A devotion to beauty is the thread that ties together Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch and their long and varied careers. They are artists in the fullest sense of the word - designers of spaces, furniture, objects, and painters - who bring their profound reverence for the designed environment to every project. They believe design should be substantial and meaningful, not precious or arbitrary. The spaces they create reflect the narrative of the people who occupy them as well as the couple's singular vision, which gives their designs a sense of power and cohesion.
Growing up in New York City, Robin studied painting, color theory and drawing at the Art Students League and continued her studies in fine arts in Florence. After completing her collegiate studies in the fine arts and the history of art and architecture, Robin began curating shows at galleries in New York's SoHo and continued to create her own art. Shortly thereafter, she was handpicked by Martin Scorsese to work as the visual consultant for several of his films, which led to her 15-year career designing films all around the world.
Robin has a commanding ability to articulate a vision through words materials and images. Her passion is contagious and her devotion to design unlimited. With this talent she is capable of inspiring the client to break new ground.
Stephen Alesch is a gifted designer and artist, who works in many media. He is a photographer, painter, etcher and drawer. From a very young age, Stephen was devoted to the study of architecture and excelled at architectural rendering, a skill he has honed and mastered throughout his life.
After completing his architectural training, Stephen worked for Venice Atelier and other important Los Angeles architectural firms. He does all of Roman and Williams' design presentation drawings by hand; The New York Times recently compared his oils and etchings to photographs by Joseph Sudek. His technical expertise and his skill for designing spaces at both macro and micro levels - that is to say his ability to establish the design direction of a job and to detail projects flawlessly - were evident even in the earliest days of his career.
The pair met in the 1990s while working in Hollywood as production designers and art directors. Together, they designed more than 20 Hollywood films where they created elaborate, often historically inspired, sets. Among their film credits are Practical Magic, The New Age, Zoolander, The Caveman's Valentine, Illuminata, and Addicted to Love.
When speaking about their work in film, Robin and Stephen compare themselves to archeologists working in reverse. Rather than finding objects and imagining the society that left them, they used objects to create an atmosphere and to help others envision a sense of place. They interpreted scripts, and the characters in them, to create a history, a setting and a mood. The environments they created were so sympathetic and so believable that they were not only lauded by the press, they were coveted by the actors and directors who would shop for their own homes from Robin and Stephen's designs. The considerable media attention their designs always garnered, as well as the urging of numerous movie stars and directors who inhabited their environments, prompted them to found their firm.
Robin and Stephen are married and live in New York City.