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Meet the 2013 Curbed Young Guns: Catherine Olasky and Maximilian Sinsteden

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Curbed Young Guns, now in its first year, aims to identify promising up-and-coming talent (35 and under) in the fields of architecture, interior design, and urban development. For the next few weeks, Curbed National will run individual stories on each Young Gun; here's a look at a member of the Class of 2013 based in NYC:

Photo by Read McKendree

Listening to Maximilian Sinsteden, 26, and Catherine Olasky, 35, talk about interior design is like listening to a recording from a bygone era, one with long, sinewy ties to the profession's most important firms. When Olasky was a college kid at Parsons and interning for the Manhattan-based designer Bunny Williams, she took the very same role Williams had taken when she herself was just starting out at the legendary Parish-Hadley Associates: shopper. Meanwhile, by the time he finished up at Drew University, the precocious Sinsteden had already completed stints with David Easton and Charlotte Moss. Though the two knew each other from the NYC decorating world, they more rigorously crossed paths a few years ago in London. Sinsteden was there to help the Victoria and Albert Museum install a permanent exhibition on Colefax & Fowler, the famed English firm where Olasky happened to be working at the time.

A series of dinners led to a friendship. "One day Max and I went for Champagne at Whole Foods, and Max said to me, 'Well, I'm going to start a company, would you like to come and work for me?'" Olasky recalls. "I was greatly offended, and I said, 'Well, actually, that's so funny because I'm starting a company, would you like to come and work for me?'"

A happy compromise, of sorts, would follow.>>