Stefan Ormenisan is the founder and creative director of Mindthegap. I asked him how Transylvania influences his designs and what’s next for this interiors brand
When was the company started and where are you based? Mindthegap was born in 2016 as the main brand of our company, Global Art Production. We had a background in producing private label a wide range of wall art, serving big names in the industry. In 2016, together with my business partner Victor Serban, we decided to establish our own brand right here in Transylvania.
We began with designing and producing wallpapers all inspired by our evocative homeland and very quickly realised we had many more stories we wanted to tell. We started to expand our offering into a full lifestyle, which celebrates our passion for maximalism, colour and pattern, adding fabrics, furniture, lighting and accessories into the range, with many more product categories to come.
Can you describe the Mindthegap style?I like to say that we are contemporary craftsmen and our style is about telling stories, whether these derive from our own homeland or from places we have travelled to. From the unseen and undiscovered to the instantly recognisable and iconic, we pay homage to art, architecture, artefacts, culture, rituals and people from all four corners of the globe through our many varied collections, all which begin life here in our studio in Transylvania. For me, a Mindthegap interior is one that celebrates all the joy of a bohemian lifestyle with the spirit of wanderlust at its heart. (View the collections here)
How does your Transylvanian heritage inform the collection? Alongside the many collections inspired by global art and travel is our Transylvania Roots range; a collection of wallpapers, fabrics, furniture, cushions, lighting and wall art inspired by our own homeland.
Once an independent country, for centuries Transylvania was a melting pot of peoples, cultures and religions, from Saxons, Hungarians and Romanians to Szekely, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenians and Gypsies. Surrounded by mountains and forests, villagers were united in their communion with nature. Our ancestors were poor in resources but incredibly rich in ideas and inspiration, typical countryside homes were dressed in jubilantly embroidered textiles to soften wooden furniture and bring joy to the dark winter nights.
These joyous patterns and colours were an obvious place to start when we began the range. The latest addition of kitchen linens continues the story with beautifully illustrated napkins, tablecloths and aprons, in reference to the vast woodland and rolling hills that we feel so privileged to be surrounded by. It feels wonderful to celebrate our heritage and share it with a wider audience.
As well as the wallpapers and fabrics there are Mindthegap home furnishings including lighting and framed prints. Are there other areas you would like to diversify into? Mindthegap is always looking at new developments. With the team based in Transylvania, creating all our designs by hand, there is plenty of opportunity to explore how the original artwork can be interpreted into different products. There is a real sense of alchemy behind the story of each design.
We are really focused on creating a lifestyle brand that takes the Mindthegap aesthetic into exciting new product categories. The SS22 collection will bring some new ranges into our collection, such as handmade Anatolian rugs, wall lights or even some personal accessories. We are always excited by new projects and our goal is to achieve a complete range of homewares and accessories that can create a different lifestyle within your house.
Tell me about your commitment to sustainability Here in Transylvania we are surrounded by meadows and woodlands and it serves as a daily reminder of what nature so generously provides us; we ensure this is reflected in our work each day. Our wallcoverings are made using non-woven substrates containing FSC certified cellulose and only created from materials that have been sourced in environmentally-friendly, social responsible and economically viable manners. It is so important that this feeds into all parts of our work and in fact, the entire printing process, done in our factory, uses only eco-friendly water-based inks.
When it comes to fabrics, we only choose natural fibres such as linen or cotton, all of them being recyclable and using the finest quality, so that each product will endure, and hopefully be passed down for generations to come. Our aim is to create items that leave a minimal footprint on the environment. At the moment we are in the process of ensuring all our packaging is 100% plastic free by 2022.
(for details of the BIID’s Sustainable Specifying Guide click here)
Do you have a target customer in mind when you create a new collection? I believe that our customer is a person with their eyes open to the world, interested in culture and travel and who appreciates the authenticity of a well-crafted product made in Europe. We are not mass producers and we create products that last, with an original touch given by our multicultural heritage. We create maximalist collections that embrace colour and pattern for those who wish to live within a joyous interior that is vibrant and alive with personality and rich details.