Raymond Waites is now 'Artemis'
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, October 20, 2013
Artemis is now the legal name of the man formerly known as Raymond Waites, the iconic moniker associated with nearly 50 years of design success in the home décor, fabrics, tabletop, wall paper, bedding, bath, rugs and furniture categories.
Artemis, the man formerly known as "Raymond Waites," in the Frederick Cooper showroom, High Point Market.
The announcement may come as a surprise to buyers visiting the Frederick Cooper showroom at the High Point Market this week, where the high-end lighting producer is launching an approximately 50-piece collection of Artemis' new Greco-Roman inspired lamps, accessories, chandeliers and garden stools in a palette of silver, white, crystal and taupe.
At a Saturday night debut party for the collection, called Art-Lite, Artemis spoke at length with Home Accents Today about the name change, which was required for legal reasons and the simple fact that the name is owned by someone other than the person formerly named Raymond Waites.
The story starts six years ago, Artemis explained, following his treatments for cancer and heart problems - a time in his life when he was pretty certain he was close to dying. "There was a board meeting, the (Raymond Waites Design) partners put all these restrictions on me, so I said ‘You know, if you all are so unhappy, why not just buy me out?'"
Via a grandfather clause, the designer was able to continue his designs for Lane Venture, Jaipur Rugs, Guildmaster and the Phillips Collection. Following the pre-market launch announcement for "Art-Lite by Raymond Waites," he was contacted by the RWD group.
"This was just a week ago, so it was very upsetting," Artemis said. "We weren't sure what we were going to do. Then a lawyer called and suggested I just change my name. And I said, ‘Change my name?' He said, ‘Yes, change your name to something else and then you can do any collection you want.'"
"I called (Frederick Cooper Creative Art Director) John Cunnningham and he said, ‘Why don't you call yourself Artemis ... the Greek god of the hunt ... Artemis ... that translates well to Art-Lite ...' and I said, ‘I like that. In fact, I think that's kind of great!' I called the lawyer and asked him to send the paperwork."
Artemis and friends, at the launch party for the Art-Lite collection at Frederick Cooper.
So, henceforth his name is Artemis, as is the name on his mailbox, passport, legal documents, signature, and - by next market - home furnishings collections. Asked how he felt emotionally about the change, he called it a new beginning. "I think its fun. I'm approaching it as fun. It's also like it opens up everything I've been having trouble with - my hands are no longer tied."
"You know, Alexander Julian (who also has an eponymous collection with Frederick Cooper) came in here and said, ‘I'll give you a great story line. And it's true. Historically in Japan, following many years of success, an artist will change his or her name to show that it's the talent and not the name.'"
The Art-Lite Collection by Artemis is showing at the Frederick Cooper/Wildwood showroom, in the 200 Hamilton building.