The story of Cliff Young Ltd. begins on the island of Manhattan with an entrepreneurial Italian-American musician named Alberto Azzolino, who had recently returned to NY after a stint in the US Army. Prompted by his show business background and his innate marketing prowess, Azzolino legally changed his name to Cliff Young and formed the company as it exists today.
Azzolino spent his early years honing his eye for design while polishing furniture in showrooms around New York City and, later, sketching his inspirations on linen napkins at some of New York's finest restaurants. The maitre d's were not thrilled. After unsuccessfully trying to sell his furniture concepts to high-end showrooms, in 1968 Azzolino officially launched Cliff Young with a space in the prestigious New York Design Center at 200 Lex with the intention of realizing his own designs, which were considered "too avant-garde" for the industry at that time. Ever the showman, Young's natural ease and welcoming persona coupled with his ability to distill a client's desire into a tactile vision still informs all of our custom furnishings and design work today.
In 1995, after 30 years in the business, Young was named Furniture Man of the Year by the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association. Today, more than 50 years after founding his eponymous company, Cliff Young's legacy lives on in his family-held and led business.
In honor of Azzolino's intent, we are inspired to live every day surrounded by a style that is built on substance and vision; one which doesn't always fit into a neatly defined category. Boundary-bending design, exceptional customer service, and world-class craftsmanship — these are the ethos that are distinctively New York and distinctively Cliff Young.
Creating iconic furniture is in Leslie Young Zarra's DNA. For as long as she can remember, she shadowed her father, accompanying him to industry trade shows, listening in on client meetings, and witnessing the progression of an idea from abstraction into fully-realized, custom furnishings.
She officially joined the firm in 1988 and immediately began influencing the company’s direction by crafting a niche as a leading designer and fabricator of custom home theater cabinetry. Over the years, Leslie has continued to respond to changing lifestyle trends and has sustained Cliff Young’s relevance while never losing sight of its heritage.
Since taking the company’s reins from her father in 2003, Leslie has maintained Cliff Young’s reputation as a leader in the industry by surrounding herself with an experienced and capable team that can be trusted to execute any vision to the client’s highest satisfaction.
Leslie lives in New York City with her husband Chris and their 12-year-old daughter, Isabella, whose already-keen eye for industrial design and talent for creating objets d'art may well lead to the addition of a third generational chapter to the Cliff Young legacy.
For over 50 years, Cliff Young has been a leading resource for beautifully designed residential and commercial furnishings, lighting, rugs, and accessories. Our 8,000 square-foot showroom is conveniently located in the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Ave and is open 5-days a week to the trade and homeowners alike.
We pride ourselves on our award-winning CY Signature Collection, an upscale yet totally livable line of artisan-crafted furnishings, and we also feature curated collections from the most sought-after vendors of furniture, lighting, rugs, and decorative accessories. Our highly trained, design-savvy staff understand the industry and are known for providing high-level, personalized support to our clientele.
Whether you’re an interior designer, architect, builder, specifier, or design enthusiast, stop by and see how we can help bring your vision to life. Cliff Young - consider us your destination for fine furnishings that will last a lifetime.