She has filled white ceramic Jeff Koons puppies with roses for the Gagosian Gallery; created an all-white heavenly scented tableau of candelabras, hydrangeas, freesia, and geraniums for Carolina Herrera; and designed countless “thank you” and “congratulations” bouquets at the behest of society ladies like Samantha Boardman and Marjorie Gubelmann. Over the course of just four years, with neither a storefront nor any sort of advertising, Sibel Mermelstein—better known by her nom de bloom, Lady Fleur—has become the go-to florist for New York’s upper crust.
Mermelstein, an Upper East Side native, began her career nine years ago, when she landed a job with the floral design maestro Olivier Giugni of L’Olivier taking orders—and eventually buying flowers and handling customer service. In 2008 she established her own business, and in the time since, Mermelstein has built up the sort of word-of-mouth clientele that every petal pusher dreams of; she stocks some of the toniest homes in Manhattan on a weekly basis—some with upwards of 10 arrangements. Still, she doesn’t always get carte blanche. One memorable bridezilla requested that all the flowers at her wedding—enough to fill the Pierre Hotel’s two ballrooms—match her two ombré gowns, and she had a meltdown when the green hydrangeas weren’t green enough. “She kept insisting they were actually white,” Mermelstein remembers. “I honestly think she’s color-blind.”