Funky Guest Curator times, people! Every month we strive to showcase some of the most interesting and charming local characters who have initiated or are part of projects and businesses that we believe make our surroundings cooler, funkier and more beautiful!
This month’s curator is no exception and we are happy to introduce you Stefan Cosma, the Creative Director of Eclectico Studio, a place that brings together a unique selection of retro furniture & some mesmerising mid-century deco objects. Stefan is nonetheless a man of many talents, as he has joggled with being a TV presenter, actor, barman, art director, cook, photographer and the list can go on, but we’d better let him do the talking.
Known as a cultural socialite, Stefan has approached many creative ventures. We confess that we’ve got a soft spot for his recently showcased Hotel Discret, an exhibition that displayed a vast retrospective on graphic and product design made in Romania, in the ’50-‘90s.
We received Stefan’s visit at our showroom on one hot and steamy (literally) late afternoons of August. It was definitely an eclectic visit and in between trying out fabulous pairs of shades we’ve got the chance to get an insight into Stefan Cosma’s universe. Enjoy!
1. You started off as a photographer. How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
I think that starting my creative career as a photographer was very important in training my eye. It was the best thing to do in order to achieve a certain subtle perspective upon surrounding realities on one hand and, on the other hand, to develop a capacity of imagining and staging up surreal setups. Looking back to my early work, I tend to believe that I was always good at portraits. Now that I focus much more on other projects, I’m mainly (like everybody else) an Instagram photographer. If anybody’s up for taking a look, just follow @comsicosma.
2. What photographers from the past or present have influenced you most?
I was deeply moved by Robert Mapplethorpe’s biography. I’m not really into nudes, but I truly admire his work, his still lives with tulips in particular. When it comes to modern documentary photography, Martin Parr’s oeuvre, with its witty ironic substrate, appeals to me the most. Otherwise, there are numerous fantastic photographers from all decadeswho influenced me and I’d name here just a few: Helmut Newton, Andreas Gursky, Jurgen Teller, Terry Richardson, Leni Riefenstahl or Nobuyoshi Araki...Stefan is wearing DITA Condor Two 21010A sunglasses.
3. We know you like to travel a lot. How do you choose your travel destinations? Is there a favorite city/place out of all you’ve been to?
Who doesn’t?? I traveled a lot, mainly because I wanted to live in various countries during my 20’s. Then I had a period where I discovered long distance hitch hiking, my record so far being Bucharest – Sicily. That was a lot of fun! Mainly, I like to travel to new places and also countries and cities where I have friends to visit. That’s for sure a main criteria. I never have a favorite something, I strongly believe in diversity and eclectic choices & this philosophy is applied equally to traveling destinations.Stefan is trying on a pair of MOO EYEWEAR sunglasses.
4. How have these wildly different cultures you’ve immersed yourself into influenced your current projects?
Aside from influencing my current projects, these different cultures had an impact on a more personal level and had much to say in my becoming both as an artist and individual. I learned to speak several languages and along with language, there’s a cultural heritage and humor that comes along. Regarding my projects, it’s true that my journeys influenced my passion for interior design, mainly because, once arrived in a new environment, I immediately felt the need to decorate my (sometimes very small) habitat into a familiar space. Then again, I got inspired by local cultures and the many things I found in local flea markets. So yeah, my horizon expanded with every journey I took and learned through these experiences to be more flexible in mycreative approaches towards interior design. In Paris, I lived very close to the biggest Antique Market in Europe and my almost weekly visits there enriched my actual knowledge.
5. Tell us more about Eclectico Studio. On what criteria do you make the selection for the shop?
Eclectico Studio is a place that represents me a lot. It is a gallery that sells both vintage furniture + deco objects from the 2nd part of the 20th century & also contemporary art. The showroom changes interior decoration every 3 months, a strategy that leaves space for interior design experiments which must successfully integrate a broad range of objects – a task that can be very challenging sometimes! I’m very keen on selecting items that stand out through their particular design and pieces that are true design icons signed by famous designers. Another important criteria is the integration potential of a specific item into a very contemporary and eclectic habitat. I like a lot items that have a clear geometric structure but on the other hand, I’m also a big fan of objects that reflect an extremely individual approach /fantasy of it’s creator.Stefan wears a pair of THOM BROWNE’s TB-020B shades.
