Vladimir Kagan

Vladimir Kagan is one the US's preeminent modernist designers. His pieces are iconic - characterised by curvaceous, flowing forms and luxurious materials.

Vladimir was born in Germany in 1927 and, as a result of the rise of the Nazis, emigrated to the US with his family in 1938.

He showed an early interest in painting and sculpture but later turned to architecture and design. He studied architecture at Columbia University and then went to work with his father - a master cabinetmaker. In an interview he recalled his father saying "measure three times and cut once. I would be of the school of cut three times and never measure."

Vladimir opened his first shop on East 65th Street in New York in 1948 and later moved to the very fashionable address of 57th Street in 1950. His reputation soared and he gained prestigious clients from the worlds of film, art, theatre and music. Amongst them were Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra. Many large companies were also clients including General Electric, Disney and General Motors.

His pieces remain very highly sought after and continue to attract the attention of private collectors and museums. There are Kagan designs at the V&A in London, the Vitra Design Museum as well as in the personal collections of numerous high flyers from the entertainment world.

Vladimir remained a dynamic figure right up until his death in April 2016. He lectured at prominent universities and, most importantly, continued to design. He also wrote a highly entertaining blog where he shared his personal snaps and opinions on subjects as diverse as art, travel and the obtuseness of the Swiss! (all relayed with an incredibly wry sense of humour). This can still be viewed: Vladimir Kagan's blog

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