Interview with Nani Marquina.


A few weeks before ICFF Barcelona textile designer and DWR favorite Nani Marquina chatted with Bradford Shellhammer about her latest designs, ICFF and her favorite color. Nani will be at DWR’s Upper West Side showroom on May 18th for a cocktail party celebrating her work.

Hello Nani. I am excited to be hosting you during ICFF. What do you have in store for us during the party? We will introduce our last novelties and most innovative collections: Little Field of Flowers, Seagrass, Roses, Noodles and Flying Carpet.

What new products will you be showing that week? We’ll be exhibiting at ICFF (Hall 1C Stand nº 932), where we will present the entire new collections for 2007 including the Tapete side-table and Déploye blankets. These two collections are the first step to a new range of home objects that we will launch next year 2008.

The party at Design Within Reach will not only showcase your products but Camper’s new line of shoes. How did you get involved with Camper? We’ve had a very good relationship with Camper for such a long time. Camper is a Spanish brand from Mallorca, which is very close to us, and they are also very innovative. They have a very clear philosophy about well-being and they have a very close relationship with flooring and stepping too! Camper strongly bets on sustainability and innovation. We also love the brand because of its amazing communication image.

I am a huge fan of Tord Boontje. Can you describe the new rug he’s designed for you? How did this collaboration come about? We also love Tord Boontje! His designs are very close to nature and the organic world. We were tempted to put these magnificent floral compositions over the floor. We worked so hard together to find the best way to enhance his floral graphic concept. We used a manufacturing technique that we employed for our Roses rug. This handmade technique is called hand loomed. So, we proposed to Boontje this type of craftwork allowing the use of die-cut felt flowers. Then the flowers are knitted onto the rug.

You’re known for your use of color. If you had to choose, what would be your favorite color? Well, I think all colors are nice. The point is to mix them properly. If I have to choose just one color I guess all things done in red do improve so much.

Barcelona is such a hotbed for design: furniture, textiles, fashion. Are there any Barcelona-based designers we should know about? I guess you know Javier Mariscal; he’s a must! Concerning new hot designers I really recommend Ana Mir and Emili Padrós, from Emiliana Design Studio.

I always feel the need to ask designers the clichéd question of what inspires them as I really do wonder about others’ inspirations. So I am sure you’ve been asked before, but what inspires you? My job is chasing beauty. The fullest place where you can find beauty is in nature. I love to stare at spectacular landscapes, but this does not necessarily mean that my products directly remind one of these sceneries.

Where do you stay when you’re in NYC? I love to walk all over Manhattan. I like going to the MoMA and seeing how the city changes every time I come. It is in a continual transformation and every time I visit the city I discover new places and images. I love the movement you can feel in every quarter and see how new quarters arouse!

Concerning your textiles: Where does the wool come from and where are the rugs manufactured? Our wool comes from India, New Zealand and, sometimes, from Morocco. Our main production is in India and Morocco.

You’re fond of felted wools. How does this process differ from traditional piled rugs? Felt gives volume and movement to the rug and defines shapes. It basically invites people to touch our rugs.

One last question, what’s been your favorite creation to date? I’ve been designing rugs for 20 years…so, there are lots! If I have to choose just one, it would be my last creation: Roses. This collection was brand new for its manufacturing process, which was very innovative, and its new material.