Ogni pezzo è unico come la persona che lo indosserà, perché ogni persona è unica.
Each piece is as unique as the person who wearing it, because everyone is special.
— extreMida Founders / Debora & Flavio
Interview & Writing 王雪靜 Gogo W
Photography 徐子喬 Ziqiao Xu
Gogo： Before we start the interview, I have read the official website of “extreMida”. “ExtreMida” was founded by you two, Mrs. Debora & Mr. Flavio. Mr. Flavio specializes in gold-working design. Ms. Debora, you used to study graphic design and advertising graphics. You two met each other on a certain occasion, right?
Flavio: The current job is the second career field for both of us. About 10 years ago, we met each other when I was working at a handmade market located at Fortezza da Basso. I was the person who made the action first, I asked Debora if she want to have a cup of coffee with me. Cause I got up too early that day, that I need some caffeine.
During the conversations, we have much in common such as selling market, lifestyle… and so on. And passed about two or three years, we met up again then we began to do some similar works like antique object design.
I wasn’t working in this field all the time, I have changed many different jobs during my whole career. One day Debora asked me: “why did you stop making jewelry?” “ I have no idea, sometime when you end one thing, you will start another different business again,” I replied.
Actually at that moment when she made me that question which makes me rethink my situation and I deiced to back to my old profession. In the meantime Debora also has had an interest in gold-craft so I became her tutor, teach her the basic knowledge and technology. After that, she also signed up for a short-term course of Wax carving course at Comune di Firenze. From that moment, we decided to launch our business.
After a few years, we participated in a fair in France and after we back to Florence, we made up our mind to establish our very first fiscal store which also could be the studio, could let clients directly see what we are doing and also have a space for displaying our designs.
Gogo： Most of the time we as costumes are easy to follow blindly the trend or celebrity to buy the jewelry they promote, but not really select based on our own style or preference. However, from “ extreMida ” we can find out more elements representing “uniqueness” and “professionalism” shining in each piece of jewelry. As you guys said earlier, inspiration comes from every trip every detail of daily life.
Flavio： Exactly, sometimes when we are. walking on the street, any interesting details will quickly catch out eyes, so we will immediately return to the studio and try to rebuild it out. Of course, it works occasionally, sometimes it doesn’t work.
Debora： Sometimes our design will focus on “ocean” and “coast”.
Flavio： Just like this bracelet, the idea is coming from a “wave-eliminating block” that is common near the coast. This bracelet designed and produced by Debora uses a volcanic rock as the main structure, which was inspired by the coastal coast of Tuscany, from Livorno to Piombino. We retain the original shape of the volcanic rock itself, without doing too much polishing or processing completely present the natural appearance of the stone, which cost Debora nearly three weeks to finish the item.
Gogo： For you guys Mrs. Debora & Mr. Flavio, what is the connection between the jewelry of “ extreMida ” and people?
Flavio： From my point of view, you must transfer emotions to every piece of metal, and convert the intangible emotions into actual metal substances according to your thoughts, so that metals are no longer just pure substances but rich in emotion, feeling of the designer.
It just so happens that we are also talking about inspiration. Take this series as an example. It is called “Time City” (Ore Città). Before the production, we captured many urban scenes, street scenes, palaces, etc. through photography.
Gogo： Your designs are mostly based on natural elements, that piece of jewelry on your hand reminds me of the form of a cobra.
Flavio / Debora： It is a good association. Actually, we want to express the busy traffic of urban streets and the relationship between roads and alleys.
Flavio： Now we are also experimenting with many different designs, such as classical designs. Ideas have also extended from daily to the category of classic philosophy books, such as the Roman Ring from the Roman period and the Renaissance jewelry, which select high-quality natural gemstones, antique minerals from 2000 years ago or modern hand-carved sell objects, etc. they are basically collected from Turkey, Iran, India and other places through traveling.
Gogo： We could see that you guys have collected lots of precious ores, as well as many antique handmade pendants. Could they also be selected and used for customized design?
Flavio： Of course, if anyone likes a certain ore, we can customize jewelry for the customer, regardless of style, expression, ancient roman style, renaissance design… We will put 200% energy into every cooperation, will never face it with a casual attitude.
Gogo: The name of your brand is ” extreMida “. What is the reason to choose this name as a jewelry brand?
Flavio： From the past to the present we only working on “ extreme ” design, jewelry like rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings etc. The background story of “ extreMida ”, you could see it as two words, “Mida” comes from a Greek mythology, there’s a king named Midas. In the legend, anything will turn to “gold” once he touches it, so we merge these two words together and give our design a unique meaning “extreMida”.
Gogo: When you established “ extreMida “?
