FlowerSchool New York’s list of Master Florists and Designers have been selected because of their extraordinary achievement in floral design and recognition in the floral community. Each one has taught several programs to the many students who have come to FlowerSchool. These are some of the best and most exciting designers working today. They graciously share their distinct design style and knowledge in our Master Class offerings.
Victoria Ahn, Designs by Ahn
Designs by Ahn is the vision of floral and event designer, Victoria Ahn. Victoria has designed countless special events at premiere venues in New York City and the surrounding areas. Her background as a professionally trained ballet and modern dancer gives her a unique approach to design: choreographing colors and textures to create inspired looks that set a mood. Victoria’s versatility spans all styles, and her personalized approach focuses on bringing your vision to life. So whether you love a look that’s elegant and natural, chic and modern, or rustic and organic, Designs by Ahn’s sensibility is tailored to fit your style.
Ariella Chezar is the author of Flowers for the Table, The Flower Workshop, and most recently Seasonal Flower Arranging. She is a master floral designer whose work has graced the covers and pages of Martha Stewart Living, O Magazine, Smitten, Sunset, Garden Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Domino, Real Simple, Sweet Paul and many more.
Ariella started her work in the Bay Area where she was lured by the beautiful flowers. In that Mediterranean climate she discovered such abundance and so much inspiration. She traveled to NYC and shortly after arriving was approached by Chronicle Books to write Flowers for the Table in 2002. With book in hand, she made her way to all the New York magazines and began working on stories with them. At the time, the trend in NY flowers was tight and contained, with hers being loose and garden-inspired.
Ariella has a flower farm in the Berkshires and teaches workshops all over the world, and has even designed for The White House. In the fall of 2017, Ariella came onto the FlowerSchool New York staff as Artistic Director and Master Florist.
Ingrid Carozzi, Tin Can Studios
Ingrid Carozzi is one of New York’s most sought-after florists and the owner of the acclaimed Tin Can Studios in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Ingrid was named New York Magazine’s #1 florist in 2015 and has been covered in publications such as Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Design*Sponge, The Knot, and more.
Past work includes event collaborations with Facebook, Krug Champagne, Moet Chandon, Prada, Chef Marcus Samuelsson, The Red Hook Winery, The Mandarin Oriental, Viacom, LVMH, and Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark Farm to name a few. Ingrid is the author of Handpicked: Simple, Sustainable, and Seasonal Flower Arrangements and has been featured in Abrams’ Brooklyn Street Style and in the upcoming book from Assouline, The Big Book of Flowers.
Ingrid teaches large-scale installation and design classes at FlowerSchool New York and is an FSNY alumna.
Born in Northern Ireland, Shane has had a lifelong interest in horticulture. After meeting the great British floral designer Michael Goulding OBE, his passion turned specifically to the art of flower design. Under Michael’s direction, Shane trained at the famous London establishment of Pulbrook & Gould, and he started his own business in 1989.
Shane has always had an organic approach to his designs, where flowers are used primarily for their own intrinsic qualities and designs aim to flatter those idiosyncrasies. This quirky, unpretentious style has been heralded for its elegance and originality. He is a passionate advocate of British grown, seasonal flowers.
Shane’s international work has taken him all over Europe and as far as the USA, South Africa and India. Back in the UK, he has decorated some the country’s most prestigious venues for an eclectic range of private and corporate clients. Alongside illustrious companies and individuals, Shane also counts London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts as two of his most valued clients, and he thoroughly enjoys the challenge of designing events around the ever changing and varied exhibitions in both venues.
In 2005, he was honoured and delighted to be asked by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall to design her bouquet and all other flowers for her marriage to HRH Prince of Wales and the service of dedication in Windsor Castle. In recognition of this, he was awarded a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales in 2006.
In 2011 Shane was appointed Artistic Director for the wedding of TRH’s The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and was awarded a second Royal Warrant of Appointment, to HM The Queen in 2015. Shane’s client list has been described by Harpers & Queen magazine as “enviable” and his discretion is legendary.
Olivier Giugni, L’Olivier Floral Atelier
L’Olivier, the sleek floral design atelier on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a long way from Brignoles, the Provencal village between St Tropez and Aix en Provence where Olivier Giugni grew up. Yet, the warmth, whimsy, style and bursts of color this floral artist brought from his native Southern France are unmistakable. His mantra: life is color and color is life. And Olivier has been adding sumptuous color and life to New York City, his adopted home, since 1986.
Describing his signature style, Olivier explains, “My work has movement and depth. It is never flat.” He pioneered the leaf wrapped vase, an innovation that adds a striking sense of architecture. Considered one of the city’s most prestigious floral artists, Olivier’s first name alone now suffices to refer to this talented Frenchman. A-list New Yorkers from the worlds of fashion, finance and fine arts call upon his dramatic, one-of-a-kind arrangements to transform home and work place. From the renowned restaurants of Chef Daniel Boulud, to the public spaces of the legendary Carlyle Hotel or the model apartments of the city’s top real estate developers, New York is all the lovelier for Olivier’s weekly additions.
