A view into our world at Suzanne Lovell, Inc. and the ideas that inspire us daily.
When two Italian brand powerhouses get together, the end result is, no doubt, gorgeous. Such was the case when Rubelli, the prolific Italian company founded in 1858, and Santoni, the famous shoe company which has been around since 1975, blended.
The idea came about when Giuseppe Santoni and his wife set forth to decorate their St. Moritz mountain house. Falling for Rubelli fabrics, Santoni started to think that perhaps introducing these amazing fabrics to his footwear designs would be a smash hit. Starting with the iconic polka-dot silk velvet that Gio Ponti created for the company in 1934, Santoni quickly realized that he was onto something!
Now, there are 48 models for both men and women which effortlessly merge Santoni and Rubelli. Nicolo Rubella, the great-great-grandson of founder, Lorenzo Rubelli, says they never considered shoes until approached, even though they've dressed both homes and bodies.
Rubella's fabric comes from a mill in Cucciago which is near Como, Italy. Even though they've ventured into other realms such as lighting and furniture, footwear was an "adventure". For Santoni, learning to use this fabric was a challenge. "Working with upholstery fabric is a great deal more complicated than leather, as it is neither flexible nor resistant", says Santoni. Luckily, they quickly learned to adapt their technology and use different needles.
The point is to make "objects of desire" and to create more growth and exposure to both brands.' We think they're off to a great start!
The MCA strikes gold again with a new retrospective on Merce Cunningham, one of the forefront modern dance artists of our generation. Cunningham is as known for his contemporary dance choreographic innovations as well as for his collaborations with artists from different art forms such as Andy Warhol and Frank Gehry.
Born in Washington state in 1919, Cunningham followed his heart to NYC and went on to be a soloist for the Martha Graham Dance company for six years. Afterwards, spending time teaching at Black Mountain College, Cunningham became exposed to different art forms such as theater and visual arts. It was here that he came up with the idea of choreographing to include other disciplines.
Merce Cunningham Dance Company frequently collaborated with visual artists, architects, designers, and musicians; back then, it was rather pioneering! Over the course of his career, Cunningham choreographed more than 200 dances and over 800 “events,” (site specific) choreographic works. Working to disengage his pieces from being set to music; and in such, springing the music onto the dancers at rehearsal for the first time, Cunningham was able to tell a complete story. So ahead of his time, it's great to see Cunningham's work honored today when people might begin to forget who he was!
How does someone who goes to college in order to study philosophy, political science and economics become a jewelry designer? Well, with a bit of luck and a love for traveling the world! Monique Pean worked at the architecture and design firm Charlap Hyman & Herrero in NYC initially and also worked in the financial industry.
Always intrigued with monochromatic and minimalistic environments; naturally Pean was drawn to the Japanese culture. Designing jewelry came after traveling to the Arctic Circle and meeting with native Alaskan Eskimos from the Inupiat and Yupik tribes. Considered the world’s first environmentalists, it seems only natural that they make items out of fossilized pieces. That struck a cord with Pean and she began to weave together sustainable items into her unique designs.
Travel also played and continues to play a very big part in Pean’s inspiration and thus, work. Traveling to all seven continents, there was so much beauty to be found. Indigenous items make for beautiful and unfamiliar jewelry. Dinosaur bones as part of a necklace might seem strange; but not when you view the magic that Pean works. Luckily, she has master craftsmen who help her hand-carve those materials that weren’t intended to be made into fine jewelry. Evenutally, perhaps Ms. Pean will attempt these delicate tasks herself; but until then, please keep traveling, gathering and designing!
Azzedine Alaia has always loved art. Even before he could afford pieces, he started a smaller personal collection that centered around what touched him- the classics. His first substantial piece was a Roman torso which he eventually sold as a necessity to pay for his taxes on fateful year. Fast forward and Alaia is one of the world’s most sought-after couture designers… his love for art never evaded or diminished him.
Gustave Eiffel is Alaia’s Paris headquarters in the Marais quarter of Paris. Within this old warehouse, Alaia conducts every aspect of his life… from personal to profession. He lives upstairs with his partner, Christoph von Weyhe, a talented painter in his own right, he works downstairs… where he is privy to and cognizant of everything that goes on and now, he has open Galerire Azzedine Alaia- a place to showcase his art.
Feeling that art is to be shared with others, Galerie Azzedine Alaia is different from both the typical museum and gallerie. The work displayed is returned to the artist following the exhibition, nothing is ever sold. The shows always have a personal feel to them, and are smaller and quite intimate. It’s clear that Alaia’s early career path played a part in this endeavor. As a young man, Alaia studied at the Ecole de Beaux Arts with hopes of becoming a sculptor. Head curator Donation Gran says, “In the gallery, we started with projects more related to fashion and photography. But, we’re expanding it now to more encompass this extraordinary community that surrounds the house.” Several years ago, Richemont, a luxury group, invested in Alaia which allowed for a second, full-time gallery space. Special commissions and exhibitions are booked a ways out and the list for future shows is long and prestigious.
Thanks Mr. Alaia, for sharing yet another one of your amazing talents with us!