FROM MM AWARD

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer

Caleido interviews Brazilian-born designer Paula Cademartori, founder, creative director of the homonymous brand and MM Award 2022 Jury memberWelcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

 

Diary of: @paulacademartori

caleidodiary_people_paulacademartori_31
Ph. Lucas Possiede
1. When did you realise you wanted to become a designer? What did this profession mean to you at that time? And if you had to redefine it now, how would you do it?

I knew it since I was a little girl, maybe unconsciously…. I am an only child, so I often played by myself, and looking at my toys, although they were beautiful, they were not really enough for me. The thing I enjoyed most was taking shoeboxes and building set-ups in them: doll-sized houses, furnished with tables, vases, all the interiors were designed down to the smallest detail. I built a real “Paula’s world”: nobody could see it, but in my head it was perfectly real. From that moment on, I knew I would love to create. Then I grew up, and I got interested in Brazilian designers, architects, fashion designers from my country. I loved their “worlds”, and this led me to choose to study industrial design (against my family’s wishes). It wasn’t easy to get into university, because in Brazil there is a limited number of students, and there are many people but few places. At university I felt in love with the product, and above all with the design approach of industrial design, which always starts with functionality. Functionality is a real obsession, it’s a mindset that distinguishes me… I can say that everything I have created in my career and life has been strongly influenced by this way of seeing design and creativity: functionality first and foremost.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Paula as a child
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Paula as a child
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Ph. Lucas Possiede
2. From being a footwear designer, you have then moved on to other areas, always maintaining a strongly recognizable style. Where is the starting point to create something? Are there any creative rituals that accompany you in your work?

I definitely start with music, which is indispensable for me. I’m a very emotional person, so what often happens is that I get caught up in a whirlwind of conflicting feelings, a sort of emotional trance [smiles]: I smile, I cry, I get anxious. But at the end of the day, what I like most is to do something that I enjoy, that gives me something. As a ritual, I listen to music, meditate, cry, a mix&match of emotions. I also believe in crystal therapy and meditation. I am of the opinion that the life we live is very short, and therefore the time we spend here together, on this Earth, must be lived in the best possible way, imbued with “high vibrations”, “good vibes” that can make us achieve happiness and generate good intentions in us. This is very important and is reflected in my work. I would like to convey my point of view on life to others through my creations. For example, ceramics represent a lot to me, I have a very special relationship with them, sometimes I even greet them in the morning. I understand that it is a complicated thing to understand, but it is a very introspective process, which I cannot explain well, it is very inspirational… I cannot express in words what happens inside me. For me, objects are not just inanimate objects, they have to intrigue people, make them look at them and ask questions.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
The Eclectic Yard - Limited Edition Capsule Collection
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
3. You are an example of eclecticism: as a designer, you have worked with Nike, Kartell, Atelier Biagetti, Bitossi… Is it correct to define design as something “fluid”?

It depends…. If a designer really has a deep-rooted and profound vision, as well as transversal and in-depth skills, then he or she can try his or her hand – with humility and a great predisposition for in-depth study – in multiple product categories. The problem is that not everyone has the vision and skills to be able to do everything. Very few people manage to be coherent and make relevant projects applied to different areas of design. The concept of creative fluidity is poetically beautiful, but really for very few. What I notice is that so many self-styled designers today are not actually designers, but creative people, perhaps with taste, who have a passion. This is all very well, everyone has the right to do what they want and what they love, but to be a designer, passion is not enough, you need competence. I have so much respect for the product that I am sometimes terrified of trivialising something. But this is not a common feeling.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Special print for #SaloneDelMobile2019 in collaboration with @bitossihome and @funkytable_milano
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Parva Repono
4. What do you think are the most profound changes that contemporary society is experiencing? What are the issues that are most important to you?

