COVER: Modern Carpets & Textiles for Interiors - Spring 2007
modern spring 2007
Ros Weaver meets our guest editor Nina Yachar whose Milan gallery Nilufar with its classic modern designer furniture and carpets makes its mark in a city synonymous with style
NILUFAR Unless you are a gazelle-like beauty with a shopping budget the size of a third-world country’s debt, you can feel very out of place in the narrow granite-paved streets of Milan’s fashion district. But Nina Yachar is not someone you could imagine would ever feel daunted. In fact you rather get the feeling that her neighbours at Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni etc. are more likely to feel overshadowed by her presence. Yachar’s Nilufar gallery oozes the kind of style that, rather than following trends, inspiresthem. Fabulously-heeled shoppers pause outside to admire the eclectic collection of 20th century and contemporary furniture and carpets put together in a way that is at once zany and utterly tasteful. Yachar came to Italy from Tehran as a fiveyear-old and followed in her father’s footsteps, opening her first shop selling oriental rugs in Milan in the 1970s. But by the 1990s the market for these was in decline. “So I introduced furniture. It would have been hard to survive just by selling carpets. My work is based around my displays, creating atmospheres where the furniture supports the carpet and vice versa. People are more confident about carpets when they can see how they can hold together a decorativescheme.” These days her client base is international, numbering American, British and Chinese collectors alongside the stylish Milanese. Yet Yachar’s first love is the product of her homeland. “I am rarely impressed by the knotting and finish of contemporary Nepalese carpets. The only ones I like are Iranian,” she admits. “It’s the hardest production to control because the weavers have a mind of their own and don’t like following precise designs.” So she commissions rugs to be made in Iranian villages where “People have a certain pride.
These are much to commercialise because they are not produced in high quantity.” For this year’s Salone del Mobile Yachar is showing rugs designed in part by American Haynes Robinson and in part by their Iranian weavers. Juxtaposing these, in typical Nilufar style, will be contemporary hammered aluminium furniture by Israeli sculptor Harush Shlomo and lamps by Chinese design consortium XYZ Design, with ‘Corset’ shades covered in lace and dripping with jade beads. A suitable tribute to the world of fashion.
Top: Nilufar gallery in
Milan, showing Olga
Above left: Target
carpet, Verner Panton,
display on via della