WHO WE ARE
Waylande Gregory was a master in the world of ceramics. He is internationally known for his sculptural works, his fine decorative accessories as well as for his many technical achievements in the field.
Famous at the early age of 18 for his work on the luxury Hotel President in Kansas City, he became known colloquially at that time as Kid Gregory. His list of achievements is long. Waylande pioneered the ceramics program at the famous Cranbrook Academy known for its illustrious alumni including Florence Knoll and Eero Saarinen. From his work on the 1940's World's Fair, his collaboration with NASA to develop ceramic heat shields for lunar exploration to his patent for fusing glass to ceramic....he continued to push forward and advance the boundaries of ceramics until his death.
Waylande was married until his death in 1971 to Yolande Gregory, a Hungarian countess. They were a fascinating and eccentric pair. Their home was a fantasy world filled with his sculptural works with beautiful gardens and a pool that looked north with a view to NYC. Peacocks and other exotic birds strolled the grounds alongside their Great Dane Thor and their pet monkey Go-Go. Yolanda was famously known for going about town wth Go-Go on her shoulder. It was a mecca for artists and intellectuals of the day. Waylande kept interesting company through his association and friendships with Henry Fonda, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Draper, Frank Lloyd Wright and other luminary design and film stars.
They both embodied the spirit of being an individual and deserve much honor for this considering the time period.
Early in his career, owner (and great-grandnephew of Waylande Gregory) Bryan Downey was the New Designer buyer for storied Texas based retailer Tootsies. While on a buying trip to Paris, the discovery of a young clothing brand with potential lead Bryan and Tootsies owner Mickey Rosmarin to start an American fashion distribution company to market and distribute the collection. The Parisian brand became an instant success and was carried by Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and over 1000 USA accounts. Additional collections from Italy and Brazil were added to their roster over the years.
Changing course to the home decor world, the duo re-launched the eponymous ceramics collection of Bryan’s great-grand uncle, famed ceramic sculptor Waylande Gregory. Fusing their background in fashion to the home design world, the brand was launched at the NYC showroom of European fashion powerhouse AEFFE. The company’s fine re-editons and modern interpretations soon found a cult following among the worlds best retailers, designers, and shelter publications including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Barneys NY, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and many others.