Preston Bailey was born and raised in the verdant, tropical paradise of Panamá, so it’s little wonder that he is world renowned for his innate sense of (Harlem) style, inspired by the vibrant colors, organic shapes, and lush natural abundance of his homeland. Preston moved to New York City in 1968 at the age of 19 and began his career in the design world as a fashion model, eventually opening a men’s clothing boutique.
Necessity is the mother of invention: when his store closed in 1980, Preston was in need of a job. His best friend, interior designer Vicente Wolf, suggested that Preston create floral arrangements for the homes of his Park Avenue clients. This was the modest beginning of Preston ’s
stellar career as a floral couturier. After several years of building his reputation not only as a brilliant designer, but also for delivering exceptional service to his well-heeled clientele, Preston had the good fortune of meeting Joan Rivers, who has been his mentor & angel ever since. Joan asked him to design and produce her daughter Melissa’s wedding. This extravaganza exploded Preston onto the press circuit and celebrity event designer world.
After 27 years in business, Preston Bailey has become especially renowned for his ability to completely transform raw, ordinary spaces into sumptuous, theatrical environments, translating his clients’ fantasies into awe-inspiring reality. Preston ’s one-of-a-kind events, which include the most extravagant weddings and galas for Royal families across the globe, have earned him a reputation as the world’s preeminent event designer. He has attracted such clients as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Uma Thurman, Joan Rivers, Donna Karan, Liza Minnelli, Matt Lauer, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne, Emmitt Smith, and Bill Cosby.
Preston Bailey’s signature style combines exuberant and harmonious color palettes, sensuous textures, shapes that are both architectural and organic, and modern adaptations of traditional elements to excite the senses in profound ways. Inspired by the simple beauty of the natural world, Preston is known for taking small, simple elements, changing them, reshaping them and repeating them on many layers to create grand, spectacular dramatic statements.
Preston has written three bestselling books, Design for Entertaining, Fantasy Weddings, and his latest, Inspirations. He is currently working on his fourth book, scheduled to be released in 2008.
In addition to his many public speaking engagements, Preston ’s numerous television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart, Entertainment, Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, CBS’s The Early Show, and The Today Show. In July 2006 he starred in his own show, “Preston Bailey, Mr. Fabulous” which aired on the oh! Oxygen network and was the network’s highest rated program to date. Preston is also on the Advisory Board of Modern Bride Magazine.
In 2005, through a partnership with Sandals Resorts, the largest operator of luxury, all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Preston designed four signature wedding collections, available exclusively to Sandals guests, which include beautifully designed wedding settings and décor, bridal flowers, and elegant keepsakes.
Preston Bailey, 147 W. 25th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001, www.prestonbailey.com
Check out HW Wedding Editor, Nidelka Mayers Bridal Wedding extravanganza at The River Room, at 145th Street and Riverside Drive (with in the park), June 17th, 6 pm. For more information go to www.harlemweddings.com