Discover How Studiopepe Brings A Twist To Contemporary Design

Discover how Studiopepe was able to bring their modern and contemporary twist to vintage style with an incredible upcoming mid-century collection with two luxury design brands!

Being one of the leading interior design experts in Milan, Studiopepe has been impressing the world with their creative design ideas that blend the lines between the past and the present. In these projects there are modern and futuristic concepts, but with a vintage and mid-century touch. Passionate about the multidisciplinary side of the design world, Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto founded their design studio in 2006 and have since become one of Italy’s most famous designers. Beginning from solid interior design experience and the strong emotional value of their eclectic design research, Studiopepe has carried out styling projects and iconographic shoot concepts for major international magazines.

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From interior design projects, to product design and creative consulting services for some of the best luxury design brands, the designers feature a unique signature style that captures the attention of any design lovers. For both Italian designers, the real beauty of designing any type of project relies in the feeling and unique experiences that these products will bring to the client, which for Arianna is the last step of the designing process. “We love designing products, but also imagining them inside an ambience, so we love all the things that contribute to enhance those products, and for me is something innate, that I feel since always”, enhanced Chiara di Pinto.

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Arianna and Chiara have always been fascinated with the visual aesthetic components, such as colour and shapes, since an early age, so they always knew what was going to be their future professional path. The Italian designers started to work together in the Politecnico di Milano, sharing the same vision, inspirations, ideas and strong motivation to express their creativity and artistic “poetry”. Chiara explains that this unique partnership “has never been something predetermined, being a creative process, it is based on creativity and curiosity, and obviously there is a certain synchronicity between us”.

Some people considered them as one of the most famous design teams in Milan thanks to their synchronicity line of thoughts and ideas. “Our shared experience contributed to create this synchronicity that it is expressed through the dialectics. Being in discordance is also a creative process, which means exchanging views and different point of views bring to a different result, but that result represents each step of the interesting path, done by exchanging perceptions and ideas, so it’s also a great discovering”, explained Arianna when questioned about their unique connection.

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Whether it is designing an interior design project or a unique product, the Studiopepe duo features the same planning process for every challenge that starts with exchanging views, from the creative aspect, to the product, and so on. For them the inspiration research for every project is something quite natural, thanks to their incredible travelling experiences and artistic vision.

“We know each other since many years and we have a kind of shared “alphabet” of inspirations, that is very useful, because , when I have in my mind something that we have experienced together, is helpful for both of us, and we can focus together on that, in order to convert the inspirations in a project.”

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Behind every Studiopepe design is a story that makes that product or project quite unique. All of their designing processes begin with a detail or an idea that they saw in one of their famous adventures. From that point on Chiara and Arianna not only investigate about a specific age of history, but also debate some of their favourite details. The next step is to develop something that blurs the boundaries of the real and imaginary world. From their vast selection of design projects, “Out of the Blue” might be one of the most memorable ideas yet.

“It was a project dedicated to Sculptural pieces for an Art Gallery. We took the forms from an astronomical observatory, where we have been in India. These forms were used in ancient times to determinate the position of planets and solstices, and that inspired us”. This idea had the purpose was to investigate into the relations between the light and the form, through a chemical process called “Cyanotype”.

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Their design philosophy is based on a conceptual approach inspired by the unexpected, and on an extensive iconographic and visionary background, creating projects that are one of a kind. Through their careful attention to detail vision, the Studiopepe duo is able to create a unique emotional feeling in people.

You can see their incredible creative skills in Studiopepe’s “Manifesto” projects which are designed during the famous international tradeshow, Salone Del Mobile Milano. “Although these are demanding projects, because they are designed entirely by the Studio, they gave us more visibility and satisfaction, thanks to the visitors’ perceptions”. In other words, their creative vision doesn’t turn around a single piece, but it involves many areas of interest, it’s an organic vision, like it should be for any design project.

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Studiopepe’s designs are a balanced compromise between contemporary and memory that doesn’t believe in the established design trends. For example, their “Manifesto” project was actually a Secret Club where the Italian designers had the opportunity to express their selves without barriers, in a really open way. “We discovered at ISaloni that many people launched some Clubs, different than ours, they focused on 70s, the Radical Architecture and so on. In this case we haven’t done on purpose, to launch a trend, but it was just something capable to satisfy us, something we really liked, and then we think if we appreciate that, then it can be appreciated by other people”, said Chiara.

