Luxury Under Foot: Amy Darrah on Edelman Leather’s Collaboration with Ruckstuhl

Fifty Fifty – made of the best quality Sisal, available in 4 colors
Fifty Fifty – Made of the best quality Sisal, available in 4 colors.

In the market for some beautiful custom leather? Edelman Leather is your go-to, and designers have trusted the luxury brand with all of their clients’ leather needs for decades. Looking to bring clients a wider variety of natural, quality materials to enhance their living spaces, the iconic brand met its European match in Ruckstuhl, a Swiss manufacturer with a remarkably similar history in the design industry. A chance introduction by a mutual friend brought Edelman Leather president Amy Darrah and Ruckstuhl CEO Peter Ruckstuhl together, and it was instantly clear that these brands should connect.

Joining forces with Ruckstuhl gives Edelman Leather a unique opportunity to return to its European roots. Edelman’s hides come from Europe and Ruckstuhl is a longstanding Swiss brand with a history of bringing luxury carpets, trims and area rugs to Europe’s elite. Ruckstuhl prides itself on the use of a variety of raw materials to weave rugs and carpets that have cultural value. To ensure durability, a heavy loom is used to weave unique materials like coir (a fiber made from coconut husks), virgin wool, sisal (which is extracted from leaves of the agave sisalana plant through a highly involved process called decortication) and goat hair. Like Edelman’s products, Ruckstuhl rugs and carpets are strong and understated, valuing sleek aesthetics and functionality equally.

Edelman Leather and Ruckstuhl’s partnership brings products that were once to the trade only in Europe, to the trade now in the United States. This summer, Ruckstuhl products became available in Edelman Leather showrooms in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and Dania Beach, Florida. By September, the products will be available in all Edelman showrooms nationwide.

I spoke with Edelman Leather president Amy Darrah about the company’s latest collaboration with Ruckstuhl.

C&G: Edelman Leather has been producing custom rugs and floor tiles for years. What made you want to branch out into introducing different materials?

Edelman has always been everything leather. We are truly the leather experts. Our hand-stitched hair hide rugs and leather floor tiles have become significant parts of our business.

We were introduced to Peter Ruckstuhl, CEO of Ruckstuhl, by a mutual friend in the design world. The similarities in the cultures of the companies were immediately apparent. Dedication to quality, design and service are the cornerstones of each business. The natural characteristics of the Ruckstuhl products mimic the beautiful leather for which Edelman is known.

What benefits does each company bring to the other?

Our philosophy is to always offer designers total freedom in design, which is the ultimate luxury. The opportunity to include Ruckstuhl in our showrooms expands our ability to provide our clients with more solutions to fulfill their design dreams. Ruckstuhl is a well-established and highly revered brand in Europe and though not as broadly known, they do have a very dedicated following in North America. The opportunity to expose more clients to the beauty of Ruckstuhl through Edelman's network of showrooms and expert sales team is sure to bring both companies’ products to the forefront of the design world's mind.

What sets Ruckstuhl rugs apart?

Ruckstuhl is a fourth generation family owned and operated company, with a passion for beautiful, natural material carpets. The varied materials, where they are sourced, the amount of fibers, how they are processed and of course the beautiful designs are what makes Ruckstuhl to the carpet industry what Edelman is to leather.

Made of fique, a natural fiber that grows on the leaves of the fique plant, available in 5 colors.
Maglia – Made of fique (a natural fiber that grows on the leaves of the fique plant). Available in 5 colors.

Will customers have the same kind of freedom of design with Ruckstuhl rugs as they have had with your products in the past?

There are more than 100 core products including carpets, area rugs and trims in the Ruckstuhl collection.  The designer series “Edition” includes special products from designers such as Patricia Urquoila, Arik Levy, Hussein Chalayan and Victor Carrasco. Even with this broad offering there is opportunity to customize many of the carpets.  Sizes and color choice can be modified to create a unique piece. You can also choose from more than 800 leathers available to mix and match for borders and details around the carpets.

Edelman Leather is a lifestyle company. How will these rugs enhance the lifestyles of their new owners?

Edelman is truly a lifestyle company as our leather is part of all aspects of our client's lives. Edelman is the choice for their beautiful homes, the hotels and restaurants they frequent, their office and their private jet or yacht. Ruckstuhl is already established in the residential, corporate and hospitality/retail markets. They have also provided custom carpet for the aviation sector, which we plan to pursue with some new designs.

Edelman and Ruckstuhl are layered luxury—luxury under foot and luxury on upholstery.  The Ruckstuhl natural fiber carpets and area rugs, like Edelman leathers, add individuality and elegance to residential and commercial spaces. 

Hides from Edelman Leather are always of European origin; did this influence the choice to collaborate with a Swiss manufacturer?

Edelman hides are from Europe because that is where the best resources are for the quality we require for our clients. The collaboration is not about where they are based but rather who they are, and how they view design and the quality of their products. They do have a beautiful facility in Langenthal, Switzerland which has a very comfortable, friendly working environment and reminds us of our headquarters in CT.

How will the company’s Swiss roots translate into products for American clients?

The Swiss traditions of clean lines, designing with a sense of honesty and natural and quality materials are what we know Ruckstuhl brings to the market. Our collaboration makes Edelman Leather the exclusive distributor of Ruckstuhl’s entire collection in the United States. This bold network of showrooms strengthens American designers’ access to Ruckstuhl products.

Ruckstuhl has partnered with highly revered designers like Patricia Urquiola and Victor Carrasco in the past; Edelman Leather had a historic partnership with Andy Warhol. Will these tastemakers impact the style of the new rugs? 

Stay tuned! We have already discussed this concept and are moving forward to create new and exciting designs.

Edelman Leather (T), D&D, 212-751-3339.