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Isabelle Valembras-Dahirel

  • Art & Design Consultant
  • Ambassador for Venice, Italy
Isabelle Valembras-Dahirel Ambassador for Venice, Italy
©Ivan FayardAdagp

Championing contemporary design culture

Dividing her life between Paris, Milan and Venice, Isabelle has collaborated in France and Italy with the most prestigious names in design and art, including Musée des Arts décoratifs - Paris, Fabrica, Rossana Orlandi, and Nilufar. She was artistic advisor to the Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati (French Embassy in Rome from 2016 to 2020) then partner of the artist agency Thierry Kauffmann, she now supports artists and designers in the curation and production of their events, notably at the Salone del Mobile in Milan where she has worked with Bruno Moinard Editions, Manufacture Robert Four, Ecole Camondo, VIA-Le French Design, and Rota & Jorfida. Since 2014, she has written the art and culture chapters of the Louis Vuitton City Guide in Milan, Venice and Paris.

What does craftsmanship signify for you?

Above all, it is manual dexterity guided by the assimilation of knowledge acquired through academic study and practice. Also, today more than ever, craftsmanship signifies the need to experiment, to safeguard tools and expertise, and to pass them on to the next generations.

How does craftsmanship feature in your work and life?

A handcrafted object brings inner calm, instils a sense of wonder and contributes to the pleasure of life – all notions developed by the neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik. I'm constantly on the lookout for new talent whose creations display these qualities.

Do you have any stories about the artisans you have selected?

Master glass artist Antonio Dei Rossi crafts figurative murrine with a surgeon's precision. I first saw his work at Caffé Florian, during Venice Glass Week 2019. A visit to Forcolaio Matto, the workshop of Piero Dri, is a first step towards understanding life on the lagoon. Barbini and Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua represent the finest Venetian tradition, they collaborate with interior designers worldwide.

How would you define excellence?

An idea, passion and the skill of the hand, all fully mastered, with a touch of madness thrown in.

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