Studio Pepe and the art of styling

published in: Interiors, Interviews, Art By Apostolos Mitsios, 09 June 2009

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publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Karrin Nussbaumer

It’s all about love, style and passion. That’s how Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, the spicy ingredients of Studio Pepe, define themselves. Taking a look at their amazing work, one is totally in agreement. Studio Pepe has one of the most impressing trajectories concerning editorial styling and set design, specialized in creating eye catching interiors for the pages of the most important magazines in the world, from New York Times Style magazine till Elle Decor Italia. Being also successfully involved in the world of advertisement, their work is much more than compiling the latest design trends. They create idyllic spaces full of imagination, unexpected combinations and surrealistic elements that allow them to project a strong and original view. Their goal is to create a dialogue between the different elements of their compositions in order to produce real magic. That being said, it is true that one needs more than a few minutes to understand the depth of their compositions, to perceive what is happening exactly in their images. And that is particularly hard to achieve nowadays when everything seems to have been done. Yatzer, after years of being a huge fan, is proud to introduce you their impressive work, featuring an exclusive interview that Arianna and Chiara offered us from Milan.

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Karrin Nussbaumer


 


So, Arianna and Chiara, let’s take it from the beginning: How did you meet and how did you decide to work together?
We know each other since the years of University (Industrial Design at the Politecnico of Milan), but at that time we weren't friends. By chance we met in 2006 in a very small village called Mazunte on the pacific coast of Mexico and we continued the trip together. When we came back home we decided to start working together, at that time we were working as assistants for two different Italian stylists.

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Micheal Bousquet

Taking a look at your book, one is totally impressed by your numerous collaborations with some of the most prestigious magazines of the world, from Elle Decor Italia and Velvet till The New York Times magazine. What is the secret of your success?
I know it can sound prosaic... but the secret is to believe in what you are doing and put as much passion as you can. It’s not a matter of how prestigious is the magazine you are working for, what truly counts is to create the best story for them. We think that when we'll not feel involved anymore in our work we'll probably quit and do something else.

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Micheal Bousquet

You have also been involved in a lot of commercials for brands as famous as B&B Italia. What are the differences between editorial styling and advertisement?
Basically, in the advertisements you have to agree with the art director, the client and a lot of different figures and sometimes that is hard. In the editorial you have more freedom and you can be art director of yourself and just agree with the photographer (most of the times we decide the most suitable photographer for our story) and follow or change the idea during the shooting, that is much easier.

publication: "ELLE DECORATION Uk" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

Is Milano the ultimate design center? From where do you get inspired?
Milan is a fantastic place for design, especially because the most prestigious interior brands with a long tradition are located in the Milan area. Usually we get inspiration from everything around us... It could be a travel we have done, an exhibition we have seen, something we have discovered in a flea market or a spontaneous colour mix seen on the street. We really like to take inspiration from the past and convert common things in a modern language.

publication: "ELLE DECORATION Uk" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

Which is the working process that you follow? Do you work together or each one of you has a different role?
Basically I wouldn't say we have different roles. Usually we begin from the idea and the atmosphere we'd like to have in the story and then we start to sketch some proposals. And of course, we discuss a lot!

publication: "VELVET" |  photo: Alexandre

Give us some more details about your latest intervention at the Milan design week of 2009.
The project we created for the Salone del Mobile was called "DREAM ROOMS", in collaboration with e-bay Italia and Mondadori Editori. It took part in front of the Triennale of Milano. During four months we were buying furniture and different kinds of objects from all around the world on e-bay, in order to create all the interiors (it's incredible what you can find on e-bay). When the exhibition came to an end, all the furniture and objects were re-sold on e-bay and the whole result of the auction was devolved for a child hospital in Genova. Inspired by childhood, we wanted to create the optical illusions of a fairy tale. It was a great job!

publication: "VELVET" |  photo: Alexandre

Who is your favourite designer of all times? And your contemporary one?
Our favourite designer of all times is Giò Ponti for his projects’ versatility and contemporary look. Nowadays, we appreciate a lot Tom Dixon's work.

Is there any element that is always present at your work? Which is the craziest thing that you have done till now?
I would say (and hope) "irony". Many times crazy situations happen on the set. One of the craziest things was when we had to rent a winch to set a very expensive table in leather on the top of a 5m high container while it was raining!

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Karrin Nussbaumer

What are your future projects?
We are planning to create some furniture and objects for several Italian brands in order to use all of our style experience in the world of interiors.

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Karrin Nussbaumer

publication: D Casa (La Repubblica) | photo: Karrin Nussbaumer

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Tom Brown

publication: "Case da Abitare" | photo: Metz + Racine

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Tom Brown

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Tom Brown

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

publication: "Case da Abitare" |  photo: Bachaus/Anni

backstage shooting

backstage shooting

backstage shooting

(opening image-homepage) publication: "ELLE DECORATION Uk" |  photo: Andrea Garuti

sources:

Studio Pepe

  • friend
    Edina | 2009-06-09 16:24:50

    I find this very original... modern, great color accents, great chairs... and very very simple and well combined. Love it!

  • friend
    Benjamin | 2009-06-09 17:31:15

    These two girls..have a STAR..like the one in the first picture! Congratulations! Keep styling.. B

  • friend
    royal creme | 2009-06-10 10:44:06

    A lovely mix of color, humor and being fearless.

  • friend
    alora | 2009-06-19 07:34:10

    amazing.

  • friend
    mattew | 2009-06-25 16:00:16

    fantastiche! vorrei diventare un giorno come loro. wowowowow!

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