HOW DO YOU STAY ON TOP OF CURRENT DESIGN TRENDS AND TO WHAT EXTENT IS YOUR BRAND CREATING THE TRENDS?
Design and architecture have always been my passion so it is quite a pleasure to be up to date in what are the latest trends in this field. Exhibitions, shows, showrooms, magazines and, last but not least, online platforms represent the major sources for this information.
With regards to Studioart, we do look at interior trends, but always keeping the identity of Studioart quite clear. I think it is important to be able to respond quickly to market trends without losing sight of what are our main features, otherwise you would risk getting lost in the process. Fashion trends are what we usually refer to. Fashion and interiors are highly connected although fashion is a bit faster in presenting trends as you have at least 2 collections per year and you work years in advance. Being able to source our materials from our own tannery that works with major fashion brands gives us the possibility to take the lead in terms of leather trends in treatments and finishes.
WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST / FUNNIEST / MOST INTERESTING THING YOU EVER BEEN INSPIRED BY?
Inspiration can derive from all sources: nature, architecture, fabrics.. All depends on what you are looking at - whether you look for certain patterns, textures, or finishes. I think that the key is having mind and eyes open and the ability to absorb inspiration from what surrounds you.
Although being immersed in the leather field, I have always been passionate about fabrics - I loved their touch, finish, texture, colour – and I can recall two things in particular that led to the creation of two leather products.
During one of my trips to Calabria, I had the chance to see with my own eyes a millenary craft tradition, typical of the agro-pastoral communities of Southern Italy, women piling up waste fibers from various fabrics, wool or linen to make heavy hanks of filaments. Thanks to their craftsmanship skills with the loom, they created beautifully crafted artisanal blankets and rugs. This is where I got inspiration for our Pezzara, a leather panel where leather strips and cotton treads are woven into a loom.
One of my earliest memories is drawing some sketches for fabrics. I liked the bas-relief effect you get with certain stitching. Embroidery is something I brought to the leather field because I wanted to push the boundaries of the treatments in leather and see how it resulted. The Ricamo collection that resulted has proven to be over the expectations because the result is really a “couture collection” for the interior decoration. Seeking the “perfect” embroidery has led to incessant research and I am particularly proud that the knowledge achieved led to developing and patenting an innovative stitching technique that makes it possible to go beyond the usual size limits of leather allowing the creation of large panels. This gives this product a special and unique appeal.
HOW WOULD THE INTERIOR OF YOUR DREAM HOUSE LOOK?
I love natural and pastel tones and I like to keep materials as natural as possible: wood furniture and raw linens, pure leathers. However, at the same time, I like making contrasting combinations mixing different materials, contemporary and modern pieces with more antique objects. I like to be immersed in a space that represents me and conveys an aura of warmth and welcoming environment. It has to be a place with access to a big garden where I can indulge myself with long walks between flowers and trees.
WHAT CURRENTLY IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLLECTION?
Of course I love all products we have presented so far and, in particular, I liked the work that has been done for The Anniversary Collection, not only from the product point of view but from what it represented for us: for the first time we entrusted external designers to reinterpret our core product, Leatherwall. It meant a lot in terms of research and production process but the different background and creative approach to the product design are visible in the multiple options offered and the three interpretations perfectly show how versatile the leather wall covering can be.
Among the products of this collection my favourite ones are Hyperreal, designed by Elaine Yan Ling Ng/The Fabrick Lab, a great designer from Hong Kong, and Woods designed by Massimo Brancati, my son that joined the company two years ago.
I like these designs for their being irregular while keeping a sort of geometric patterns and I think that the contrast between the straight geometric lines of the shapes and the smoothness and sinuosity of the padded tiles really add a plus to the wall covering.
WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER AS YOUR MASTER PIECE?
I would say that all products we have presented are and are not our master piece at the same time. From the one side, they are master pieces because they represent our full efforts in presenting a product in which we believe, where there is the right combination of technology, artisanal process and design. From the other side, you cannot completely consider them as master pieces as otherwise you would run out of new ideas and inspiration, you would think to have reached your highest target. There is always something that can be done differently, either from the process or design point of view, and that is what keeps you looking for your next master piece.