OHMYBLUE: A JEWEL WHERE ART MEETS FASHION IN VENICE

Gallery space, photo: Riccardo Banfi

Is it a dream, is it reality? This immaculate store was a dream come true for its creator, whose goal was to bring together international artists and their unique work to present a new image of luxury to the public. Step inside and you will see eye-catching jewellery, intriguing decorations and fantastic fashion in Venice. But we’ll let Elena tell the insider story of OHMYBLUE:

Tell us a little about OHMYBLUE: how did the project start, what motivated you to create a collection of such diverse objects?

OHMYBLUE started as the embodiment of Elena’s inner gifts: good intentions, spontaneity, intuitiveness, broad vision. It’s a never ending process through which we endlessly redefine our own goals and language.

Our project is to create a space for fashion designers and contemporary jewellery artists (emerging and established ones) operating in very different areas of this art: conceptual, design, fashion, historical research, aesthetic research and so on. We make them live together between our walls and juxtapose them letting boundaries expand.

The central idea of OHMYBLUE is our style and identity and is a result of the 10 years Elena spent working in the retail business. She brought her experiences together in order to create something different, meaning that we choose to focus on a retail experience which is emotion-based.

How do you define yourselves? Is OHMYBLUE a jewellery store, an art gallery, an artisan showroom?

Well, OHMYBLUE holds in its own name clues of its nature: a dream-like situation in which you can encounter some of the most beautiful things great contemporary artists are creating. OHMYBLUE is an exclamation: expression constituted of one or more words in a tone that denotes sudden and lively reaction in terms of feelings or affections.

As our project is something that you just do not find anywhere else, we let OHMYBLUE be identified by our customers, collaborators and friends, so in the end we are many things: a concept store, a shop, a gallery, a boutique, a spaceship.

Photo: Riccardo Banfi

How do you choose the artists that you feature? What do you look for: unique materials, an atypical style or a certain story for a product?

It just resonates in you. It’s like listening to a beautiful song. Sometimes it’s even a love one.

The first step is falling in love with something. The second is to think about its actual selling possibilities out of the designer’s studio. A big part is also made by the dialogue the creators are willing to develop with us.

So, in the end, this process implies empathy, a good eye and a daring soul. We don’t look for characters or hobbyists and we are not interested in friends of friends or young artists with an incredible record of shows because sometimes that’s all they have. We are aware about what we want but especially about what we do not want.

Ute Kohlar | Photo: Riccardo Banfi

What are some of the most unique items that you’ve had on your shelves?

Unique pieces are the core of our collection. How to describe beauty? You really must come here and delight your eyes with our selection and our stories.

I imagine Venice as a more traditional city, is there a place for contemporary art and style? And how stylish are the women stepping into your store?

The word “tradition” is something we try to shy away from because it became an excuse for exploitation and for bragging about a non-existent “venezianity”. Venice could be the perfect place because its cosmopolitan history drove the city to a “culturally diverse” attitude that is still alive today and to which I belong. But a lot got lost along the way and a lot must be done now. OHMYBLUE is a business but it invests in culture.

Our clients (both women and man) are different but everyone has a very distinctive style. Nonetheless the word “style” is abused and deprived of its meaning every day. So, in the end we love our clients especially for their differences. By choosing to buy here, they turn out to be the bravest because they refuse to follow a given idea of “style”.

Issey Miyake dress, photo: OHMYBLUE

What are the best souvenirs we can get at OHMYBLUE at the moment?

Talking about “souvenirs” is tricky here in Venice!

OHMYBLUE is special because once here you can get glimpses of outstanding goods from all over the world like Costa Rica, Japan, U.S.A., Germany, Spain, France, U.K., Ukraine, Austria. Far from being a “Tower of Babel” you can find here “souvenirs” from all over the world.

Of course Italy is present too. The Italian artists we are working with come from different areas of the country giving you a broad idea of what’s going on here, which is a lot and must be encouraged and protected.

 Issey Miyake Bao Bao Bags and Amy Tavern brooches as displayed at OHMYBLUE, photo: Riccardo Banfi

Issey Miyake Bao Bao Bags and Amy Tavern brooches as displayed at OHMYBLUE, photo: Riccardo Banfi

Once we step out of your store, what should we visit in the area?

Our area is particularly interesting as you will be able to visit some of the most famous spots in town; the neighbourhood itself is the liveliest.

OHMYBLUE is placed between three famous spots you should not miss: Casa Goldoni and its enchanting courtyard; Frari’s Church because of its Titian’s Assumption and its wooden choir stalls; Scuola Grande di San Rocco and its Tintoretto’s paintings.

Between these spots you will be able to find one of the few places in Venice in which you can actually cross the Grand Canal on a Gondola. Once on the other side you should visit Palazzo Fortuny and then go visit Giorgio Mastinu Fine Art, the smallest and greatest art gallery in town.

What is the best kept secret in Venice? Maybe a hidden café, a gallery or a great spa?
As it turned out that eating well in Venice is one hard task, I think your readers will be happy to know where to eat a perfect meal so here are our suggestions: Trattoria Antiche Carampane, Osteria ai Artisti, Osteria alle Testiere, booking required!

There you go, you’ve got half of your next holiday in Venice sorted. And for some extra tips, check out Elena’s Guide to Venice, a list full of delightful local delights and talented artisans to try when shopping in Venice. If OHMYBLUE makes it on your list (and could it not?) don’t hesitate to show us the goodies you purchased. Happy travels!

 

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Chiaralice Rizzi