Columbia Business, DESIGNING WOMAN

Maureen Footer ’84, president of Maureen Footer Design, has written a book about George Stacey’s integral role in shaping American style.

by Amanda Chalifoux

Advice for Students

“If you love it, it’s a passion — more than just a career. Life is a brief gift, and it should be a wonderful experience.”
Several years later, when she was studying at the École du Louvre in Paris, she became fascinated by the influence of culture on interior design, a topic she explores in her new book, George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic (Rizzoli, 2014). “Stacey’s designs were really the link between an America that was in cultural deference to Europe and what we now think of as that effortless, easy, casual, but sophisticated American look,” Footer says.

Maureen Footer ’84 has always been keen to tell a good, well-rounded story — including that of her own career. ““Life is short — why not try a few things?” Footer says. “Each time you do, you take something with you to the next act, and it makes you broader, stronger, and more focused.”

The interior designer, who studied French and English at Wellesley, worked in publishing before entering business school to “balance my literary side with something more rational.” She financed leveraged buyouts for a few years before following her passion for interior design, working for national and international architecture and interior design firms.

That cultural connection makes the book accessible to many audiences, telling the kind of multifaceted story Footer has always found intriguing. “The story of George Stacey is really the story of American ascendency told through a material culture lens,” Footer says. “It’s a fascinating story, a cultural exploration, and a social history with an appeal far beyond design.”