Claudia Hanlin of The Wedding Library
An innovator and entrepreneur at heart, Claudia Hanlin founded the Wedding Library in 2000, revolutionizing the way couples find and hire wedding vendors in the New York market. By creating a “one stop shop” where vendor members join forces in a collaborative marketing effort for their services, Claudia forged a new way for couples to plan their weddings. Over the years Claudia added a deep selection of bridesmaids dresses, luxury wedding invitations and the largest wedding planning business in NYC that all exists under one roof. With over 300 weddings and events under her belt all over the world, she is indeed a Master Planner.
Today, Claudia presides over a luxury wedding planning, design and production company. Claudia plans events internationally catering to high profile couples and their families. To date, the Library has amassed a client list of over ten percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and key executives. She has her own line of custom wedding invitations as well as a tabletop and wedding accessories collection. For over ten years, Claudia has been a Contributing Editor to Martha Stewart Weddings, and owns and produces Martha Stewart’s Wedding Party, the US’s premiere consumer bridal show.
Claudia has been named a Top Wedding Planner by Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Vogue, The Knot and Modern Bride. She has been awarded numerous honors, including the prestigious Modern Bride Innovator’s Award, five International Special Events Society Big Apple Awards for Design, and the Knot’s Best of New York Wedding Planner. She is a frequent industry spokesperson and speaker and is an advisor to international tourist boards and properties. Claudia expertise has been featured on network television, radio and in all leading bridal blogs and new publications.
Sullivan began her working career in visual merchandising and store environment design for fashion companies after studying Fine Arts in college. She spent years in stores studying customers and understanding the impact furnishings, lighting, scent, sound and color have on how people feel in a space. After training with some of New York’s most prestigious floral and event designers, Sullivan opened her studio in Philadelphia in 2011. She was named the Best Florist in Philadelphia just six months later.
Sullivan’s designs reflect her passion for creating art with an uncanny sense of color and eye for unexpected details. Her work has been recognized by numerous publications for ingenuity, creativity and its ability to inspire. Sullivan was named one of Martha Stewart Top 25 Florists, Harper’s Bazaar’s best wedding florists and was included in the Rizzoli Books Publication “In Full Flower” profiling the new wave of floral designers changing the industry.
Emily Pinon, Bastille Flowers & Events
Growing up in New England’s countryside surrounded by fragrant lilac, lush peonies, and delicate lily of the valley, Emily Pinon developed a love for flowers and design. Later, she flourished in Paris where she worked alongside some of the city’s most renowned designers. Immersed in a world of luxury and fashion, she returned to New York City and established herself as a preeminent force in the design community. Before long she was lauded for her dynamic and inspirational designs, and she quickly acquired a loyal and sophisticated clientele.
Emily and the Bastille Flowers & Events team enjoy traveling all over the globe producing exquisitely crafted and one-of-a-kind events. Emily currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and son.
West Coast designer Jean-Pascal Lemire is most noted for having fun mixing traditional and modern, and creating compositions that are chic, harmonious, and majestic. It is a contemporary approach to classic florals focusing on color and density. He possesses a natural aptitude for infinite visions. With each of his conceptions, he creates a feeling that invokes all the senses, while enriching the lives of everyone that partakes. This is the driving force that fuels his delight in what he considers a beautiful privilege doing what he loves.
LaParis Phillips draws inspiration from fashion, nature and art while using flowers as the medium. Mixing textures, colors, and silhouettes applies to arranging flowers just as much as it applies to creating the perfect look. Brooklyn Blooms believe that everyone is an individual and deserves to have florals tailored just for them, even down to the vessel. By using curated seasonal blooms in interesting found vases, Brooklyn Blooms creates “beautiful things out of beautiful things” with you in mind.
Michael Putnam, Putnam Designs
Michael Putnam founded his floristry studio, Putnam Designs, in New York in 2014 and soon became the go-to florist for fashion shows, editorial shoots, installations, parties and weddings. Putnam has collaborated on projects ranging from events with Dior and Cartier to installations for Beyoncé and Grace Coddington and memorable wedding celebrations including the rehearsal dinner Jerry Seinfeld hosted for Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk in 2018. His work has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Martha Stewart Living, Town & Country, W Magazine, and Elle Décor, including many international publications. Putnam’s first book, Flower Color Guide, published in 2018, has been translated into several languages, including French, German, Italian, Korean and Spanish. In 2019, Putnam opened a full-time design studio in Los Angeles.
