Five Things You Didn’t Know About Peter Marino

Business is booming for Peter Marino, the architect that every luxury brand worth its heavily burnished heritage story has on speed dial. His 150-employee firm completed 100 projects last year, and none of them had budgets under $5 million (only ten had budgets under $10 million). That’s just one of the revelations in Amy Larocca’s excellent profile of Marino that appears in the August 20 fall fashion issue of New York magazine. Here are five more little-known facts about the man, the myth, the leather-clad legend that caught our eye:

5. He deliberately avoids the news: “For me, it’s worse than religion.”

4. His motorcycle obsession (and penchant for wearing codpieces and chaps to the office) was triggered by an odd doctor’s appointment. “[The doctor] said, ‘If I told you right now that you had cancer and a month to live, what would you do?’ And I said, ‘I would get a bike and ride, and if it was painful I’d go off a cliff and die happy.’ And he said, ‘You better start doing that right now.’” explained Marino. “For the first 30 seconds, I was like, Where are we going with this?, and then he was like, ‘You don’t have cancer, but you’re getting to a certain age, and I want you to enjoy your life.’”

3. He’s not above a starchitect dig. “Where are the clothes?” asked Marino of the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada flagship in New York. “And by the way, has Rem Koolhaas ever been asked to design another store?” (Note to Pedro: Yes. And Coach recently tapped Koolhaas and OMA to design its Tokyo flagship as well as an in-store shop at Macy’s in Herald Square that is slated to open next month.)

2. At 62, he has the sleeping habits of a college student. “I’m like a sleep-hibernation camel, dude,” he said. “I’ll go on four hours a night for a while and then I’ll come home and be asleep for 72 hours straight.”

1. Materials—ones “that are so luxurious, they’re, like, baroque”—always come first. “Nine out of nine architects start with a sketch and then they say, ‘What should we make it out of?’ ” Marino said. “I start from the bottom up, what should it be made out of, and then I worry about what should it look like. The material, the color of the material, the way it feels, and the way you respond to it is every bit as valid as the form or the shape.”