Sunday, November 27, 2011


Rossana Orlandi has one mission in life: to discover what’s new and original in the world of design. Her magical Spazio Rossano Orlandi is a testament to her tremendous curating ability and fashion know how. The gallery-concept store has played host to young, vibrant up and coming designers along with the veteran fashion names since its opening in 2002. Located in an abandoned tie factory, Orlandi’s space occupies two floors and offers up everything from embroidered taxidermy on the walls to plastic forks for sale. 

The concept store was designed as a place for up and coming designers to come and mingle with established names while surrounded by a gallery, showroom, a restaurant and a number of gardens. As the mastermind of the space, Rossana Orlandi is giving life to the idea of mixing products and people in the same space. Her magical Spazio is both a showroom and conference room.

Located in the Magenta district, Orlandi welcomes visitors into her space with the enthusiastic introduction of, “I am Rossana Orlandi and you are in my house — I call this space home.” That simple sentence beautifully sums up Orlandi’s vision: to create a space that would feel like home for everyone. Inside, the café serves up delectable treats such as tortas, biscotti and mortadella. Everything on the menu is handmade and remarkably inexpensive (with all proceeds going to charity, not Ms. Orlandi’s pockets). 

Nooks with chairs and tables sit tucked into garden spaces, gallery crannies and other seemingly random pieces of art. Known for her impeccable taste in designers, the renowned artistic host has mulled over every element in the space and has displayed her favorites in ways previously unimagined.  For example: who else could get away with having a pile of crushed toilet paper in the bathroom for guests without seeming inconsiderate or tacky?  

The godmother of Milan Design Week does so with gusto— and does so in such an organic way that nothing seems amiss with the situation as you pick up your crumpled roll of paper to use while sitting on an ornate toilet. Somehow, in Orlandi's fantastical world of art and design, it all makes perfect sense.

Orlandi, now 68 years old, started out as a designer herself, before moving on to spend her time finding and supporting new innovative products and interior designs and is a steady fixture of the annual Salone del Mobile (the Milan Design Week Festival). These days, she spends her time in discovering ornamental add-ons and curation for the space – which is also where she prefers to spend the majority of her time.

Have a watch at Orlandi (video featured above) talk about her journey to creating Spazio Rossana Orlandi, and samples of Orlandi's curation in the images (featured right and below).  To learn more and to keep up to date with Rossana Orlandi's latest adventures, visit:


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