Kein Cross the creator of "La Maison Moderne" and "KEIN" products, which include:
Everything from personal care to furniture and decoratives, is always looking for ways to challenge himself. After 20 years as a pioneer in the design field, mastering everything from playful window display to high-end interiors, Kein continues to evolve while staying on top of his game.
It is a role he has trained for his whole life. From his beginnings as a young, creative, visual force for Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and Henri Bendel, to his career as an award-winning fashion designer to his much-touted current success as Interior, set, product, and lifestyle designer, Kein has proved his mettle.
"I know how to take a space that's not spectacular and make it spectacular just from proper lighting, proper color, and the proper accessorizing and furniture," Cross explains. "You take all the style that the place was built in and you promote all the good points and play down all the not-so-good points. If it's a dark apartment, I'd put lots of mirror so that it's bright."
Sounds simple but, of course, there's more to it than that. Much more. And that is where Kein's two-decade experience comes into play.
Cross, a native of Arkansas, graduated from the University of Arkansas in the early 1980s with an eye for design. He followed his heart and moved to the design capital, New York City where he worked as a window-display designer for both Barneys New York and Henri Bendel in the mid-80s. In 1986 Kein led the inaugural home-furnishings floor design as principal designer at Bergdorf Goodman's department store.
At the same time, the young designer pursued another passion—clothing design—partnering with Suzanne Spellen, a friend and designer. In 1986, they started Cross & Spellen, a women's couture and ready-to-wear line. Two years later, they receive accolades from the prestegious Mouton Cadet Young Designer Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Eager to return to the world of interiors, Cross opened Cross & Spellen Home, a modern furniture and home-decoratives store, with Spellen. And in 1992, Cross branched out on his own with La Maison Moderne Interiors, an interior-design business, and La Maison Moderne, his two-story home furnishings boutique at 144 West 19th Street, pioneering the Chelsea location before it became fashionable. At La Maison Moderne, customers didn't just shop; they enjoyed sparkling champagne or fresh coffee while perusing the wares at either end of his spiral staircase. His two-pronged operation was a consistent success during its eleven-year run, receiving well-deserved attention from thousands of clients as well as media including: The New York Times, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, Town & Country, Condé Nast Traveler, Elle Décor, British Vogue, In Style, W, Women's Wear Daily, and Esquire.
Kein offers more than home furnishings and advice. He offers a lifestyle. In November, 2003, Cross reinvented La Maison Moderne as KEIN, an updated version of the La Maison Moderne store, with all of the charm of his last venture and new elements of design including two lines of personal care products: KEIN, for gentlemen, and La Maison Moderne. These two lines offer everything from rose petal potpourri, lingerie wash, salt scrubs, and body mists, have all been a smashing success. And the design wheels in Cross's head have yet to slow down.
Recently, Kein has been designing sets for popular style programs including HGTV, the Fine Living Channel, and two of the Food Network's most popular programs, "Paula's Home Cooking" and "Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade." He also styled the entire premiere print publication, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Holidays for Woman's Day. In addition to television set design, Cross has styled theatrical sets for Broadway hits including Victor/Victoria, Auntie Mame, and The Allergist's Wife. He also styled for several film productions such as Wolf, The First Wive's Club, and Uptown Girl. Cross has also appeared as a guest style expert for many television programs on The Fine Living Network, HGTV, Food Network, and G network. Kein recently designed an exclusive line of home and personal care products for The Metropolitan
Opera, New York. This extensive line is called "Flowers of the Opera, by KEIN.
Always looking for new ways to bring his vision of beauty to the masses, Kein Cross is a jack-of-all-trades. He is a discerning man of good taste that can be summed up with one simple word—style.