Allison Russell Davis
Allison Russell Davis, BFA ’05, is a senior project manager at Cullman & Kravis. Immediately after graduating from NYSID, she went to work for the residential interior design firm. She has worked on residences throughout the country, including country homes in New Jersey and Westchester; apartments and a townhouse in New York City; and vacation homes in Sagaponack, Aspen, Santa Barbara, and Maui. She serves as NYSID’s Alumni Council President.
Please elaborate on what you do at Cullman & Kravis.
I manage projects from start to finish, from the time when there is no house to the time there is soap in the soap dish. We work with architects and contractors throughout the entire design process. We are involved in every aspect from floor plans, to lighting design and art selection.
What aspects of your education prepared you for what you are doing now?
Ellie Cullman, who hired me right out of school, is known for her expertise in researching, authenticating and documenting antiques to help clients build their own collections. The art history and architecture curriculum at NYSID was rigorous. I left school with a fluid knowledge of the periods. A huge part of my job is shopping for antiques. I have had the opportunity to shop for clients in LA, London, and Paris. I know what I am looking at because of my education and feel confident in my ability to date furniture, textiles and art.
What did you like most about NYSID’s BFA program?
The faculty! The faculty is amazing. Most are working designers and architects, and almost every instructor was heavily involved in the industry at one point or another. They taught us what it was like to actually design for clients. It is not uncommon to run into NYSID professors at industry events!
As the new president of NYSID’s Alumni Council, what are your goals?
Our goals are to bring our alumni together in real and virtual social networks. Recently the antique dealer Guy Regal opened up his redesigned showroom, Newel, to NYSID alumni for a preview over cocktails. Thanks to brother-sister duo Joe and Lana Lawrence, the upholstery and drapery shop Anthony Lawrence-Belfair hosted a party for our alumni that had a fabulous turn-out. Each May, we bring together new graduates and alumni for an annual networking party: this year, it will be at two wonderful showrooms; Doris Lesie Blau and Balsamo Antiques in the Interior Design Building.