Flavio：About seven or eight years ago, around 2013 or 2014.
Gogo： What made you two decide to start an undertaking together? What kind of brand do you guys want to create different from others?
Flavio / Debora：We have to say it all comes from our enthusiasm for jewelry design. Foundation is always the most important thing, if you lose your passion then you couldn’t do anything. We don’t want to be formal, just use comment materials for commercial design, so that we are just like other designers.
Gogo：What is jewelry to ” extreMida “?
Flavio / Debora：It is everything. It is not just a job; it is a part of our life, which could be every single days. Sometime there isn’t any inspiration then just take a break; sometime your couldn’t stop your hand cause you want to make all the ideas out. Just like our early period of our business, we tool a vacation for more than one month, and then we tried our best creating from screech to reality and also completed our first edition of our corporate identity system.
Gogo：That’s right, that is the attitude of life that designers will have. I am curious about where is the inspiration coming from?
Flavio：Our inspiration comes from the shapes of nature, trees, plants, flowers, etc. Our first series is made by Debora, she used a technique called * Lost-wax which is a very old technique. And I use the flat metal to continuously fold and shape, this technique is called * Foldforming to make jewelry. Sometimes we will alternate different techniques.
In the past two years, we have actively participated in many big fairs and exhibitions, such as in Hangzhou, China, and France.
Debora： The point is that every piece of our jewelry is made by “ourself”, never ask others to produce our designs.
Flavio： The only process that we will ask professional to assist which is gilding, because it requires relatively large equipment, which is a process that we cannot perform.
Gogo：So in terms of market acceptance, which series do customers prefer?
Debora：If we talked about the preference, it should be “Flora” and “Aqua”.
Flavio： Recently “Africa” also have some followers.
Gogo：What about the average age of customers?
Flavio：For the Asian market, it is probably between the ages of 20 and 60; In Italy, almost 70% are over 35 years old. However, recently we found out that the age range is getting younger, especially people who are selecting graduation gifts for friends or buying new accessories for the summer. Because our store is closed from several schools, deliberately merge the working era and exhibition spaces together, this way it will indirectly arouse the passersby’s interest of us, this part could be said to be the focus of our store.
Gogo：Generally speaking, is there a huge difference between the types of jewelry selected by customers in Asia and Europe? Which style of design do they prefer?
Flavio / Debora：There is a very big difference. For example, a young Chinese designer came to the store few days ago. He liked our designs so much, like that large-size rings. Over 80% of the jewelry he choose are more classical.
Debora：Around two years ago we participated in a fair in Hangzhou. We tried to promote our design at the fair, most the Chinese people were very excited to see our jewelry. Because most of the Chinese have slender skeletons, we expected them to choose small items but in the end, they mainly choose the jewelry with larger shapes.
In the other hand French people prefer finer and smaller designs. “Flora” and “Aqua” are very popular in France.
Gogo：Do ” extreMida ” have any new design or ongoing design?
Flavio：I’m working on a new series “Paper”, which expresses the characteristics of paper through Fold-forming, which I am good at. Currently focusing on earrings; and Debora completed her latest series “Cartier” not long ago, which contains a complete set of jewelry.
Debora：Yes, it is difficult to explain where the my inspiration comes from. Because sometimes it comes out naturally and leads you to continue creating.
Gogo：We can perfectly understand that ” extreMida ” currently has many different jewelry series through your introductions. I am very curious, which series is you guys favorite?
Flavio / Debora：All of then are our favorites.
Debora： If you insist me to choose, I will say “Mediterraneo”.
Flavio：Yes, I think I will choose the same as Debora, because I know how much effort that Debora has put in this series.
Gogo：So basically every series is the result of the cooperation by two of you?
Debora：Almost everything. Sometime depends on the products we will using different techniques to present distinct effects, such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, hair accessories, etc.
＊Lost wax casting is a process in which various metals (such as gold, silver, brass or bronze) are made from simple to complex objects by casting original models or patterns.
＊Folding molding is one of the most elegant ways to carve metal into beautiful shapes. This technique allows you to transform flat metals into flowing three-dimensional shapes with natural, organic qualities. The final product is light and easy to wear.
A jewelry brand founded by two very talented designers Debora and Flavio around seven or eight years ago. It is located near by the Pitti Palace in Florence. A small space that might be missed.
Here you can find unique handmade jewelry that is different from traditional craftsmanship, free-spirited lines and seemingly unreasonable structures, after being carved by those special hands, it quickly turns into walking sculptures.
Open Time Monday ~ Saturday｜10:30-19:00
Address｜ via Maggio 71/r Firenze
Tele｜ +39 320 1912083