Kelsea Olivia, East Olivia
Kelsea is a visual storyteller that is changing the floral industry one bud at a time with her creations. She has a passion for genuine connection. Motivated by her lifelong dream to create beauty in the world, Kelsea and her women-led creative agency design sustainable one of a kind florals that are not easily forgotten. She shares beauty through specializing with both fresh and dried flowers, her forever florals are meant to last and to increase accessibility to beauty for others to experience and enjoy.
Matthew Robbins of Matthew Robbins Design and Robbins Otoya
Matthew Robbins runs the New York–based events design and planning firm Matthew Robbins Design with his partner Luis Otoya. His firm designs and plans events all over the world. Matthew has been a contributing editor for Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine for over 15 years as well as a contributing editor for Flower Magazine and Sweet Paul Magazine. He regularly contributes to various publications including InStyle, New York Weddings, O Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Food and Wine Magazine, Garden Design and Martha Stewart Living. He’s a contributor to many online publications such as Huffington Post, Style Me Pretty and StyleList. He also contributes regularly to the Martha Stewart Weddings blog and has been a featured guest on both The Martha Stewart Show, Martha Stewart Living Radio and The Today Show.
His first line of tabletop designs debuted in 2013 with a collection of unique vases in collaboration with Teroforma. His first book, Matthew Robbins’ Inspired Weddings, was published in 2012 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Matthew speaks at many international conferences focused on weddings and events. His most recent travels include speaking engagements and workshops in China, Japan, Guatemala and Germany.
Matthew Robbins Design was recently featured on the exclusive Harpers Bazaar list of America’s Top Wedding Planners as well as the Martha Stewart Weddings list of best planning companies. Matthew and Luis recently launched their new extension of Matthew Robbins Design with RobbinsOtoya for Destination Weddings with a special focus on Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Lewis Miller of LMD
Born and raised in California farm country amid olive, almond and peach orchards and gardens full of cabbage roses, sweet peas, and wisteria, Lewis Miller developed a respect for nature early on. At 18, he moved to Seattle where he studied horticulture and landscape design. After seven years of successfully pursuing his interests in design, flowers and event planning, Lewis moved to New York in 2000 where he worked for one of the city’s top floral boutiques. In March of 2002, Lewis’ vision of a country life in a metropolitan setting inspired him to create LMD New York, Lewis Miller Design. The company incorporates his love of quality, his enthusiasm for detail, and his ability to dazzle using the grandest and simplest of materials. His passion for floral design is nurtured within the walls of a stylish East Village Studio, where his attraction to the curious, the antiquated and the historic is modernized and brought to life.
Oscar Mora, Oscar Mora Floral Art & Design
Celebrity Floral Designer Oscar Mora, of Oscar Mora Floral Art & Design, is most noted for his stylish integration of modern and classical design, which has graced the pages of top editorial magazines, adorned the runways of New York Fashion Week, and embellished top movie premieres.
Mora’s creations have been hailed as “exquisite” by top fashion designers such as Valentino and L’Wren Scott. Many celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Karl Lagerfeld, Madonna, Nicole Kidman, and Marc Jacobs have received his customized floral creations. He has recently become a regular guest on the Martha Stewart Show, sharing his unique designs and expertise with millions of viewers.
Oscar Mora is highly regarded as an expert in tropical floral design. His special affinity for all things tropical has been strongly influenced by the natural surroundings and culture of his native Venezuela. Born and raised in Caracas, his early inclination toward the arts revealed itself through his passion for colors and textures, which he quickly put to work as a young painter designing for photo sets and fashion boutiques, and creating decor for private parties. “Now spaces and vases have become my new canvas,” says Mora, who went on to receive his degree in Interior Design from the Academy of Las Mercedes in Caracas, Venezuela.
Once in New York, floral design became Mora’s main outlet for expression. His ability to actualize and showcase his talent through the use of space and object art has propelled him to the top of the floral design industry.
Recognized as a classically trained ikebana master in his native Japan, Takaya Sato is the craftsman behind L’Atelier Rouge’s floral arrangements. Although he’s expanded his style repertoire beyond the strict confines of ikebana, elements of this great art form continue to influence his method. There’s a pervasive sense of minimalism, which allows him to recognize and make use of the nuanced qualities of each plant – their texture, color, patterning and contours, to create harmony. After beginning his training more than twenty years ago in his father’s flower shop, Takaya has been designing some of the most elite events in New York and around the world as head of floral design at L’Atelier Rouge.
“It is important to honor each distinct flower, as well as the way they interact with one another. I like to create arrangements that aren’t so precious, that change the way you may look at flowers.”
Christian Tortu has revolutionized his profession and changed the code of his craft forever. He has brought new meaning to the title “florist” and dazzled followers all over the world. In each bouquet, there is the part you sell and the part you give for free: emotion. He is widely regarded at the innovator of modern floristry and considered to be one of the best floral designers of all time.
