alain elkann interviews

ART AND DESIGN

George Wachter

“We just sold a Turner for £30.3 million.” George Wachter is Chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America and Co-Chairman of Old Master Paintings Worldwide, with over forty years of experience in his field. He joined Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings department in 1973...

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Loulou de la Falaise

LIVING POETICALLY The art of living life as a muse. Loulou de la Falaise, with her international pedigree, epitomised the archetype of the Parisian lady. I loved her elegance, her imaginativeness, her brilliant creativity and her incorrigible non-conformity. She also...

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Gianfranco Ferré

My secret? I love my life. Gianfranco Ferré welcomes me into his office in Via Spiga in Milan. He’s relaxed and smiling as if he’s just returned from a long holiday. He’s wearing a shirt with bizarre black and white stripes, and a tie that with its strange mixed...

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Pierre Cardin

Glamour? It’s about learning to cover up. Pierre Cardin arrives in a dark green Jaguar driven by a chauffeur dressed in an impeccable blue uniform. The fashion designer gets out wearing a blue jacket with gold buttons, a shirt with large checks and a white collar,...

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Sally Clarke

My Passion for Real Food. Sally, you are soon going to celebrate thirty years of your restaurant Clarke’s in London's Kensington Church Street. Have many things changed since you started? From the age of twelve and a half I had the real idea that you could run a...

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Edmondo di Robilant

Robilant + Voena are agents and dealers in fine art. Edmondo, why did you come to live in London in the early seventies and then never go back to Italy to work? The choice was never really mine. My parents didn't give me the option, but decided that I should be...

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Richard Avedon

From Napalm to Beautiful Women. Richard Avedon is a small man. His face is sunken in and he hides behind his white mane of hair and large tortoise-shell glasses. He is dressed in black velvet and has shiney shoes. He’s in the middle of the Sala delle Cariatidi in the...

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Calvin Klein

"I’ve seduced the world with casual elegance." Calvin Klein gets out of a Mercedes and goes into an Italian restaurant downtown. He is dressed in dark grey and is wearing a crew-necked pullover without a shirt underneath. He is very thin and lanky. When he speaks, he...

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Paolo Roversi

A life spent in photography. What does that mean? It’s a great life because photography is a way to express oneself with a wonderful language, a universal language that doesn’t need to be translated or interpreted. That everyone can understand. It’s a language that is...

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Helen Ghosh

Looking after special places, for ever, for everyone. Dame Helen, you are Director General of the National Trust. What is the National Trust? The National Trust is an organisation that has changed a lot in the last one hundred and twenty years. Its purpose is to...

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Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton is sitting in a light green chair in his studio on the thirty-third floor of a high rise in Monte Carlo with a view of the sea, the Tennis Club and the peninsula where designer Karl Lagerfeld has his house up on high. The great photographer is dressed...

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David LaChapelle

Art can be a prism which transcends and transforms. LANDSCAPE, a new exhibition of David LaChapelle’s work, is showing at the Robilant+Voena Gallery in Milan. Marco Voena is with Jacqueline and I in the Armani Hotel. We just met Sophia Loren, here having lunch with a...

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Charles Saumarez Smith

Charles Saumarez Smith is Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts in London's Piccadilly. Charles, after having been at the National Portrait Gallery and then the National Gallery, how is it to run the Royal Academy? To be honest, it is more...

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Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni shows up right on time at the Bar des Théâtres, which is located on the Avenue Montaigne a stone’s throw from Christian Dior’s maison. She is wearing a velvet hat that she bought at a flea market, a small Azzedine Alaïa pullover in fluffy black velvet: a...

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Nicholas Serota

Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of London’s Tate Gallery, says that: “Today art must know how to entertain.” Nicholas Serota, as director of the Tate Modern Gallery, you wanted to hold a retrospective of German artist Gerhard Richter’s work. This is an artist you have...

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Vivienne Westwood

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood: “People have never been so poorly dressed.” Vivienne Westwood, what state is the fashion industry in? “I make avant-garde things, but I hear from people that there is a crisis, and that it is quite serious. I don’t know how long it...

