alain elkann interviews

ART AND DESIGN

Wim Wenders

Wim Wenders inaugurated a photo exhibition called “Images of Planet Earth” in the Scuderie del Quirinale (Quirinal Stables) in Rome, 2006. The great director is walking through the enormous spaces of the Quirinale, putting the final touches on the exhibition and...

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Zaha Hadid at the Royal Academy of Arts

The following interview with Zaha Hadid RA took place in the Royal Academicians’ Room in the Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy of Arts in London’s Mayfair. The invited audience have been generously welcomed by Charles Saumarez Smith, the Secretary and Chief...

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Frédéric Mitterrand

This interview with Frédéric Mitterrand was made in 2009, when for almost a year he had been the director of Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome. Your predecessors as Director of Villa Medici include the great painters Poussin, Ingres, Balthus, and many great...

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Dolce & Gabbana

To reach the Dolce & Gabbana headquarters, one goes down a ramp with little steps that are just barely there. The space - neither a garage nor a loft - is modern with large glass doors, walls painted white, and a few Baroque details here and there – an object or even...

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Jay Levenson

Jay Levenson is Director of the International Program at MoMA. What is the mission of the International Program? The department was started in 1952 to circulate exhibitions from the Museum internationally. The idea was to share the collection and make American artists...

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Valentino Garavani

Very Valentino. In Piazza Mignanelli - a stone’s throw from the Spanish steps - one sees an old palazzo and a large staircase where models are being photographed. Valentino is very busy. It is June 2004 and there’s a buzz in the air. Valentino has given interviews to...

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Massimo Ferragamo

Massimo Ferragamo, how did you become the “American Ferragamo?” The best things in life happen by chance. Back when I was a humble student, I had a conversation with the chairman of Saks Fifth Avenue who was visiting Florence. He suggested I do the executive training...

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Urs Fischer

I have just finished a long interview with Urs Fischer in his huge studio in Brooklyn, not far from the bridge that I am now crossing. Today the sky is very blue, as it sometimes is in New York in winter. This amazing view of the city, its bridges and skyscrapers,...

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Mariano Rubinacci

Mariano Rubinacci’s large shop and tailor's workshop is headquartered in the heart of Naples in the sixteenth century Palazzo Cellamare. "My son Luca marks the third generation. My father started in 1930 almost by chance. He was from a good upper-class Neapolitan...

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Tracey Emin

The job of the artist is to actually make time stand still. Tracey Emin is in her London studio. She says: “I bought this building in 2010. I live two minutes from here in a really old house that was built in 1729. This once used to be an artists' area, now it is more...

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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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// 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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