Color Story

by Paola Lenti

My passion for color was born with me. As far back as I can remember I was involved with and attracted by materials and colors. I was very, very young, maybe five years old, when I received as a gift an album of colored collage paper. The first pieces I cut were dark orange and dark turquoise, colors that I still like today. It might sound bizarre, but each time I start selecting colors for a collection I recall that image of me cutting those pieces. 

I’ve always wondered how musicians understand notes. It’s a gift. So how do I remember colors? That, too, is a gift. It’s just how my mind was made. I have to be thankful for being given this ability of knowing how to interpret color.

While the idea for a color is instinctive, it originates from an abstract inspiration, which is then rationalized and conformed to the rules of industrial production. The color has to be viewed as a product, one with a guaranteed performance, lightfast and durable. After twenty years of research I have defined a wide palette of unique color hues that vary from almost imperceptible differentiations to the most contrasting shades. I approach a new project carefully, as if on tiptoe, recalling past experiences and exploiting what life has allowed me to learn. Many ideas fill my mind, from different fields, experiences, and stimuli. I try to put order to them, taking the best from each category.

I get inspiration for new colors from everything. But if I have to say definitively, I would say first of all nature. Nature already has done everything; we have just to be able to discover its solutions and use them. As we already have nature inside our souls, we just have to pay attention, listen, and get the answers.

Paola Lenti is a Milan-based textile and furniture designer.