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Elizabeth Peyton

Elizabeth Peyton smiled when I asked if I could interview her, but was reticent. She told me that she had previous bad experiences.  But then she said yes, and the interview took place in the back seats of a big black German car at seven o' clock in the morning, on...

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Thaddaeus Ropac

Best wishes to Thaddaeus Ropac on the April 28th 2017 opening of his London gallery at Ely House on Dover Street. I had the pleasure of interviewing him in Salzburg in August 2014: It is Sunday afternoon and, after a delicious lunch that ended with apricot strudel and...

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Carlo Orsi

Carlo Orsi is President of AAI (The Association of Italian Antique Dealers). Carlo, you come from a famous family of Milan antique dealers. What has changed in your profession over the years? The world has changed and the way we perceive our profession of antique...

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Paolo Bulgari

Paolo Bulgari is very tall with white hair: he is a man of few words but has a considerable sense of humour. He works in his office on the first floor in via Condotti above the legendary jeweller’s shop. The offices were renovated a year ago and the walls are covered...

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Gaetano Pesce

Gaetano Pesce has just arrived in his office in downtown Manhattan at 543 Broadway. “I have lived in New York since 1980, for 34 years. I love the city, but this summer we have heavy rain all the time and it is quite inconvenient after the very cold winter we just...

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Mimmo Paladino

In Rome, where the weather is terribly hot, I go to visit Mimmo Paladino in his studio on the top floor of a Palazzo in Piazza Navona, facing the church of Sant’ Agnese by Borromini. The terrace is amazingly big and I ask Mimmo: Do you play tennis on this terrace?...

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Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani is in good spirits, wearing long dark blue Bermuda shorts and a dark brown T-shirt. He is tanned and resting at his home on the island of Pantelleria, an oasis of true luxury, very quiet and with a light breeze. It's seven o'clock in the evening and, in...

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Cristina Acidini

I go to visit Dr Cristina Acidini, Superintendent of the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage and the Museums of the City of Florence. I open a little door in a little street of Florence that divides the Palazzo Vecchio and the Vasarian building of...

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Joseph Brodsky

Skinheads, Nazis and prejudices. Anti-Semitism is the child of Fear.  Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) does not give way to pessimism: the past is a spent force, history does not repeat itself. December 1st, 1992. The 1987 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, one of...

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Oscar de la Renta

I am very sad about Oscar's death. The fashion world won't be the same without his smile, his positive and warm energy, his loyalty to his friends. What a splendid example for all of us of someone who loved and worked at his craft from his very early days to the very...

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Eric Shiner

Eric C. Shiner is Director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. I meet Eric Shiner on a sunny Sunday morning in early March, a tall man, fit, very focussed and polite. He sits next to Bob Colacello, (previously interviewed in La Stampa), the first editor of...

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Carolyn Seymour Hanbury

Carolyn Hanbury is chatting with her friend, the Italian botanist Ursula Piacenza, in a beautiful villa facing the sea, with a beautiful Mediterranean garden that goes down to the seashore. The most famous Italian gardener and landscape architect, Paolo Pejrone, who...

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Luciano Giubbilei

A visit to the Laurent-Perrier garden created by Luciano Giubbilei. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 Winner:  Best in Show. If you want to know who the English people are, you need to go to the Chelsea Flower Show. I was surprised by such a long queue to get in, the size...

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Peter Brant

Peter Brant, entrepreneur and collector: “Andy Warhol taught me to have fun.” The interview took place at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice during the Biennale 2011. Peter Brant is one of the most famous collectors of contemporary art. Peter, when did you become interested...

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// FEATURED

ANITA PALLENBERG

Anita Pallenberg is an actress, model, and fashion designer. Born in Italy in 1944 she was the partner of the Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones and then the partner of Keith Richards. Anita, you have worked in the worlds of cinema, music and fashion. Would you define yourself as an eclectic person? I would say... READ MORE

// PUBLICATIONS

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