Have You Met: Daniela Tasca York
Studio Gabrielle chat with Daniela Tasca York, winner of BBC2's The Great Interior Design Challenge, for the third in the series 'Have You Met'. Daniela previously worked in fashion design for 15 years, with her designs featured in both Vogue and Elle. Inspired by fashion, film, photography, travel and architecture, Daniela’s style is very much influenced by big names such as Tom Ford, Gucci, Alessandra Rich, Wes Anderson, Jürgen Teller, and Terry Richardson.
Congratulations on winning The Great Interior Design Challenge. For anyone who doesn't know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
It was an experience of a lifetime and I feel incredibly proud to have been part of the show. My previous career started designing optical frames for Kirk Originals. It was supposed to just be a two-week work placement but the CEO gave me the opportunity to design a range. He then took my designs to Paris Fashion Week and then into production.
I then gained a 1st class degree in fashion and textiles and won an award for 'The Protege Project', the prize was a job interning at Matches. After 3 years there, I left to have a baby. Whilst on maternity leave, I decided to pick up a camera and shoot fashion, beauty, weddings... anything. I have also styled shoots, curated fashion shows and art directed for brands.
Where has your love of interior design stemmed from and what made you apply for the show?
My love for interiors goes hand in hand with my love for design. I'm an incredibly visual person so my surroundings have to be interesting or beautiful otherwise I get a bit stir crazy. A few years ago my little family and I moved to Ibiza, this was a beautiful time in my life and it fuelled my interior design fire. Alas, we missed 'home', my family, the hustle and bustle of London so we moved back to the UK. Within a week of returning, I saw the call for applications for the show and it seemed like fate.
What was it like being judged by industry giants, Daniel Hopwood and Kelly Hoppen?
Daunting. Terrifying. Gut wrenching. But most of all, an absolute privilege. Every time they came into film our 'scenes' they gave me so support, advice, constructive criticism. Most of the time you saw me crying was down to either Kelly or Daniel giving me pearls of wisdom, it made me even more determined that this is what I wanted and needed to do with my life. They both have this special air around them, you can help but hang off every compelling word.
What advice would you give to aspiring designers with no prior experience or training, like yourself?
My advice would actually be to go and get any experience you can. Get a degree or do an online course. In my previous career, I ran collections, productions, budgets and timescales and this has really helped with managing my projects now. It would also be to realise that the creative part of being an interior designer is a very small percentage of what we do. Most are schedules, budgets, management of tradespeople, sourcing, sometimes even emotional support for your clients. It won't happen overnight but it will put you in good stead for opportunities and success.
Source: Sophie Robinson
Do you think your love of international living in Ibiza and Mallorca has influenced your career path?
Without a doubt. The style and surroundings were one of the main factors for moving to Ibiza in the first place. There is this natural 'cool' atmosphere that seems to be there. I think it has something to do with the vast amount of creatives that move from all over the world to reside in beautiful Ibiza. All those cultures and influences play out across the island and feed into the architecture, the interiors, the fashion and the products. It has a unique rawness that isn't at all contrived. It has taught me to be loose, natural and embrace eclecticism. Mix the unexpected and see the beauty in the simple and the luxurious.
You include your own artwork and photography in your designs, is this an integral part of your design style?
When designing, I go into a zone where I build a story in my head, I imagine my clients, the colours, the atmosphere, the lighting, the scent of the room. With this I also build an image of things that would work and if I then can't source such items I then go and create those with the client in mind. For art in particular, I like to show my clients a range of options and if nothing quite ticks their boxes I then make something bespoke. It's a really lovely, personal part of the process.
Who are your go-to brands and products to use in your projects?
Oh, there is such a vast range but for the high street, to mid range, I love West Elm and Swoon Editions. My favourite is French Connection, it has some really stand out pieces. For a more luxury client, I like to go for something by Rick Owens, Apparatus Studio, Kelly Wearstler and Michael Verheyden.
Where do you draw inspiration from? Are there any designers or architects you reference regularly?
I draw inspiration from everything, I never switch off. Recently, I found The Handmaid's Tale so inspiring, I watched it over and over to soak it all up, it was a visual feast for the eyes and I lived for the dark drama of it all. I also am completely obsessed with mid century architecture, architects such as John Edward Lautner and Carlo Scarpa were true geniuses.
A little birdy tells us you’ve been assisting for Kelly Hoppen. How was that? How would you compare the DIY hands on approach from the GIDC to a professional design studio?
For me, Kelly Hoppen is an icon not only in design but in business also. It was invaluable to see how she works and how respected she is amongst the talented studio team. It was a world apart from the crazy GIDC days, no creative challenges for a start (thank goodness!) and everything is run like a well-oiled machine. It takes a team to create something special. At Kelly's studio we would spend days building schemes and mood boards, developing designs and throwing ideas around.
What’s next for you?
It's been a whirlwind since the finale aired at the end of January. I am now running a studio, a fantastic team and have many exciting projects on the go. As you can imagine I haven't had the chance to breathe yet, there's lots more that I want to achieve for the next year, I'm a workaholic and fiercely ambitious. I just need a few more extra hours in the day.
What do you think of Daniela Tasca York and her fashion inspired designs? Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to follow us on Instagram @studiogabrielleuk.
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