Deborah Martinelli Bonavia lets us see the future.
Deborah Martinelli Bonavia is exquisitely Italian – passionate, demonstrative and elegant – from a noble family that traces its lineage through eight centuries and with an art collector father and her mother from the Kütahya dynasty.
Excellence Magazine asked Deborah to use her expertise and network to bring you, in each issue, her distinctive view of luxury. With little prompting, Deborah tells us about one of her favourite topics: luxury, past, present and future. “The word Luxury is overused today, yet luxury is still elusive and distinctive when you find it. Luxury in the modern world is active, to get the best you need to hunt out the masters who live and breathe their expertise. Luxury is intangible, you can only appreciate luxury through experience. Luxury is something you can’t touch. It’s discreet, it’s not opulence. Luxury is private. It’s when you want to have something for yourself ” Deborah says.
“The Master Artisans who have, for generations, crafted products, know intimately both the making and the enjoying of the luxury experience. This luxury is personal to you and has the imprint of your personality. It is part of your life. I created my private network with people who I trust and who share my philosophy of life – my Unicus et Mirabilis (UetM), a members-only club offering unique and limited edition pieces that give form to clients’ dreams. This is the tradition of luxury from a generation ago – hand-crafted pieces produced specifically to a client’s desires – working with new technology and techniques. Everyone today uses the term luxury because they know it’s an important word. But with 90% of the luxury things you see, it’s just a word, and these things are without substance”, she says. “Discerning clients are remembering the experience of true luxury, and leaving the global companies to mass-market luxury products. The family businesses are reclaiming their traditional place and spreading their reputation across the world. With Unicus et Mirabilis I want to bring all these small family businesses together so we will make a strong impact on the luxury world in the future. These family businesses are each outstanding in their own right, as they have developed their expertise and reputations across many generations with a hope to continue their long-lasting tradition.
They are creating value in the businesses for the next generation: from the past to the future. My friends have always come to me for that “special something” they need as a gift or for their own life. Unicus et Mirabilis extends this service to all our clients and friends. Qamar Holding (QH) takes this one stage further – it’s a place where we can collaborate on Luxury projects. Its philosophy is connection with people. Qamar develops on a comprehensive approach combining Earth / Real Estates; Air / Jets; Fire / Cars; Water / Yachts under the power of the fifth element, the Moon representing connection, interactivity – Qamar.” Deborah mentions just two of the projects under Qamar, a unique Library House in London, which is a contemporary home designed around exceptional books, ancient and modern; and Lunar, a collection of residences in a private, unspoiled environment on a small Mediterranean island, both developed to the highest standards of design and True Luxury. The first aspect of luxury is privacy and dignity. The second quality comes from within: it’s being yourself, bespoking yourself. Only after you’ve found your luxury inside you can find your luxury outside. Deborah mentions a couple of people she respects in today’s luxury world. “Prosper Assouline is an old friend and is the most outstanding publisher today.
His limited edition publications are each extraordinary artworks which grace the best houses in the world.” Deborah’s enthusiasm is evident. “We favor things that are rare and precious, not for their price tag, but because theyenrich our lives. Chicness and glamour have nothing to do with money. In other words, ‘Assouline Publishing’ celebrates people who know how to enjoy the good life. ‘Foglizzo’s Family’ work must be experienced to be appreciated. The range of leathers and what he can do with them are unbelievable. He recently created an exhibition for blind children where they can enjoy these wonderful smells and feelings although they cannot see them.” Deborah admires people of pioneering deep spirit such as David Mayer de Rothschild. He’s a leading example of an environmentally conscious young entrepreneurs who will ensure our children to have a friendly environment in which to grow and live. “Rather than lecture people, or tell them off, or make them depressed, we used the power of a great adventure story to get people thinking about plastics in a new way,” de Rothschild says. “There are 46 thousand pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of our oceans, which is crazy. Let’s stop using non-recyclable plastic. Let’s use smarter plastics and recycle them. Let’s start thinking about waste as a resource.” David once said: “Respect the world as if it were your mother.” We all need this for our children. So where do you find Luxury today? Deborah answers: “The experience of luxury and the satisfaction from the personal connection marks the true connoisseur of Luxury. You need to be comfortable with yourself before you can experience True Luxury.” The real luxury is the privacy.