Tulsa-based fabric wholesaler Fabricut Inc., whose local roots date to the 1950s, has acquired interior design brand Clarence House of New York City.

Founded in 1961 by New York designer Robin Roberts, Clarence House was purchased in 2003 by P/Kaufmann, which is among the biggest textile suppliers in the industry.

Guided by in-house artist Kazumi Yoshida, Clarence House has become one of the style setters in the decorative fabric industry, providing the furnishing fabrics for many museums and countless historic houses.

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“It has a lot of name recognition,” said Nina Butkin, a new Clarence House principal and former Fabricut vice president of design. “It is a brand that is beloved in our industry to the most seasoned interior designers, from the older designer to the younger designer.

“It was interesting to us because of its reputation in the marketplace, and it’s so unique and different than other companies because a lot of it is tied to Kazumi’s artistic vision. We will be collaborating with him to continue to put out products that reflect what his artistic vision is and go beyond that.”

Clarence House is represented in 20 showrooms across the United States and in about a half-dozen venues internationally.

“This makes a lot of sense for us,” Butkin said.

Survivors of Nazi Germany who became friends during World War II, Joe Finer and Harry Guterman operated a drapery and slipcover store in Huntington, New York, in the 1950s, aspiring to open their own wholesale fabric operation somewhere in the southwest. Guterman set out to scout locations and ended up in 1954 in Tulsa, where he was joined by Finer five years later. Today, their sons Michael Guterman and David Finer are the COO and CEO, respectively, of Fabricut.

Fabricut has grown into one of the largest distributors of decorative fabrics in the world, offering more than 58,000 choices in fabrics and trimmings.

The company employs a total of 312 people in Tulsa and Pryor (392 overall) and is represented in 67 showrooms nationally, 58 agent and nine corporate.

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Rhett Morgan



Twitter: @RhettMorganTW