11 Aug Tête-à-Tête with Nora Szeleczky (Director-Armani/Casa)
How do you dress your home Italian style? We asked Nora Szeleczky, Director at Armani/Casa whose prior work experience spans across a range of world class brands with having resided in Portugal, Switzerland, UK, Budapest, China, and now in Vancouver. Here is the interesting conversation we had with Nora on her journey, Armani/Casa & all things luxury interior design
Q. Can you introduce yourself?
Nora: I have been working in the luxury brand industry since 18 and held management positions in several brands including Marriott International: Ritz Carlton, Accor Hotel Group: Sofitel Hotels and Resorts, Quintessentially and Code Showroom. Prior to moving to Vancouver,I have lived in Shanghai, where I worked for two luxury creative agencies. My role included brand operations and client communications with a carefully selected international team of image & tastemakers representing Conde Nast Traveler, Harper’s Bazaar China,Vogue China, Elle Decoration China, Elle China and Marie Claire China. As far as my education background goes, I graduated with an MBA in Luxury Brand Management from Polimoda and IFA Shanghai & Paris.
Q. What do you think makes luxury interior design different as compared to regular home design?
Nora: It is the discrete, timeless elegance. Your home should represent you! Luxury interior design is an expression of self as much as an exercise in style or comfort. It should suit the individual living there yet be able to welcome others. For Giorgio Armani “feeling at home” means feeling warm and peaceful, like a safe haven for the body and the mind.
Q. What are the latest trends you have been noticing?
Nora:The Nature and the East. In Armani/Casa latest collection, the theme is an expression of lightness, delivered through an exploration of subtle thicknesses, from the structure of the furniture to the woven textures of textiles. This notion is also expressed and seemingly rigid surfaces such as wood and leather, reshaped to suggest a new, playful identity. Oriental charm makes its return in allusions to Japanese iconography: nature, hot springs, The lightness and fluidity of the waves. An almost ethereal sensation is conveyed by the reference to these natural elements in motion: the shades of the clouds, Asian landscape with trees and hills that create infinity-effects, blended colours reminiscent of a sunset reflections on the water. Captured from nature and coursing waters are the muted shades of pink, apple green and light blue, accompanied by a touch of classic colours combined with brighter more vivid tones such as red, forest green and petrol blue. These hues are emphasized by artisanal craftsmanship and exquisite materials, Whether Muranoglass or precious embroideries, noble traditions of working with classic elements and components meld with the use of innovative materials like resin and synthetic woven textiles developed for the aerospace industry.
Q. What’s the first thing you notice when you walk into a room?
Nora:The small details such as the artworks and books, which gives an idea of the personality of the person who lives there.
Q. What makes a design good/stand out?
Nora: The subtle exchange between sensibility and taste, a complex process that can give rise to an unexpected harmony. He likes to take inspiration from various cultures to create a sense of harmony & timeless elegance.
Q.What are you working on at the moment?
Nora: We have done a couple of commercial projects but mostly we are working on residential homes. Because our pieces can be placed only in a big home. Also, we do condominium projects, where the Armani/Casa wallpaper have been very popular.
Q.What’s the strangest project you’ve had to work on?
Nora: Every project is unique and it fits the client personality. I don’t think there is a strange project. Armani is very timeless & elegant, so it fits perfectly in adequately sized spaces.
Q.What Is the future of Luxury Interior design? How does technology impact your work?
Firstly, I believe Digital innovations / visualization apps such as 3D visualization, augmented reality and virtual reality services will be offered increasingly. There will always be a market of people who want something that isn’t everywhere and isn’t available to everyone, bespoke pieces and craftsmanship will be in more demand by artisans. Look at the unique pieces by Armani/Casa such as the Limited edition Club Bar Cabinet. The Club Bar Cabinets require 92 hours of work from two artisans who paint the Ocean Lacquer Design. It is an Armani/Casa exclusive that uses hand-painting techniques to recreate the transparency of the water. Each piece is therefore one-of-a-kind. I consider the artisans who create these pieces to be true artists. And I also strongly feel that the demand for antiques will only further grow.
Q. What sets Armani/Casa apart from other Furniture designer brands?
Nora: Armani/Casa provides a platform for Giorgio Armani to set out his vision of the interiors, intimate special places with a mood of emotional pleasure, somewhere to relax and entertain guests surrounded by beauty and elegance. Unlike other designers, Mr. Armani is the one making the design (delegating it to his design team in Milan), searching the materials etc. The home imagined by Giorgio Armani is a place that provides the pleasure of well-being. Armani/Casa modernizes the way spaces are used by completely removing anything superfluous, redundant and useless. Nothing left to chance, every detail is meticulously conceived to express the idea of subtle luxury. Armani/ Casa aesthetic philosophy focuses on simple lines and perfect proportions, enriched by previous materials, refined finishes and elegant textiles. Inspiration from Art Deco and Eastern cultures blend with contemporary influences, in a constant dialogue with the world of fashion.