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In conversation with Rossana Orlandi

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We take a glimpse into the world of design legend Rossana Orlandi

Large, oversized bee glasses, salt and pepper hair, more salt, pulled back tightly, and a petite frame, Rossana Orlandi looks more the bohemian wild child of design, than the doyenne of design that she is. After having worked for over two decades in fashion as a spin yarn consultant for labels such Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan, Rossana decided to explore her passion of collecting art into something more productive, not just for herself but for the design community. Her knack for discovering new talent is stuff legend is made of. Her gallery reminds us of Alice in Wonderland, and what a wonderful world it is, with beautifully designed tables, chairs, light fixtures and accessories finding their own space in it. We got her to share with us a glimpse into her extraordinary world…

What does good design mean to you?
Good design should be a combination of creativity and functionality. A chair can be wonderful but if it’s uncomfortable it’s a failure.

What keeps you inspired on an everyday basis?
I have always been a curious person; I love discovering new things, which inspires me.

People look at you to know about the next big talent. How do you know when you have found one?
The first thing is emotion; I have to feel something when I look at a project from a young designer. Then I visit his/ her workplace. It’s an organic process – walking through prototypes, various inspirations and sometimes even through mistakes that I am finally able to get a sense of his/ her thinking. This eventually decides whether we can work together, build a path to walk together.

What does home mean to you?
Home is all about my family. It’s full of elements that belong to me, my husband, my sons, and now my grandchildren. In a way, my home displays the history of my family.

Do you and your husband share similar design sensibilities?
My husband veers more towards classical while I am on the other end, which is really eclectic. My house is a combination of the two.

What's the advice you would give to some one who is new to the world of collecting art?
It needs courage and time.

An artist you wish you had discovered?
Leonardo Da Vinci.

If you could have five people from history as your guests for dinner, who would they be?
Leonardo Da Vinci, Alexander Fleming, Ian Fleming, Napoleon Bonaparte and Mother Teresa.

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