“We had more guts than experience,” laughs Sigal Sasson when she talks about the leap she and her husband, businessman Vidal Sasson, took in opening Rug Art eight years ago. Their guts and talent have paid off. With two showrooms in California and others in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Florida, Rug Art designs some of the most sought-after rugs in the industry. The Sassons attribute a great deal of the success to their relationship with their creative weavers in Nepal, and it is that relationship that made joining the GoodWeave® certification program a natural choice. A visit to a GoodWeave school convinced them. “Once we saw those kids, we just looked at their faces and then at each other and said, ‘Let’s do it.'”
The Sassons are deeply influenced by both nature and architecture. Rug Art’s “green” hand-knotted or hand-tufted rugs are inspired by nature both at the micro and macro levels. According to Sigal, a Venetian plaster artist, designer and scientific illustrator, “Under the microscope I just saw something so different, so beautiful.” For example, the microscopic world of flowers, such as the dissected head of a Mexican hat flower, inspired Sigal to design “Calabasas” in Rug Art’s “Botanic” series. The larger natural world also influences the series. Fallen leaves in a parking lot, explains Sigal, triggered something of an epiphany that resulted in “Leafdrop.”
The “Textura” collection features rugs inspired by Vidal’s passion for architecture and favorite architects such as Mies Van Der Rohe and Corbusier. The Sassons’ mission is to create simple rugs with compelling textures that fuse mohair, wool, silks and hemp. “Our rugs are a modern take on natural elements and architectural design, and our philosophy is to stay timeless.”
The Sassons are excited that in such a short time, Rug Art creations have found homes with clients like Liza Minnelli and Kevin Bacon, and in places such as the Fendi store on Fifth Avenue and the MGM Las Vegas. Nothing, however, thrills them more than being able to help the children in Nepal through their affiliation with GoodWeave. The Sassons have children of their own and were deeply touched on a visit to a GoodWeave school in Nepal, when they saw how happy the children were. Says Sigal, “I love what I do every day, but after my visit to Nepal and seeing how much involvement it takes to produce these amazing rugs, my work has become much more meaningful.”
To see some of Rug Art’s designs, go to www.rug-art.net.