An interview with Vito Nesta

in Interiors

I have been following Vito Nesta for a few years and his world, through his creations has become more and more familiar to me.

It is actually an exotic and familiar world, with numerous different stimuli.

Born in Puglia, graduated in Florence and adopted by Milan, Vito Nesta is an insatiable traveller, one of those types that lives the concept of travelling and for which travelling means exploring. He can find inspiration on a trip far from home or just wandering around the streets of the city he lives in: the secret is wanting to discover new things and the curiosity that leads you find something magical even around the corner.

I have asked him a few questions and as usual, he was a real gentleman.

Your designs speak about various sources of inspiration that you get from your travelling and an exotic imaginary from different periods. Have you got an archive of images, objects, books that you use as a mood board?

I have a big archive of materials that I have collected during my numerous trips.

I love going to markets and quirky vintage or antique shops, losing myself in the streets of a city I don’t know well; often I come across old second hand dealers or bookshops and I always find amazing things, I must attract them somehow. I periodically attend auctions where I buy antique engravings, books and whatever catches my eye.
Everything can become source of inspiration, for instance my collection of dishes called Natsumi for my brand Grand Tour was inspired by the decorations found on an old wardrobe doors.

Which one of your projects or designs is the one you are more affectionate with and why?

I am affectionate with all of them more or less because each one tells a story, my story and the story of the project. Some though have given me more satisfaction. Generally I am more attached to the latest projects because, like babies, they need more attention.

In your recent exhibition “Travel music. Vito Nesta in the rooms of Giuseppe Verdi” curated by Annalisa Rosa and sponsored by Bonaudo, in the incredible rooms that hosted Giuseppe Verdi at the Grand Hotel et de Milan, you have proved again your sophisticated cromatic sensitivity. How did the idea of these site specific installations come to you?

When I visited the Grand Hotel and the Verdi rooms two years ago for the first time, I fell deeply in love with that space. I promised myself that there and only there I would present my first personal exhibition one day. The Grand Hotel is a place full of history and so much has happened there over the last 150 years. So many incredible people have passed through and each one of them has left a sign or a trace.

With “Travel Music” I am trying to tell some of these stories; for instance the collection of dishes Grand Hotel et De Milan speak about Milan and it is my elaboration of historical materials that you find in the hotel rooms; the two canopic vases made by Ceramiche Gatti, for instance, recall two iconic statues also present in the Hotel (one dedicated to the abolition of slavery in Brazil and the other a Moor holding a big lantern).

All these elements were then surrounded by an architectural scale installation, using specially tinted leather, produced by Bonaudo, a company that has made a name for itself working quality leathers and sponsored the project. “Travel Music” has given back a piece of history to the city, offering people a new vision, not enclosed in a museum.

What advice would you give to young designers?

The advice I would give to new designers is to have a lot of patience and determination. This job has become extremely difficult and it is almost impossible to see results in a short period.

The most important thing is to set goals and pursuing your dream without distraction.

The Enchanted Mountain collection for Imarika
Ike and Koi carpets
Corteo for Les Ottomans
Wallpaper for Devon&Devon
Esotica for F.lli Majello
The exhibition “Travel music. Vito Nesta in the rooms of Giuseppe Verdi” at the Grand Hotel Et the Milan (photo Gaetano del Mauro)
The exhibition “Travel music. Vito Nesta in the rooms of Giuseppe Verdi” at the Grand Hotel Et the Milan (photo Gaetano del Mauro)
Vito Nesta  (photo Gaetano del Mauro)