New York florist Lewis Miller, famed for his wild “Flower Flash” installations—living works of art that blossom over manhole covers, construction sites, phone booths, and beloved sculptures—will soon festoon the city in bushels of pink petals.
The lush designs will incorporate 20 shades of pink florals in honor of the 20th anniversary of Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony Fund, which works to ensure early and equal access to quality cancer treatments.
“We’ve been doing these flashes throughout the pandemic in New York to honor health care workers, so this seemed like a natural collaboration,” says Lewis. “This classic Americana brand that I love and these romantic, luscious flower arrangements in unexpected places—it’s going to be really beautiful.”
His first installation for the partnership will pop up October 13, in front of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Ralph Lauren Center (RLC) in Harlem. Health care workers inside the RLC will also receive a sweet surprise via bud-vase bouquets—a thank-you for their efforts to provide accessible, compassionate, and culturally sensitive cancer care. It’s all part of the Pink Pony’s initiative’s effort to spark conversations about the disease, as well as infuse hope in the city after a distressing year.
“The whole idea of the flower flash is to give back, to give joy,” explains Lewis, who has created eye-popping arrangements for New York’s most revered cultural institutions (including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and the Whitney) as well as a who’s who of fashion and media brands (Vogue, HBO, and Netflix). “We live in a crazy world and we’re a little bit starved for joy—if we can have a feel-good moment, that’s really important right now.”
On October 23, his second installation will bloom outside Macy’s Herald Square. And in an engaging twist, the art is meant to be touched. Shoppers will be encouraged to pluck flowers to take home, part of an effort to spread love (and the #pinkpony hashtag) around the city.
“It’s a gift to New York—take a picture or take a blossom,” Lewis says, emphasizing that the temporary nature of his flashes is what makes them so powerful: “You go from this larger-than-life still life to a scattering of leaves on the ground—that’s the life it was meant to live. There’s a strange beauty in the disarray as well.”
The florist estimates he’ll use between 6,000 and 7,000 stems in the fanciful creations, including plenty of pink roses and peonies. Those varietals also happen to be two of the starring notes in Ralph Lauren’s new Romance Pink Pony Edition fragrance. All profits from the scent, which served as an inspiration for Lewis’s floral designs, will go to the fund.
He notes that thanks to social media, photos of his installations will reach audiences far beyond New York, offering a much-needed reminder of the city’s magic. “Any attention we can bring our fair metropolis right now is really a good idea,” says Lewis. “We all need a little bit of a surprise these days, in a positive way. The whole country needs it, the whole world needs it.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest