Darby Mae Wagner

Experience Designer in Creative + Hospitality

United States

Darby is a NY-based creative and hospitality professional with a successful track record of translating abstract ideas into cogent and original content, concepts and events. She also moonlights as a writer, poet, interior decorator and creative producer, the latter via her personal project, GNOSES. Some of her hobbies include: music discovery, film photography, moodboarding, DIY projects and hosting intimate gatherings.

Having worked in various industries, as a freelance as well as an employee on domestic and global teams, her diverse professional experiences continue to lend to her industrious, highly adaptable and detail-oriented work ethic. From various food and beverage establishments to small creative agencies, public education to performing arts, and more, Darby's undergraduate studies in Arts Management and French have grown exponentially beyond their spheres, bringing a unique perspective to the table not often found.

Knowing brevity as well as detail, she writes to share, to expose, to inspire and to inform. The art of persuasion is a language she speaks, too. As a copywriter and brand strategist, Darby assiduously tailors her clients' needs to a body of work that reflects them in a uniquely marketable fashion. Some previous examples include: the Starfish Taylor company blog; the late, France-based culture webzine, Slow Culture, where she served as a founding writer and editor; during her tenure at Vinyl Wine, the rebranding and evolution of their website, social media, and wine club; the rebrand of SWURL Media (where she also serves as a contributing writer); as &Holiday's Director of Hospitality, where she led the branding, development and management of the brand's identity and content curation.

With a strong belief and penchant for building off of previous experiences, Darby intends to continue combining her skills, knowledge, and passions (in food and wine, community and education, and with music and the arts) to become a trusted consultant for individuals, businesses and various organizations rooted in forward-thinking, anti-racist and environmentally-conscious initiatives.


In May of 2021, Darby launched GNOSES [noh-sis], an exploratory and collaborative creative studio and roving 'arthaus'. The following month, its first experience - a multi-course dinner with an accompanying beverage pairing (featuring 4 natural wines from NY state and Mexico as well as 3 small-batch mezcals from Oaxaca) - took place on the rooftop of Sítopia, in Mexico City. The experience was designed in collaboration with chef Abigail Schmitt with the intention of amplifying the work of their partner, Queen Bee Honey, to whom all proceeds were donated.

GNOSES draws its name and inspiration from various philosophical and empirical schools of thought and components, namely: gnosis, the Greek word for knowledge; the nose, a primary sense organ and portal to memory; and the 'metaphysical' and 'alchemical' experience as a whole. Darby describes GNOSES as "the 'hypgnostic' interplay between cultures at large, the human spirit and the natural world."

Embodying the alchemical process, GNOSES is a liminal space of creation and destruction, of death and rebirth, one that traverses planes of reality and incorporeality, with an emphasis on the surreal. On a material level, GNOSES translates into bespoke artistic and epicurean experiences (and on her Substack, essays, poetry, mixes and interviews), that celebrate community, art, literature, ancestral traditions, and local activism--all in their various forms. In partnership with The Autumn Salon since the spring of 2022, Darby has coproduced a variety of events in NYC at artist studios, personal residences, and most recently, at ArtX in the Meatpacking District, with more to come on the horizon.

@kikigoti Instagram
•— Buttoned Up —•

Wall lights and mirrors, all pieces of this collection are made of aluminium, the softest of the metals. Invoking the sense of touch, each piece mirrors the prudence of a tailor, made using a special hand-bending process to achieve a balance of lissomeness and grace, utility and durability. Objects inspired by accessories, each mirror and lighting fixture is itself an accessory, magnified in the home, reflecting and enhancing one’s own essential nature. Photography: Chelsie Craig

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From the INFINITE MIXTAPE archives ::

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