An Early Believer

Ornareís Claudio Faria grows with the District



Claudio Faria and Karent Sierra at the Ingrid Hoffman Latin D'Lite Book release Party at Ornare in the Design District
Claudio Faria brought the Brazilian design brand Ornare to Miamiís Design District almost 10 years ago and it has proven to be a perfect fit. We recently caught up with Faria at Ornareís new location at 4040 NE 2nd Avenue to talk about the District, international esthetics and Second Saturdays.

Ornare is a Brazilian based company that is a leader in the design business. Why was it important for you to open a showroom in the Miami Design District?

We decided to come to the United States from Brazil in 2005 and we had to choose a destination to host our first showroom in the States. After studying the various markets we thought that Miami was a good beginning for us. It was a very vibrant and growing city Ö In 2005-06 there was not a lot going on here. There were some design companies that had been here like Holly Hunt, and Janus et Cie, so we believed in the Design District. We believed the potential was here. We believed in it from the very beginning, and itís worked so well that Prada took our old space!

Following up on that Ė What do you think of the fashion/design mix that is taking place here?

I think itís naturally mixed, itís naturally blended, so whatís being done here is only unique from the perspective that the stores are very close to each other. But fashion and design are totally connected. Itís always been connected and being here with all these amazing fashion brands only contributes to the design companies. So customers come here and shop for clothes, see whatís out there in design Ė in kitchen design, or they can see cool closets and go to good restaurants that are not cookie cutter, but real amazing, original restaurants.

Whatís your favorite restaurant? M.C. Kitchen

Why?

Because Dena Marino is an amazing chef. They did a very good job. It feels very good being there and itís right across the street!

Can you tell me how you think the Brazilian esthetic differs from the American esthetic?

I donít think there is a Brazilian esthetic, or Italian esthetic, or an American esthetic. I think that esthetic has become very international. I think there are different takes on design, and I think the American consumer is enjoying a more modern style. We are opening our second showroom in one of the most conservative markets in terms of style - Dallas. We are going to a market that is known for being traditional but we believe that there is an important change going on right now and that consumers are much more geared toward products that are designed with thought behind them, that are sustainable, that are environmentally friendly - so the consumer is taking into consideration many more factors when deciding on a purchase.

You have recently decided to participate in the Design Districtís monthly gallery walk on Second Saturdays. What prompted this?

Many artists need a place to show their work and they donít always get the opportunity, so we decided to open our space for up-and-coming artists. Weíve always believed in doing that. We like to host and we like to participate. People come here to see the art, but they also get to see the showroom and that helps people to get to know us better. They see the art and they see the product. Itís the perfect blend.