The accidental designer

Paola Navone trained as an architect and says that she did not plan on becoming a designer. By Tay Suan Chiang

Published Fri, Mar 28, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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IN a field dominated by men, Paola Navone is a breath of fresh air. The 64-year-old Italian is an architect, product designer and interior designer all rolled into one. She is greatly admired by her peers and fans and talks to you like a good friend even on a first meeting. She does not play the diva card nor does she mince her words.

In Singapore for the recently-ended Maison & Objet Asia fair to give a talk, Ms Navone mentions that a member of the audience describes her style as "shabby chic". "I'm shabby but not chic," says the woman with spunky hair, breaking into laughter. "My style is more soft, when it comes to interiors and products," she says.

Her list of clients is an impressive one, all big names including Gervasoni, Armani Casa, Knoll International, Alessi, Dridade and Molteni. On the interiors-front, she has designed the Pane E Aqua restaurant in Milan, Point Yamu by COMO resort in Phuket, and the upcoming Metropolitan by COMO at Miami Beach.

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