Maker Monday: LATOxLATO

Like the grace and gorgeousness of Milan, Italian furniture designers Virginia Valentini and Francesco Breganze craft some of the most exciting and exotic pieces on the market today. Meticulous detail and unique takes on traditional pieces (gold-arched flower vases and angular marble candlesticks) take the brand to another level. As two of Milan’s emerging designers, the duo purposefully uses unexpected materials and aesthetic for each piece; they challenge convention in a way that makes even the smallest LATOxLATO piece, a flower vase, for example, the show-stealer of the room. Take a look at the duo’s groundbreaking work below, and start your week right by meeting Virginia and Franceso in today’s #MakerMonday.

Spiderlike, the Aracne coffee table’s name is inspired by the Greek myth of a daring weaver.

Andrew: What’s your wakeup ritual?

Virginia: When I wake up I am usually very very hungry so the first thing I do in the morning is a quite big breakfast. This is why I like to wake up a little earlier and take my time to eat, breakfast for me is a real ritual. The other thing I can hardly live without is my mid-morning cappuccino!

Francesco: Unfortunately the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is getting my phone and checking the e-mails I received during the night (due to the time difference between Italy and USA). This is a very bad habit, I know…but then after few minutes I switch off my mobile and I reach Virginia at the breakfast table!

Andrew: What’s your favorite time of day?

Virginia: My favorite time of the day is probably making dinner at night. I love cooking and for me, the best way to finish the day is to take some time and relax making something special for dinner.

Francesco: I do love watching movies. So, when we are at home in the evening and I have a couple of hours completely free, watching a good movie is the only way for me to “disconnect” the brain from everything. I’m pretty empathetic, so I can be totally absorbed by the story of the movie, and this is something that I really enjoy!

The Vittorio’s small golden arches give the usual vase structure a run for its money.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?

Virginia & Francesco: Unusual; what we try to achieve when designing our products is to show consumers everyday objects in a different way from the one they are used to seeing them.

Italian; all our products are molded one piece at a time by the hands of Italian artisans.

Design; we try to bring our background as architects into the products we design, giving them a unique and recognizable identity.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?

Virginia: Don’t be afraid of doing what you like instead of what you are supposed to do.

Francesco: Take your time and do what you love with “baby steps;” rushing is the worst enemy and if you want to achieve high standard you need to stop running against the world and start concentrating on what you really have to do. Not easy, especially in this historical moment where “time is money!”

Andrew: Favorite place to view art?

Virginia: The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg.

Francesco: Every now and then I go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to visit a different pavilion. However, every time I go back I must see the European Painting area from 19th and 20th century. Just Stunning!

A complex candelabra from LATOxLATO features marble and gold accents, named “Vestalia” for the Roman goddess of the hearth.

Andrew: You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?

Virginia: Pizza! I don’t think I could live without pizza.

Francesco: Well, she said more than enough! Pizza it is!

Andrew: A skill you’re working on mastering?

Virginia: I am trying to be more organized in order to make the most out of my time.

Francesco: I need to focus more on doing my job with less anxiety. I’m an Aries so that doesn’t help, but I’m working on trying to solve one issue at the time. Also, what I’m really trying to do is leaving my work problems at the office, without bringing them home with me!

About The Makers | Virginia Valentini and Francesco Breganze are designers and dreamers.

Italians by birth, architects by training and travelers by vocation, after studying at the Polytechnic of Milan they began to work in the United States. It was there that they realized two things: no matter how far you wander, your background will always be part of you. And, on the other hand, that sometimes you need a country like the USA to move beyond the usual frameworks and develop a truly original outlook.

Fans of 1950s Italian design, the two have different personalities but share the same passion for their work. What distinguishes them is the way they engage with it: one focused on instinct and the other on rationality, one with his head in the clouds and the other with her feet firmly planted on the ground, one who tends to get worked up while the other hardly ever loses her calm. Between one drawing and the next, they discovered that, despite these differences, they manage to agree on everything…everything, that is, except the next movie to watch.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.