Christian Tortu was the Creative Director of Flowers at Takashimaya in New York City and largely considered to be the leading seller of flowers in New York City. He currently has three signature flower shops in Japan. Christian has designed flowers for many of the couture houses in Paris as well as weddings of royalty.
Atsushi Taniguchi, Jardin du I’llony
From an early age Atsushi Taniguchi dreamed of working in the movie industry, but quickly changed his focus after watching a particular film that illuminated the charm and beauty of flowers. In 2000, he opened his iconic flower shop “jardin du I’llony” in Kobe highlighting the romance of flowers and balance of nature. In 2002, he opened his second shop “florist jardin du I’llony” in Ashiya and since then has worked with luxury brands like Cartier and Hermes for interiors, special event, and gift arrangements. In 2009, he expanded his vision producing FLOWBULOUS, a floral inspired magazine, and opened his 3rd and most recent shop in Paris in 2015. Atsushi’s unique style and approach to flowers is celebrated throughout the world and his abundantly lush look is irresistible to any flower lover.
Emily Thompson was raised in the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont, a place of uncompromising beauty. She brought her sense of this place, its ruins and its wilds, to her work as an artist, even as she traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy for the Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, and UCLA, where she earned her MFA in sculpture.
Emily is fascinated with the decorative arts and their history while she continues to collaborate with the rough hand of nature. Emily’s flowers and banquet decor balance the uncultivated organic world with the delicacy of classical ornamental design. They burst with unconventional materials like wild smilax, peaches, and real butterflies, and always maintain sculptural grace. And, most importantly, they are built in harmony with the space where they are displayed as if they grew there.
Emily likes to cite William Gilpin, the 18th century theorist of the picturesque, who directed builders of follies and artificial ruins to do so as if these ruins were not designed, but naturally chosen. “What’s more,” writes Gilpin, “they must be in magnificent style.”
Emily’s work, like her ideal faux ruin, evokes nature in magnificent style.
Kiana Underwood, Tulipina
Kiana Underwood is the owner of Tulipina, an internationally renowned floral design studio that specializes in creating bespoke experiences for luxury weddings and events. Her use of unique color combinations and floral varieties draws admirers and floral designers from all over the world to her sold-out workshops. Her debut book, Color Me Floral, covers the secrets to designing show-stopping monochromatic arrangements for each season. She splits her time between California and New York, with her husband, Nathan, and their three children.
Kiana’s work can be seen in NY Times, Brides, Elle Décor, Elle Spose, Country Living, Marie Claire, Flower Magazine, Couture Flowers, French Country Style, California Homes, Veter, Town and Country, Flutter, and more.
Remco Van Vliet, Van Vliet & Trap
Remco studied Art History and Graphic Design in the Netherlands, a background he applies to his event designs. In 1994, Remco came to New York City to work at Cas’ company Dutch Flower Line, New York’s most reputable flower importing company. Upon moving to New York City, Remco spent 6 years working with Chris Giftos, event pioneer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, before being given the prestigious opportunity to become his successor. Along with being the decorator for in-house events, Van Vliet and Trap creates the stunning colossal urn arrangements and the bouquets in the Great Hall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art which Remco personally designs every week.
Today, Van Vliet & Trap is proud to be the preferred event design company for some of the most prestigious Institutions of the Arts in New York City.
Van Vliet & Trap provides their clients with all aspects of event design to create a unique look that spans from classic to contemporary.
Meredith Waga-Perez, Belle Fleur
Meredith Waga-Perez began her career as a fashion designer after graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York. Having honed her aesthetic sensibilities in the Haute Couture world of the fashion industry, her love of texture, color, and composition reflect the romantic, classically modern aesthetic upon which the Belle Fleur brand is built. Belle Fleur’s distinctive style is refined, abundant and luxurious.
Her passion for all things floral has been validated by an impressive following that includes celebrities, fashion designers and socialites. Together with her business partner and mother, Marilyn, Belle Fleur has blossomed in to one of Manhattan’s most influential and sought-after floral and event design firms.
In 2006, Meredith launched Belle Fleur Home, a sumptuous collection of floral inspired home fragrance products. Glowing reviews for her scented candles have rapidly propelled the collection to the forefront of the luxury home fragrance market.
Juan M. Villanueva, owner of Villanueva Designs, is a second-generation florist from South Texas, who for the past 10 years has successfully served Manhattan and its surrounding areas, as the city’s best kept floral design secret.
Having studied fine arts at the prestigious School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Juan and his company bring an experienced artistic touch to all their projects. They specialize in private clients, trade shows & corporate galas, but are equally known for their indoor/outdoor urban gardens. On his journey, he has had the privilege of working with A-list celebrities, titans of industry, world-renowned interior designers, premier fashion houses & amazing humanitarian organizations. Juan teaches select workshops for FlowerSchool New York.