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Some of Studiopepe’s most famous products, that are now in the collection of famous furniture brands, resulted from a “Manifesto” process, like the iconic neon lamps that exalt the style of the 60’s. “Our essence is not only about Product Design, but it’s also about the way we communicate those products, how you show them to the visitors, what there is in depth of each piece, as well as the photography and so on. Maybe is 100% feminine characteristics, to keep all together”.

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This vintage fascination isn’t a new thing in the lives of Arianna and Chiara. They always have been influenced by the 50s thanks to Milan’s exquisite architecture. Being a part of their history, the vintage inspirations are also a big part of their work and the base of their contemporary twist concept.  The first time that the Studiopepe’s designers have demonstrated their affection of the mid-century style through their first “Manifesto” project, called The Visit, regarding an Intimate hospitality concept and private residences. “One of these we concluded 2 years ago, we tried to mix together Mid-century pieces, original or from Gallery, with modern pieces, because we loved the contrast, they got stronger each other”, said Chiara.

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Creating unique mid-century collections is one of the biggest challenges that Arianna and Chiara had to face since it is a peculiar design style with specific lines that can easily look like something that already exists. One of the things that they had to avoid during their creative process was to not create a scenography scenario, otherwise the final result could be counter-productive. “We live in the 2020, even though I appreciate those ages, we are here, and it is cool to get inspiration from those years, making a re-elaborated version with a contemporary touch, as the Great Gatsby’s house, or inspiration from theatre.”

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Besides Milan’s beautiful architectural patrimony, the Italian designers also found inspirational design ideas in details of Porto’s incredible design heritage, like the unique architectural projects or the fine craftsmanship techniques. After seeing the potential behind the master artisans’ skills, Chiara and Arianna found the right path to create a twistful design for the famous mid-century brands, Essential Home and DelightFULL.

“We noticed there are a lot of affinities with Italy here in Portugal, and that’s is very interesting, the passion for Wood’s Craftsmanship, the etching and other materials as the glass, the ceramic and so on”, highlighted Arianna. We can say that this partnership between Studiopepe and Essential Home was the perfect opportunity to establish bridges between the two countries with a strong heritage history. “Once you realize how the materials can be used, the techniques, the processes, the care with which are produced, and all of the combinations you can make, of course for creative people it is like to be in a Luna-Park”, said Chiara di Pinto.

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A productive brainstorming gave wings to several ideas and possibilities the Italian designers believe that this task was the ultimate break to showcase their Made in Italy legacy and discover Portugal’s strong craftsmanship techniques, like metal working, wood carving, porcelain, hand-painted tiles and jewerly manufactory. The ancient Portuguese crafts are a natural inspiration source for the Studiopepe’s designers. Chiara fell in love with the traditional Portuguese metal working techniques because this is a craft that can give the product several original forms. On the other hand, despite her fascination for the magnificent forms and sculptural value, Arianna enjoyed the etching technic, a classic manufacture craft that evokes the past through its history.  “All of these elements stimulate us and we are curious to test it in the Design with a Contemporary Twist, and this is a positive challenge which motivates us a lot”, she added.

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After getting to know better the two mid-century brands by visiting the backstage scenario, the Italian designers were really amazed by the quality of products as well as the attention to detail and the fact all of their pieces are handmade by the best Portuguese master artisans. These three factors show that the two brands feature a strong character in every step of the designing process. “It has been really interesting observing the employers at the factory, and their passion for Craftsmanship. We have been influenced by their passion, because now we’ll put them to the test”, said Arianna.

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DelightFULL and Essential Home share the same design values from the start, that is why these two mid-century legends are always seen as the trendiest sister brands in the industry. “We loved the 20s because they have been years in which we discovered and designed many interesting things, also modern, but mostly only in 70s will be developed, ages that brought Innovations, that’s why we have a kind of connection”. Inspired by the most important components of mid-century lifestyle, such as music, fashion and literature, the Italian based designers are lovers of the creative and modern concepts that these two luxury design brands bring to our days.

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This union between the designer’s talent and the brand’s unique signature style is the perfect representation of the contemporary twist that Arianna and Chiara talked about before. “We have the chance to add value toward what you already do, that is our value”. This year, the two Italian designers will be the thinkers and makers behind DelightFULL and Essential Home’s mid-century products that will be a wonderland for the world’s design lovers!