CONVERSATION

Caleido interviews MONOMIO digital design boutique

Caleido interviews Sara Peluso and Martina Caiazzo of MONOMIO, digital design boutique, an Italian digital platform for design, architecture, art and fashion that offers eclectic products and limited edition collections in collaboration with talented designers. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

 

Diary of: @monomio__

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caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
1. Curating is a concept that originated in the art world and has now also found its way into wider contexts. What does it mean to be a curator of a project like MONOMIO?

Being curators of MONOMIO means first and foremost to carry forward what are the values of our brand, namely authenticity, contemporary craftsmanship and attention to sustainability, both as a material and as an ode to slowness. We want to pursue an idea of design that has multicultural roots but at the same time is eco-conscious.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
2. Which profiles on Instagram would you suggest us follow to immediately to immerse ourselves in your creative universe?

Our passions are cross-disciplinary, ranging from art to industrial products, from architecture to graphics, from fashion to beauty. Naming just 3 is not easy, but in this case we definitely choose @sayhito_ , @_sightunseen_ , @ignant . We love how these profiles curate their content in an original and innovative way, giving the right space to emerging designers and artists and inspiring fans with new ideas on a daily basis.

3. Contemporary society has definitively challenged the consumerist model that until now has guided the timing and commercial methods of companies (in both fashion and design). How can the retail channel (especially online) keep up with this change?

By offering products and content that reflect the character, personality and unique style of the company, but also the one of its clients. In recent years it has become increasingly evident that having a unique individuality is what makes the difference compared to competitors. To have an idea, an aesthetic taste and to carry it out, beyond fashions and trends, is our cornerstone, we strongly believe in authenticity and in the value of research. We are interested in seeking out these values of excellence and authenticity in the new generation of international designers and we would like culture and craftsmanship to return to the centre of production logic. Dream or reality? With MONOMIO we are trying to bring back to the centre the intrinsic value of objects, which is made not only of material, but of the inestimable value given by those who design, plan and finally produce them.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique

@monomio__

4. Pure beauty (sometimes at the expense of functionality, practicality or affordability) is the reason why we buy many of the objects we are surrounded by. At the same time, the ideal of beauty has changed dramatically in recent years, as it is strongly conditioned by concepts such as inclusiveness, political correctness, etc. How could we define the concept of beauty today? What is the relationship between you and beauty?

For us, beauty is given above all by the personality and uniqueness of the product and the designer’s account of it. For the Japanese, this concept of beauty is expressed by the term fusei, a state of mind that leads us to seek beauty in the transience of things, in being able to see beauty even in the passage of time, in the heart of the thing itself. The fact that over the years we have become accustomed to enjoying products that cost as much as a coffee at the bar (an issue that also applies to many other industries such as food or cosmetics), clashes strongly with a long-term vision of the future that is ethically acceptable and environmentally sustainable. These concepts have therefore led us increasingly to look for beauty in the value of things and to act accordingly with our research and our business.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
5. How does online retail interact with the physical dimension (events, exhibitions, festivals)?

The 2020 has taught us that although the physical dimension is extremely important it is no longer fundamental to enjoy valuable content and bring the customer closer to your product or service. We have seen a massive implementation of the digital part pushing especially the VR and AR part trying to fill the gap. The solution that could be interesting for us is to implement the physical experience with the creation of pop up stores or the insertion of products in concept stores that are curated and in line with the brand identity.

6. What is the trait (one for each) of your personality that you believe represents you most? Since Caleido is a diary, what is the anecdote you would write down to tell it best?

[Sara] The stubbornness and perseverance that distinguishes me when I am passionate about things.

[Martina] The enthusiasm I put into what I do and the curiosity that drives me to always look a little further than my nose. For the anecdotes, wait the next episode! haha

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique

@monomio__

7. At MM, we are both strategy consultants and designers, so we live in a constant “diatribe” between comfort zone (resulting from commercial demands) and experimentation. What are the characteristics that a product must have to be attractive today in an e-boutique like yours?

Harmony in form and colour, authentic materials, imperfection and storytelling in process and design. And on top of that, sustainable production methods and vision (on the part of the designer) in line with our values.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
8. You often talk about your travels in your social profiles. Which places have particularly marked your life path?

[Sara] Definitely my travels to China (where I also lived) and Japan where I learned to embrace cultures and habits totally different from ours. Opening up to different ways of thinking, acting and living everyday life is a priceless experience.

[Martina] Every trip I have taken has led me to discover cultures and approaches that are different from my own, enriching my cultural background and inspiring me in different ways. Certainly the contact with wild nature and getting close to simple things, which we often tend to forget in urban realities, has always filled my mind with new ideas and created ‘space’ for new ideas and projects.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
9. You are part of the MM Award jury. How do you recognise real talent? Do you think that the characteristics that define a real talent have changed over time?

Times evolved and, with them, so talents. What we would like to see is curiosity, contamination and what the English call “quirkiness”, or that touch of extravagance and strangeness that captures attention, combined with a good dose of practicality. A balance between these values is the perfect recipe for talent in our opinion.

caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
caleido intervista MONOMIO digital design boutique
10. What is an object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory associated with it? Can you send us a photo taken by you?

[Sara] I moved house every year and a half for the last 6 years, so I don’t have any must-have items, but I certainly couldn’t do without photos of my friends that I always keep with me and memorabilia from my travels.

[Martina] I should answer a design product, shouldn’t I? haha… but instead I tell you that they are my books. I think they say a lot about a person and they are objects that I take with me every time I move and that, when I find them in my spaces, make me feel at home.

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