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05.06.13

THE PROFESSIONALS: DAVID MULKEY AND JULIO SALGADO FROM IXIA

THE PROFESSIONALS: DAVID MULKEY AND JULIO SALGADO FROM IXIA

Meet the floral designers behind our May perfume campaign.

When it came to amassing a huge number of buds for our May windows, we looked no further than San Francisco’s own Ixia. Flower designers David Mulkey and Julio Salgado brought no less than 2,500 stems of 32 varieties of flowers to the set. They ranged from the familiar (peonies, fern shoots) to the silly sounding (billy balls, drumstick allium) to the virtually unpronounceable (ranunculas, leucadendrons, and tillandsias, oh my!). The Sephora Glossy visited their studio to learn more. HOLLY SIEGEL

WHERE DID YOU SOURCE ALL THE FLOWERS FROM FOR OUR SHOOT?

DAVID MULKEY: We’re fortunate that in 2013, the greenhouse technology is such that you can get flowers in pretty much any different season. We had plants from all over the world—New Zealand, Hawaii, Columbia, Ecuador. And some things, like the jasmine, were local.

JULIO SALGADO: We went shopping! [Laughing]

WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

DM: There was some stuff from my own garden, and the trees across the street, and from [SF hippie hangout] Dolores Park…

JS: It’s amazing, some of the stuff we use. People are like, kale?!

WAIT—LIKE RED KALE? DINO KALE?

JS: No, it’s an ornamental kale. It’s sort of a lavender or pink.

DM: It’s a really cold-tolerant plant, so the ornamental variety get planted in the fall to give gardens some color through winter.

WOULD THE PLANTS YOU PULLED FOR THIS SHOOT EVER EXIST TOGETHER IN NATURE?

DM: That would be nice! Things like peonies require a chill for them to grow. But the proteas can’t live in the cold. We tried to find at least one flower from each of the new fragrances in the campaign, to tie it together.

HOW DID YOU PHYSICALLY CREATE THE SET?

DM: Foam, pins, glue guns. You have to work fast and with a light touch so you don’t bruise the flowers, even with the heat from your fingers. We cut the plants into little pieces and pinned and glued and sprayed—and hoped everything wouldn’t wilt under the hot lights!

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