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event recaps
IFDA honors New York’s “Rising Stars of Design”
Nov 25, 2014

The New York chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) hosted its eighth-annual Rising Stars of Design Awards last week at the Decoration & Design Building’s Kravet showroom, where three interior designers and a product designer were recognized for their commitment to design.
Interior designer Charles Pavarini III served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing and awarding this year’s honorees: Caleb Anderson of Caleb Anderson Design; Darrin Varden of Darrin Varden Design; and Neal Beckstedt of Neal Beckstedt Studio. IFDA also honored a product designer for the second time: Michele Varian of Michele Varian.
“These four designers have the experience, the quality of work and the innate talent to rise to the top of their profession,” Pavarini said. “These are the designers to watch.”

Neal Beckstedt, Darrin Varden, Caleb Anderson and Michele Varian
After studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Varden began his career at Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and later moved on to Charles Klein, Inc. and Drake Design Associates. His projects as an independent designer are not limited to residential interiors, but also charitable organizations like Holiday House of New York, the Red Cross Red and White Ball and the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.
Anderson entered the design field working at Drake Design Associates and tested the architectural waters at MR Architecture & Décor.
“I am completely humbled and grateful to be receiving this award,” Anderson said. “It has been an unbelievable journey. I think it was very valuable for me to go from a decorator’s office to an architect’s office in getting both perspectives. I consider what I learned there is what I use today.”

Charles Pavarini III and Caleb Anderson
After 10 years as design director at S. Russell Groves, Beckstedt founded his own firm, landing his first project on the cover of New York’s Faces. He later was featured as Architectural Digest’s “One to Watch” in 2012.
Varian accepted IFDA’s second-ever award for product design The ex-fashion designer started her own business in her home and began selling to Barney’s and Neiman Marcus. When she opened her first store in SoHo, Varian launched her textiles and wallcovering products and is now working on her first lighting and furniture collection.

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