HINSON--Harry Lee, III, a leading figure in the home furnishings industry, died in Manhattan on September 4, 2014. Hinson was born on March 30, 1938 in Rocky Mount, NC. After attending local schools, he went on to graduate from the Richmond Professional Institute of the Colleges of William and Mary in 1962. Immediately upon graduation, he joined the Executive Training Program at Bloomingdale's where he focused his interest on interior design and became assistant to the firm's widely acclaimed interior designer, Barbara Darcy. Following his successful launch into the international world of interior design, Hinson joined the illustrious retailer Bonwit Teller where he worked with the renowned store president Mildred Custin. Bonwit's, as the store was known, specialized in high-end apparel, catering to an elite "carriage trade." Hinson designed branch stores in the burgeoning suburbs of Westchester County, Long Island and major cities across the country and served as director of interior design for all of the Bonwit Teller stores. While still at Bonwit's, he and three other men opened the wallpaper and fabric firm, Quadrille, which continues to be a major supplier today. In 1971, Hinson inaugurated Hinson & Co., Ltd. It soon became the leading wallpaper and fabric firm in the United States. After Hinson's retirement the firm was acquired by Brunschwig & Fils and has subsequently closed. A lifelong member of the Episcopal Church, Hinson was active in both St. Bartholomew's and St. Thomas parishes in New York City. He was Commander in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1982, Hinson was chosen to design wallpapers and fabrics for the New American Wing Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was selected in 1985 to design the Wildflowers of America fabric and wallpaper collection for Lady Bird Johnson's National Wildflowers Collection. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club and served for thirty-three years to organize the Kips Bay Decorator Show House and also as its chairman for many years. He was a member of the board of directors of the Decorative Fabrics Association and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers. In addition to his apartment in New York City, Hinson was a longtime resident of East Hampton, Long Island, New York. At his request, there will be no burial or memorial service. His remains will be interred in the columbarium of the Chapel of The Resurrection at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City. Harry Hinson is survived by his spouse Tripp March. Hinson and March were companions for twenty-eight years. They were married on June 6, 2013. Memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065.
Published by New York Times on Sep. 14, 2014.