Interview with Ariane Trimuschat, Director at Large

How did you get involved with the San Francisco Fall Show?

I was invited by a close friend when I first moved to San Francisco in 2000 and was instantly hooked. I attended opening nights as a Young Collector and started volunteering for the lecture series committee. I have been to every show for the last 19 years.

What does your typical day look like leading up to the show?

We move into the pier about 10 days before the Show opens and our production crew starts building; walls, lighting, carpeting, painting–it takes twice as long as the show is open! There are a million moving parts, exhibitors, and lecturers flying in from across the globe, Designers creating the vignettes, catalogues arriving from the printer, and vendors setting up décor, A/V, valet, catering, photography, security. With 50,000 square feet of Festival Pavilion, I get a workout. The major decisions have all been made; the last weeks are down to the details…the many, many details. The space is transformed from an empty building to something quite spectacular.

What are your favorite parts/events/aspects of the Show – and why?

Our exhibitors and the designer vignettes. Our exhibitors have such a passion for what they bring. I am always so excited to see their booths come together and the beautiful pieces they offer. Our Show is an important showcase for them. I scout the best dealers from around the world and to see them all in one place in San Francisco is a beautiful thing. The designers are some of the best in the field and they put their talents to work, along with the incredible wallpaper from de Gournay, bringing our theme to life every year. It is always so fun to see the vignettes come to life.

What are your top 5 tips for first-time show attendees?

  1. Talk to the dealers, and ask questions. They love to talk about what they sell. Don’t be shy! This is why they are there.
  2. Think in advance about what you are looking for. If you are working with a designer, bring them with you. If not, bring measurements and even photos to see how something will work in your space.
  3. If you attend the Opening Night Gala, come back on a Show day. It’s a completely different experience. My favorite moment every year is walking in to the Show on Thursday morning after Opening Night. There is a calmness and you see the Show in a whole new light, literally.
  4. Attend a lecture! We have six lectures over the course of three days with the most wonderful speakers. Most have book signings after they speak. And we always have a Q&A. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear from some of the top designers, architects, and experts in the world of art, furniture, jewelry and design in an intimate setting.
  5. Learn about Enterprise for Youth, our non-profit. The show is the major fundraiser for Enterprise, which champions San Francisco youth through internship programs and youth work force development. You can learn more at

What does this year’s theme Wanderlust mean to you?

Well, I have really taken this one to heart; we decided the 2019 Show theme last summer and this past month my family packed up and moved to London for my husband’s job. After six years as Show Director, I have moved into the role of ‘Director at Large’ for the Show. I suppose the theme couldn’t be more appropriate for me this year!

We loved the idea of doing something related to travel; we are an international show after all. And the term “Wanderlust” has such a romantic feeling to it. When you walk the aisles of the San Francisco Fall Show you take a journey, passing through countries across the globe and seeing pieces that are such a part of the history and cultural fabric of those places. Art, furniture, decorative arts, jewelry, silver, ceramics – whether made in the 21st century or the 13th, they tell a tale of the time and country in which they were created. They invite you in to visit their place of creation and hear their stories.

Lightning round:

  • Favorite decorative arts era: I love to mix eras and can’t be pinned to just one. Neoclassical pieces have such a detail and history in their design, based on the art of ancient Greece and Rome, classical design will never go out of style, it is still relevant and popular today-in fact, I am currently searching for some Louis XVI chairs for my dining room! I have always been drawn to Arts & Crafts: the combination of geometric shapes and feminine, floral features is a lovely combination. I also love Cubism for its complex nature and multiple perspectives and I adore Danish Modern for its lightness and clean lines.
  • Favorite (fine) artist: Picasso. I even have a Picasso doll on my bookshelf over my desk. His paintings knock me out. I can stare at them for hours. And, on the other end of the spectrum, I am mesmerized by Vermeer’s work and his use of camera obscura in the 17th century, (and even went as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” last Halloween!)
  • Dream travel destination: There are the familiar places I love to visit and the places I have always wanted to visit-both are dream destinations: Buenos Aires, my father’s hometown is an incredible city, and I have a big wonderful family there. It is always so fun to visit, gather everyone together for an asado and sing and dance. And Paris is now a 2-hour train ride away, oh, joy! It never gets old, I can walk the streets of Paris all day. These are my happy places. But traveling anywhere new is so exciting. I love visiting places for the first time–exploring with wide-eyed hunger to see more, experience more. Two places I am currently dreaming of are Egypt and Israel.
  • Words to live by:It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey
  • Rule to break: Nice guys finish last” We need more civility these days. Politeness, respect and giving people the benefit of the doubt will not inhibit success, in fact, I think they are the only paths that will lead there; success is not just status, money or power, but the life you lead, the people with whom you surround yourself, the kindness you show.
  • Best advice you’ve ever gotten: Never walk into a room talking, and don’t interrupt. Be aware of the people around you, take in your surroundings and listen.
Taking the show theme seriously! Straddling 2 hemispheres at once in Greenwich, UK.