Just like the striking rugs that they produce, Nani Marquina’s team at the namesake firm she runs in the Catalan capital is tightly knit.
Colourful, lively and easy on the eye, Nani Marquina’s rugs reflect the character of her hometown of Barcelona. “It’s a city that breathes creativity and has long been a pioneer of Spanish design,” she says.
The Catalan designer has been a leading figure on the city’s creative scene for more than 30 years. She launched her own brand in 1987 after finding a gap in the market for stylish, contemporary rugs, and used her experience as a pattern designer to create striking products.
“Spain had an economic boom in the 1980s, so a lot of brands were launching,” says Marquina. “Most designers were establishing furniture brands and homeware collections but nobody was making rugs so I spotted my opportunity.”
And she capitalised on it. Now working with skilled artisans in India, Pakistan and Nepal, Marquina has combined her design nous with ancient weaving techniques to craft rugs and carpets that are adored the world over. Today the brand works with an impressive array of designers: it has just launched a new range with Catalan artist Clàudia Valsells and past collaborators include the likes of Ron Arad and Jaime Hayon.
Operations are run from the third floor of a former textile-weaving factory in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighbourhood, which was recently expanded to include a new design studio courtesy of architect Stefano Colli. Here, vast windows illuminate a gallery-like archive of samples, while bright splatters of paint across the floor point to the premises’ past life as an artist’s studio. It’s a fitting venue, then, for a brand continuing the city’s rich creative heritage.
Carlota Marquina Art director and graphic designer “Aims to inspire people to imagine Nanimarquina rugs in their own homes.”
Jaume Borràs Quality and technical manager “Makes sure the quality of products is always as high as possible.”
Pau Rojas Sales and marketing director “Listens to customers’ needs and helps showcase the brand.”
Sara González R&D manager and product development “Develops the designs and does research on new materials and techniques.”
The daughter of famous designer Rafael Marquina, Nani Marquina studied industrial design before launching her brand. Her focus has always been on using traditional craftsmanship to create contemporary pieces. It’s an outlook she now shares with her daughter, Maria Piera Marquina, who is now the firm’s ceo, ensuring the family’s design legacy.
Clara Navarro Contract specialist and product designer “Works on contract projects with architects and interior designers.”
Carolina Rojas Communications and marketing “Plans, creates and spreads the brand’s message across different platforms.”
Cèlia Sánchez Operations director “In charge of production, logistics and warehouse operations.”
Maria Piera Marquina CEO “Keeps an eye on the future without losing sight of the day to day.”