6. What has triggered your Hotel Discret project? How will it continue?
“Hotel Discret” was the title given to our exhibition of volumetric letters & other designs in public spaces (Romania 50’s-90’s) that we organized during the Romanian Design Week. I have a growing passion for all these metallic or plexi letters, for their outstanding fonts and the poetry behind the playful composition of letters assemblies. In time, this passion grew bigger and bigger so I decided to collect as much as I can. Once the theme of this edition of RDW was announced (Design in Public Spaces), we considered this was the perfect occasion for an exhibition of this sort. The number of approximatively 10K visitors during the 2 weeks the exhibition was on display at Palatul Stirbei, confirmed we were right to do so. I’m afraid that, for the moment, the only way this project will continue is through migration of retro public design into contemporary private design!The newly arrived exaggerated KAREN WALKER aviators Utopia.
7. How does Bucharest inspire you? How do you feel the vibe of our city is different from other cities you’ve been to?
Bucharest is unique in it’s eclecticism and full of extremely creative people with amazing personal projects. My long lasting friendship with some of them was the cause of my always coming back to Bucharest and also, one of the sources the source of inspiration for my own initiatives. I truly believe that the magic atmosphere of certain circles in Bucharest derives from a unique mixture of local inspiration mixed with international cutting edge influences, mainly from cities like Berlin or Paris. I think that the lack of a real and functional system in various domains turned out to be a fertile ground for creative people in terms of an experimental approach. In the end it’s a true fusion recipe with a dash of latino-balkanismo and gypsybashtanismo + all the above mentioned aspects.Stefan wears a pair of THOM BROWNE’s TB-015LTD-GLD aviators.
8. Must-have fashion item(s) in a man’s wardrobe:
A classy vintage watch, a quality belt, maybe a few jewelry items, clean underwear & obviously a very sexy pair of shades!
9. Most surreal fashion experience to date:
Oh geezzz, I remember once going to the famous DC 10 Club in Ibiza, dressed completely in pink. That was somewhere in 2002-2003 I guess…I had a pink bathrobe from Benetton, something pink on my head and pink Hawaianas. + most probably some illicit substances hidden in my underwear, not so sure about that, but I seem to remember it so...
10. Do you shop online? What is the most frequent item you get online?
To be honest, I keep forgetting the pin code to my credit cards. So I mainly pay cash, whenever I’ve got some on me. When I buy online I mostly buy flight tickets with other people’s credit cards.
11. Tell us why you think sunglasses are important for your style and outfits.
Sunglasses are very important, but not necessary for my style and outfit, but for my own eyes, that are particular sensitive to intense sunlight. Of course I look a lot better & sexier with some extravagant shades on my face, just like anybody else.
12. How do you choose your sunglasses? What’s the main criteria?
I like sunglasses that don’t glide from my big, sweaty nose while I’m dancing. I like classic black shades and any shinny metal insertions are always very welcome. I don’t seem to give any flyingfuck about the brand, but if I think a little harder, I must admit that I absolutely love to recognize my own sunglasses on famous starlets faces in the glossy gossip magazines...
13. Your signature style is:
colorful, sometimes classy. In general comsicosma.Stefan is wearing a pair of THOM BROWNE’s TB-700D sunglasses.
14. Which is your favorite piece from sunglasscurator.com and why?
I fell in love with the THOM BROWNE TB-700D, just because they are similar (but better) to my other vintage pair of shades. To be honest, I had a hard time to decide, curating art seems a bit more easy then selecting just one pair from the many fabulous ones on sunglasscurator.com.
15. Please associate your selected sunglasses with City.
I have just been in that little town Ravello, on the Italian Amalfi coast and I have to say there’s definitely a match.
Photos taken by Roxana Marcu at sunglasscurator.com showroom in Bucharest
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