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Her submitted resume runs to two sentences precisely: in conversation, she comes across as concise too--also reticent, understated and rather less than overwhelmed by the enviable publicity she's been accorded by prestigious publications, The New Yorker among them. The subject is Rose Tarlow, designer, furniture specialist and antiques dealer extraordinaire.
Born in Shanghai and reared in New Jersey, Ms. Tarlow is an alumna of Emerson College in Boston, the New York School of Interior Design, and Parsons, leaving the latter before she could collect her degree. Then her husband's career called for relocation to Los Angeles where the protagonist, still in her 20's but already ahead of the times, opened an antiques shop before others recognized the existing market potential for really fine things. Since the Melrose Place store's founding in 1975, demand for her custom pieces--imagined "antiques" for present-day living, true reproductions, and contemporary designs--has steadily grown. She periodically goes to London, where she has kept a flat ever since taking courses at the Victoria and Albert, to buy antiques (the real thing). She has put together private collections for Australian clients. Though she takes on interiors work very rarely, she has done a house for David Geffen. Her Melrose Collection is in 14 showrooms nationwide; her influence extends considerably further.
In 1997, Ms. Tarlow's taste for beautiful design led her to create a signature line of fabrics for Scalamandre, which is still available today. She has created a line of wallpapers, fabrics and leathers for her exclusive Rose Tarlow--Melrose House Collection. In 1998 she launched a line of scented candles, with all proceeds from the sales of the candles going to the UCLA Medical Center, "R. Tarlow-Dr. Arnold Klein Fund," which benefits women who are unable to afford treatment and care associated with breast cancer. Ms. Tarlow adds author to her list of accomplishments with her book, The Private House (Clarkson Potter, November 2001).