This year marks the 30th anniversary of nanimarquina, a leading international interior design company from Spain and a benchmark for singular rugs that combine design with craftsmanship and innovation. So, many happy returns!
The guiding light behind the project is designer Nani Marquina, who studied industrial design at the Massana School in Barcelona before setting up a company back in 1987, which was to focus on “designing visually surprising rugs for people to enjoy”. To make the dream come true, Marquina launched her first contemporary-style rugs in Spain in a joint initiative with other top Spanish designers of the day, like Javier Mariscal who made his Estambul rug for the brand the same year.
In the early 90s, Nani Marquina discovered the craft tradition of Northern India and fell in love with the delicacy and quality of the work produced by its artisans. That was when she embarked on her boldest entrepreneurial venture, moving production to this part of Asia. This global business vision was to define the future of a brand that now exports 85% of turnover, worth around five million euros, to more than 65 different countries, including USA, France, Germany, Benelux and Italy.
The company's head office is in Barcelona and in a bid to get closer to customers, in 2010 they also opened a flagship store in Barcelona. In March 2014, they went on to open their first US showroom in New York’s Soho, which is visited by large numbers of US architects and designers looking to use their products in residential and hospitality projects. The space was created by the company’s in-house design team in the style of the Barcelona showroom and offices, so that American visitors can enjoy the products’ design, colours, textures and unique materials, and become acquainted with the handmade processes used in the brand’s rugs.
Nanimarquina rugs are handmade in countries with an ancient tradition of knotting and weaving, like India and Pakistan, and use different techniques and fibres like wool from Afghanistan and New Zealand, wool felt, recycled polyester and rubber, silk, nettle, jute and mohair. The brand places special emphasis on research into raw materials, and production and design processes. Their collection portfolio includes renowned international designers, architects and artists like Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Jaime Hayón, Doshi Levien, Chillida, Ron Arad, Tord Boontje, Milton Glaser, Neri & Hu, Javier Mariscal, Raw Color, Nao Tamura, Martí Guixé, Cristian Zuzunaga and Sybilla. Each element contributes to product aesthetics, making these colourfully artistic rugs unique to every space and individual.
The products can be found in facilities all over the world. The company’s latest projects feature hotels like Watergate Washington, Ett Hem in Stockholm or the Okko chain in cities across France. They can also be found in the flagship stores of Loewe Macao, Sulwhasoo Seoul or Misui Barcelona, and football stadiums like the VIP section of Bilbao’s San Mames or major multinationals like the Google Dublin campus.
Over their 30 years of history, nanimarquina have received many accolades for both products and business management. In 2008, they won the “International Women's Entrepreneurial Challenge Awards” granted by the Manhattan Chamber Commerce in New York, the small business category of the “DME Award” in Tallinn (Estonia) in 2011, which rewards design management in Europe, and the Spanish National Design Award 2005. For their products, nanimarquina has also received multiple awards including BoY (best of the year) 2015 in the American magazine Interior Design for its Melange collection by Sybilla, the EDIDA awarded by Elle Decor in 2015, Silver Delta 2015 and Metropolis Likes award for the Rabari series designed by Nipa Doshi+Jonathan Levien and the prize awarded by magazine Wallpaper 2014 for the Earth rug from the Natural collection and Wallpaper 2013 for the Chillida rug collection.
And how about the future? Well, it looks like they’ve got it all sewn up! In 2005, Maria Piera Marquina, the family's second generation and current CEO, came on board. To prove the point, on April 5 during the Milan Furniture Fair in Milan, founder-designer Nani Marquina and her daughter blew out the candles together on a symbolic birthday cake while guests lit improvised sparklers to mark nanimarquina’s 30th anniversary – a stirring event to match the delight brought by rugs that also have a social dimension: the company’s charitable work for organisations like Care&Fair and their Kala Project supports a school for Indian artisans’ children.