While the saying goes that you can never go home again, for interiors brand R&Y Augousti, our latest Chelsea Passage installation is just that: a return home. After a years-long absence from our stores following a devastating fire and two hurricane-related floods—a one-two punch that wiped out the Paris-based label’s factory, inventory, raw materials, and machinery—founders and couple Ria and Yiouri Augousti are making their return to the market and to the floor of Barneys, where the line first launched more than 25 years ago. But this time, they’re bringing the whole family. Along with their eponymous label’s relaunch, the Augoustis are also introducing two new lines: Kifu Paris, founded by their 23-year-old daughter Kifu, and Patrick Coard Paris, founded by Kifu’s fiancée.
“It’s so rewarding to be partnering with Barneys for our return to the market,” Yiouri Augousti recently told us as he and Ria walked us through the installation on the 9th floor of our Madison Avenue flagship. “It’s been so helpful having a platform here and the freedom to create and display our pieces in a way that lets them shine. It’s a full circle moment—it’s our favorite store with our favorite clients. We’re ecstatic.”
Celebrated for its modern-vintage style, R&Y Augousti cleverly pairs shagreen—stingray skin, one of the key materials throughout all their designs—with bronze and other exotic materials to create distinguished, Art Deco-inspired pieces. Layering into these classically luxurious home goods, Kifu’s designs explore the more youthful, cheeky of shagreen through game-inspired boxes, an exuberant shade of chartreuse, and other whimsical elements. Meanwhile, Patrick Coard’s unscented candles bring an intriguing sense of sculpture and shape.
“We’re one, yet we’re separate,” Kifu says of the interplay among the three brands. “We each have our own brand identity and our own name, but it’s all interrelated. We inspire and help each other, and as a result, the pieces all make sense together. We come as a package and it’s all one family.”
That sense of family has led both to the development of the three brands, and to the overall sensibility of the Madison Avenue installations. “Kifu grew up in our world, traveling with us wherever we went as we sourced materials and met with craftspeople, so it’s natural for her to have been involved in the process even before starting her own collection,” Ria tells us.
Kifu picks up the thread of domesticity, saying, “When people walk into the shop, it’s almost like you’re walking into our home. It’s as authentic as it can be. It’s rich and warm, but it also takes you on a cultural journey as you walk through, from my parents’ line to mine to Patrick’s. It’s an evolution, but in a setting that’s like stepping into our home.”
The sense of home, as viewed through the lens of the brands, is constantly expanding through the variety of products offered. The relaunch includes categories they’ve never explored before, like barware, rugs, and of course, Patrick’s sculptural candles. “The collection was calling for candles, and the market is saturated with perfumed ones, all in the same jars and canisters,” Yiouri tells us. “We wanted something different that worked with our aesthetic, and Patrick’s candles are very sculptural in their shapes. He’s also the first ever to do wax with a shagreen texture, and we worked with Patrick for eight months, just on that.”
That kind of attention to detail, as well as their dedication to the final product and to their clients, is what makes the returns to stores so rewarding for the Augoustis, especially after the ordeal of the past several years. “A lot of people, if they were faced with the issues my parents faced, would probably call it quits,” Kifu muses. “But my parents never gave up. Through the hard times and challenges, they persevered. They’re like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The return to Barneys is their homerun, the finish line, the victory lap that they can take after this tough journey. It’s a time of celebration. It’s the new and the old coming together as one.”