2012 November 2
Girl crush alert! Max Mara counts design whiz Nina Freudenberger of haute Nolita-based Haus Interior as one of its coterie of brand ambassadors. This fall, the Italian label jetted Freudenberger, Byrdie Bell, Lauren Remington Platt, and Teen Vogue's Jane Keltner de Valle off to Rome to live the dolce vita and celebrate the relaunch of the Max Mara boutique there. Chic rang up Freudenberger for a recap of the stylish jaunt, plus the 411 on her musts and loathes in the interiors orbit...
What's your Max Mara connection?
I was asked to be a Max Mara brand ambassador. Luckily, I get to wear their beautiful clothes and come along to their store opening. I own a small business and I'm a working professional, so I think it's about wearing Max Mara's clothes and styling it in a new, fresh way, from day to evening. Max Mara is a small, family-run business, which is quite unique in the fashion industry, and they want to support and dress modern women! As an ambassador, I was treated to a few days in Rome, to see what the brand is and how it's represented in Italy.
What did your Roman holiday consist of?
It was phenomenal! We had a private evening tour of the Sistine Chapel. That was unbelievable: who gets to see the Sistine Chapel with only six other people in the room? Then we popped into the Max Mara store to see it before the opening party; we also had a shoot with Vanity Fair Italy, and also got to sightsee and take in Rome.
Are you fluent?
I definitely don't speak Italian! I can order a big plate of prosciutto and wine, essentially, and that's about it.
Any stateside Max Mara excursions on the docket?
There's nothing planned right now, but they always surprise us with the next great city or event...
How would you describe your decor M.O.?
For interiors, I love to mix patterns and materials, while staying relatively neutral with an emphasis on luxury and quality.
What's trending in home design?
Layering styles and time periods is still popular, so mixing a midcentury antique with a modern Tom Dixon table, for example. Graphic, geometric patterns are definitely coming back, as opposed to something a little lighter. People are looking for quality, handmade product, as opposed to something with faster turnaround. We're not doing 'fast fashion' in home design anymore! Everyone seems to want a story behind what they're buying and designing with. That quality level previously wasn't emphasized as much.
What are you completely over?
Any Louis the XIV chair reupholstered hot pink: if I could never see that again in my life, I would be so grateful. All that Baroque nonsense that happened a few years ago literally needs to disappear off the planet.
A crib sheet of your bookmark-worthy decor sites, please!
Lonny, 1stdibs.com, and VandM.com are all great resources.
Do your fashion industry clients differ from other clients of yours?
I've been lucky enough to work almost entirely with creative people, whether they're in advertising, marketing, writing, or film producing. Fashion people are very specific about colors: it's a bold stroke they're trying to accomplish, so there's much more focus on the details.
What's a strange or very, very specific request you've fielded?
I did have to look for velvet in a color that was described as dirty Kermit the frog green. When I went around to the fabric showrooms asking people for that shade, they were under the impression that I was crazy.
Were you successful in hunting it down?
Yes, I found that color! I'm often on the quest for something obscure, but nothing is too crazy.
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