Certainly the issue of the physicality of space, of distance, of (physical) presence, which has totally changed because of Covid. And designers will have to think a lot about this new awareness. Moreover, there is the issue of mental health: with confinement we have lived our homes intensely, experiencing how much an environment in which you feel good is fundamental for psychological well-being.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
B-Loom collection
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
The Arianna FW2016
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
5. After a period of strategic partnership with OTB, you regained total control of the brand, thus returning to being an independent entrepreneur. How did you experience this double change? If you were to write in the Caleido Diary some notes on this experience, what would you write?

I would write messages to Paula the reader…. To Paula who founded the brand I would remind her how what she has built has been the most beautiful adventure ever imagined, with all its positive and negative aspects. To Paula in the OTB group I would tell her that it is always important to learn something from others, in every situation, and I would point out how much this experience has made her growth, despite the complications that an operation like this has entailed. To today’s Paula, I would say that we must never stop dreaming. Today I have a blank page to write on, doing what I love and giving my vision to things.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Chiara Ferragni with Paula Cademartori handbag - The Petite Faye
6. In the moments when you are alone, what is a record that makes you travel with your mind? Do you prefer Spotify or Vinyl?

Spotify, because I can only store all my playlists digitally. My relationship with music is visceral, it is a part of me. Music and its rhythm allow me to work in a certain way. It is the most important part of my creative process, it’s essential. Spotify has changed my life, because a lot of my records are still in Brazil, so it’s very convenient for me because I can have everything I need on my phone that way. There is one Brazilian song in particular from the 80s that I can’t get enough of these days; it’s called “Dancin’ Daysof the group Frenéticas, and what I love most is its lyrics. “Spread your wings, go have fun and take me with you to your craziest, most beautiful, free and loose dream”. What could be more positive than that?

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Art Graphic Design by @paoloproserpio
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
"Grande" designed by Paula for the Volta Collection
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Paula Cademartori bag
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Ph. @federicociamei
7. If you were to imagine an “impossible conversation” (cf. Prada), who would you like to have a conversation with? What would be the first question you would ask?

There are so many people I would like to have a conversation with (impossible, because they are not part of our time)… One of my dreams would be to sit at a table with Karl Lagerfeld, I would love to be able to talk about anything with him. Another person I would love to talk to is Lina Bo Bardi. I am fascinated by the “Glass House” she created, I would love to ask her what she thought when she created it. The third person I would like to meet is Niki de Saint Phalle, the creator of the “Tarot Garden” in Capalbio, in the Tuscan Maremma. She has built enormous structures made of mirrors and in doing so has taken inspiration from the “Park of the Monsters” which is in Bomarzo, in the province of Viterbo, near Rome. The last person would be David Austin, the UK’s best known creator of new species of roses. Creating a flower must be beautiful, I imagine it is a truly divine feeling….

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
B-Loom collection
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Ph. Lucas Possiede
8. In an imaginary scenario, if you had to invest in another designer, who would you choose? Why this choice?

I don’t have a specific name, but in general I’d like to invest in people who do good things. Or in the natural world, or in medicine. For example, there’s a new rose maker with whom I’d really like to collaborate. Or invest in a technological service that aims to make us feel better, perhaps a device that can help us with important medical issues related to our daily health.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Ph. @jane_how
9. What is one person who, in the course of your life, has marked a trait in your personality that you feel distinguishes you today? How did you do it?

My maternal grandmother, who educated me and raised me. It is thanks to her that I am the way I am today… She is a great woman who taught me to be strong. I will always thank her for the example of female empowerment that she has always given me. I will always carry with me her greatest lesson: “If you want something, you have to work hard for it”.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Ph. @albertozanetti77
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
"Grande" designed by Paula for the Volta Collection
10. What is an object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory attached to it? Can you send us a photo of it?

Ceramics. One in particular, a green parrot, which I have even named after him, is called John. Every time I see it I get excited, and it’s that emotion of when you decorate your house for the first time, when you start to grow up.

Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer
Caleido interviews Paula Cademartori designer

No products in the cart.