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The exclusive interview with Studio PutmanFriday 18 December 2015
*Written by Carolina Costa
Born in 1964, Olivia Putman grew up in Paris with her mother, Andrée Putman, a designer, and her father Jacques Putman, an art collector, editor, and critic. Through family acquaintances and her teenage nights at the Palace, she got to meet some of the times most eclectic figures of the artistic scene. Andy Warhol and Yves Saint-Laurent were among them and she befriended Christian Louboutin and Vincent Darré. She took in a lot at this time, both intellectually and visually.
Olivia Putman is in charge of Studio Putman and she is definitely in love with her job. Before becoming a designer she had other experiences such as transforming old factories into artist studios and exhibition spaces. Her professional relationship with her mother Andrée Putman began when she went back to school to become a landscape architect. She followed her own path for twenty years; however she eventually came to work at Studio Putman and is totally smitten.
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Olivia has completed many great projects during her life. In 2008 she won her first international contest organized by Nespresso, which had a special affect on her life because at that time she was still working with her mother and she was so proud of her. She told her that day that she believed she was ready for the job.
For Olivia, confidence with her clients is very important. It is necessary for her to create a respectful relationship in order to achieve something great. Each new project sounds like a dream because her clients are very ambitious and demanding and they allow her to design wonderful and charming places for them.
However she does not work alone, in fact she has a team that she loves. They get along very well and she cannot imagine working without them. She even notes that she has a kind of admiration or fascination for the designer working with no team.
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Her style hasn’t changed much over the years. Her aesthetic is linked to one goal, in her words, “I try to imagine the right design for a purpose. I hope that my style is diverse, free, and generous. I love going from a subject to another, designing a cup in the morning and concentrating myself on a new hotel project during the rest of the day.”
Olivia Putman is a very open minded person and she believes that in order to create, you have to look and listen to everything in order to feed your creativity; even a trip in the subway can give you new ideas. Nature, ancient art and contemporary, listening to her children helps a lot. She tries to keep her eyes and ears wide open. Olivia fanaticizes that she imagined Mr. Eiffel’s office on the top of the Eiffel Tower and that it was designed by Studio Putman.
Olivia has no favorite brands, but what she loves is talented craftsmen with beautiful know-how (savoir-faire).