28 years.
After working with Robert Isabella for 14 years, Àvila set out to make his mark on the world. He started Raul Àvila Inc. and almost instantly became the go-to event designer for the fashion industry. His top clients include Anna Wintour, Aerin Lauder, Oscar DeLa Renta, Marc Jacobs. Along with fashion shows and events, he also specializes in wedding design and photo shoot design.
Avila is known for his use of flowers in his designs. Whether it's a flower arch or a rose print on the china, Àvila always finds a way to work in the greatest nature has to offer.
Studying these designers has helped me improve my own skills. They inspire me to think outside the box and take chances with design. As a Houston based Designer but raised internationally, I hope to bring the feel of Ivory Coast, France, and Texas to the events I plan. I specialize in Elegant designs and can incorporate your personal style into any event.
META: There are some event designers whose creativity and organization make them the most sought after in the world. These 10 wedding and event designer have set the bar high for the future of event design and planning.