Interview with Rossana Orlandi

The galerist with a sixth sense for new talents

Back in 2002 Rossana Orlandi turned a former tie factory into a temple of Milan design, a real creative masterpiece that transformed her life, and since then she has being growing constantly as an artist and as a professional. The young designers she took on and backed on her own intuition, today work in the biggest international galleries and for the brands most acclaimed by collectors. Because Rossana loves to explore, when travelling, and she has always had a passion for design, even when she worked in the fashion business, first and foremost collecting it. A passion that has always led her to walk that narrow line that separates art from design, and whose edges are difficult to make out. Among the signatures her intuition has spotlighted, setting them on the international scene, is the Dutchman Piet Hein Eek, who thanks to Rossana has turned into one of the most interesting designers in the world.  His stand at the Milan Mobile Fair is always a kaleidoscope of exhilarating innovation. To his headquarters in the very centre of Milan in Via Matteo Bandello, not far from Corso Magenta, a crossroads for artists and collectors, a club in which to converse and exchange perspectives, he added in 2015 the “Rossanda Orlandi Temporary Gallery” in Via Porto Vecchio 1 in Porto Cervo, an attraction for the cosmopolitans who visit the most exclusive coast of Sardinia.

Elle entered her on its list of the 100 most important women in fashion. Her gallery in Milan, in Via Bandello 14/16, is one of the most visited temples of international design, offering space and visibility with unique articles and limited editions of well-established designers of the contemporary world and emerging artists, like Tom Dixon, Marteen Baas, Nacho Carbonell and Italians like Formafantasma, Manuela Crotti, Massimiliano Adami all selected by her. Her name is Rossana Orlandi, globe trotter and talent scout, also important in the African continent. She has visited design fairs and schools all over the world, like the Eindhoven Design Academy, the School of Form in Poland. Her Milan gallery (today there is a second one in Porto Cervo) is a hub / garden where you are likely to find many personalities and professionals. Rossana was born into fashion, a sector in which she has worked as a consultant for over 20 years at companies like Armani and Donna Karan and also for the family firm. As a design gallery owner she started to exhibit and sell objects from her own collection of furnishings, decorative art and lighting. A collection continually updated thanks to the support of over 35 designers. Her talent in research and in the discovery of new forms and colours throughout the five continents has made her a design icon. Her objects are unmistakably revolutionary in concept, process and finish. Her gallery is like an enchanted wood, made of extravagances and delights, over which Rossana’s femininity has presided. The spaces of her gallery envelop a picturesque courtyard, exhibition spaces, office spaces and storage spaces like rooms of a house Rossana is always prodigious in the help she affords to young designers, showing them how a project, apart from being beautiful and interesting, must also sell.

What is the secret? What differentiates your gallery from the others?
We have been the first to present design art pieces in a real house like ambience putting them in dialogue with all the other elements of an interiors .

How do you find the artists you represent? Do they come to you in the gallery?
Both ways. We travel alot to forecast new talents and at the same time many young designers comes to me to showcase their work. Along the years we build a strong network worldwide of professionals who often suggest us the new works.

What kind of relationship exists between you and the artist?
I believe in them and they believe in me, we share a common path.

What about your next Project in Miami?
I have been exhibited before in Miami and i decided to come back this years cause I feel, I have some really interesting new designers that can have a lot of success in that market, I think in particular of Damiano Spelta.

How is the art market in Milan?
My clientele is mostly international, I don’t rely so much on the italian market.

Why Rossana Orlandi in Portocervo? Is art a billionaires matter?
The Promenade du Port in Porto Cervo is a place that gathers a wonderful clientele from everywhere in the world that discover my works there for the first time and later also visit my gallery in Milan. Its a great meeting point.

What roll do the fairs play?
Fairs are important cause they give the chance to focus on the design art works and at the same time for the galleries to access to a more dedicated audience of clients

Is there any experience in particular, as a gallerist, that you have fond memories of?
The first time, I was exhibiting with Nacho Carbonell and Brad Pitt bought all the pieces.

Do you have a favorite exhibition, event, intervention that happened at your gallery?
One of my first Event fuorisalone suddenly Gillo Dorfles with a tv troupe popped in the gallery and picked the pink tree branches lamp by Front as one of his favorite piece in the whole design week.

Will the art world merge with finance?
It´s already happening.

Is Rossana Orlandi an artist?
No I am a galerist with a sixth sense for new talents.

Which is Rossana Orlandi favourite historical artists?
Leonardo Da Vinci.

What’s next for Rossan Orlandi Art Gallery?
Wait and see!!!!