What Fashion Week Is Like for a Florist

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What Fashion Week Is Like for a Florist

The set of Jason Wu’s Spring 2018 runway show. Photo: Putnam & Putnam Designers like to stock their brands’ showrooms with lush, gorgeous flowers for the same reasons you or I might like to pick up a small bouquet of tulips when we do our weekly grocery shopping: Flowers, according to professional florist Michael Putnam, are the ultimate luxury. Michael has grounds to speak on the subject with authority, as he’s one-half of Putnam & Putnam , the New York-based boutique floral design studio that’s an unequivocal favorite amongst the fashion (and bridal) industries. Together with his husband Darroch, Putnam & Putnam brings a romantic, almost overgrown quality to every project it takes on. And while weddings certainly contribute to a significant portion of the company’s business, Michael and Darroch are themselves professionals in the fashion space, working with some of New York’s most high-profile designers (including Jason Wu , with whom Putnam & Putnam also collaborated for Fall 2018) while also maintaining excellent retail partnerships (like Bergdorf Goodman ). Neither Michael nor Darroch have a background in florals — Michael’s is in interior design, while Darroch’s is in fashion photography — but the pair execute such painstakingly detailed installations that it’s no wonder the fashion community has embraced them so wholeheartedly. Ahead of New York Fashion Week, I spoke with both Michael and Darroch about getting their business off the ground, building collaborative relationships with designers and, of course, why flowers and fashion will always go hand-in-hand. Michael and Darroch Putnam. Photo: Bryan Derballa Were you always interested in florals, and were you also always interested in fashion? Michael: I’ve definitely always had a passion for flowers, but I didn’t pursue it because I never thought it could be a career. But when I took it up as a hobby, I realized soon after that it definitely could, and it sort of took off. My background isn’t so much involved in fashion, but Darroch’s is, for sure. Darroch was a photographer for years. Darroch: I’ve always wanted to work in fashion. My goal outside college was fashion photography, and that’s what I moved to New York to pursue. Your business really began when Michael began assisting some of New York’s top florists, but when did you two realize it was something you wanted to, and could, pursue professionally? Darroch: Before this brand, as a side project, I actually started an offline vintage resale business with a friend. That was my first taste of running a small business and I loved it. It was totally a side project, like on weekends and that kind of thing, and I just loved it so much more than working in a corporate environment. I used to photograph for Barneys, so I was in a corporate photo studio. I just loved running my own thing, so when it really started to be apparent that this could be a business, I knew right away that I wanted to join in and be the back-end, […]