Celebrity event designer and interior decorator Ken Fulk tells us about designing his first (and second!) private jet
Posted March 17, 2017
Owning a private jet may seem like the ultimate luxury, but it’s even rarer these days than one would think—at least, according to event designer and interior decorator Ken Fulk. “To operate a private plane, it requires a staff; it requires maintenance; it’s a big endeavor. Flying private has become a little easier because of technology, which makes it super special when people truly have their own plane,” he says. Fulk would know, as he has once again extended himself beyond the confines of his traditional job title, recently designing a 15-seat Falcon 900 private jet for an anonymous billionaire client.
The longtime client gave Fulk, who has worked with Sean Parker, Kevin System, and Ali and Mark Pincus, nearly full sovereignty when it came to design decisions. “This plane has a real personality to it,” he explains. “Most of them are uninteresting. They are kind of tan or beige. Yachts often have more character. Planes feels kind of benign to me. We had a jumping off point from a design view: I kind of thought of a British racing car.” Fulk used a 1973 Jaguar XKE as his inspiration for the plane, a feeling of James Bond meets Steven McQueen. “I wanted it to feel dapper and dandy and sort of sporty,” he explained. “The body of the plane has that beautiful sort of racing green on it with that highlight of burgundy going along it.”
The interior is equally impressive: With textured leather seats and custom David Hicks carpet, anyone would be satisfied. “But we couldn’t just stop there,” Fulk insists. “We did wonderful custom dop kits made for each seat, beautiful custom cashmere blankets made for each person, and a personalized very funny, slightly naughty safety video that’s a favorite thing to do anytime someone new gets on the plane. It’s very ridiculous in an Austin Powers sort of way. The whole plane was a very bespoke moment.”
Even with Fulk’s experience, working on his first private jet (his “inaugural plane,” as he calls it) was still a learning curve. “Some things are just ridiculously expensive because you’re putting them on a plane. Even though it might be the same fabric I’m putting on your sofa, it’s more expensive because I’m putting it on a plane,” Fulk explains. The reason for this is because of the safety regulations the products must endure. “To do the smallest thing on a plane costs a lot of money.”
Fulk’s final product was quite the success (“Everyone who travels around on it is texting me saying ‘Holy cow! This is the best plane I have ever traveled around on!'”). In fact, the project led him to another: He is currently working on his second private plane project for another wealthy, anonymous client.
Still, he is still hoping to check another, equally opulent project off his bucket list: “I have never done a yacht. I am waiting!”
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