In conversation with Letizia Luperini

Co-Founder of Pamono, the Berlin-based online platform for vintage furniture and design pieces

In conversation with Letizia Luperini - illustration 1

A conversation between François-Xavier Trancart (on the left, CEO of Artsper) and Letizia Luperini (on the right, Co-Founder of Pamono)

Artsper is teaming up with the Berlin-based vintage furniture and design marketplace PAMONO to present you an exclusive collection of beautiful contemporary artworks side by side with timeless design pieces (find here). Our CEO François-Xavier Trancart sat down with PAMONO's Co-Founder Letizia Luperini to discuss their first-ever collaboration, their art and design favorites and much more. 

FX: Hi Letizia! Can you tell us more about your professional background and what inspired you to co-found Pamono? How did the idea for the company come about?

Letizia: I am actually a chemical engineer by training who only spent a few months in the lab after graduating, only to find out it was really not for me. After that I worked in various business and finance related roles including my last one before starting Pamono which was based in Zurich. During this time I was frequently travelling throughout Europe and that's when I really discovered the richness and diversity of European design galleries, with each one showcasing their own one-of-a-kind inventory. I realised quickly that I wanted to be the one giving the world access to these shops and collections from the comfort of their home by creating an inspiring and convenient shopping experience for them - and so Pamono was born.  

Letizia: My first question for you is also about the conception of your business. How did Artsper begin? Do you come from an artistic background?

FX: I don't come from an artistic background per-se. I grew up in Picardie, France and my childhood was spent surrounded by art and design, visiting for example the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille or the Centre Pompidou in Paris and I soon started to understand the importance of art in people's everyday lives. After my graduation, I saw the need for digitizing an art-buying environment that's been governed by the same principles for decades. It's hard enough for amateurs to voice their opinions about art in an industry that often seems pretty out of touch, let alone actually enter that world. This is why we started Artsper, to remove the entry barriers for art purchases and make art accessible to all through a big catalog for every artistic taste and budget. Art is as much emotional as it is visual, and Artsper aims to offer everyone a work tailored to their needs.  

FX: Since many artists also create functional items, art and design frequently converge. What, in your opinion, distinguishes design from art?

Letizia: I would say that, often, design can be considered art but art can only rarely be considered design. But I think there are a few important distinctions. Firstly, as an industry, design can be more collaborative than art. For example, a chair might be designed by Marcel Breuer but it is also produced by Knoll International. When you look at historically significant designs, there tend to be several original copies produced, whereas with art there is often only one original piece. This exclusivity is part of arts value. With design on the other hand, pieces are often produced in a series of identicals, and that changes the landscape for collectors and consumers because several people can aspire to the excitement and investment of owning an original. Often designers also approach their work with the consumer in mind, a chair can be artistic but might also need to consider its practicality. If you really strip it down, art is an expressive act whereas design tends to come from the angle of balancing a consumer's needs with innovation, all without sacrificing its aesthetics in the process. I don't think it's a coincidence that many great furniture designers start off as architects - design is just a more rational approach to art! 

In conversation with Letizia Luperini - illustration 1
In conversation with Letizia Luperini - illustration 1

Left: Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, Eperara Siapidara 12-Light PET / Right: Bernard Frize, Extension 2, 2023 (available on Artsper) 

FX: Pamono specialises in offering vintage and contemporary design, with a wide selection of mid-century, bohemian and minimalist pieces. What is your personal favourite style or era in design and what is your current favourite piece in your home?

Letizia: I do not have a favourite era, I have something I love from every single one. Generally speaking, I really like the work of designer/architects or designer/engineers like Jean Prouve, Charlotte Perriand, Mies van der Rohe, Ettore Sottsass. My favourite piece in my home is the Eperara Siapidara 12-Light PET Lamp by Alvaro Catalán de Ocón. It is my absolute favourite because it carries huge sentimental value for me. I lived with only a lightbulb above my dining table for 4 years waiting for the day when I could finally afford it. So every time I look at it I smile and I'm reminded of all the hard work I had to put in to get me where I am. That lamp combines everything I love: traditional craftsmanship in the handmade baskets done by Colombian and Chilean artisans, sustainability in the recycled pet bottles and of course the design, with that beautiful composition achieved by Alvaro.  

Letizia: FX, how would you describe your personal taste in art? Do you gravitate towards certain artists or periods? Have these been incorporated into your home?

FX: It's difficult to give a precise direction here, but all-in-all I follow my heart when choosing a new piece for my collection. I really like a form of figurative movement and I definitely favor contemporary art. My favorite artists vary all the time, but as steady constants I would name Alex Katz, Alex Israel and Chloe Wise. Lately I really appreciate the work of young French artists like Alexandre Benjamin Navet, Clément Davout and Jean Claracq, whose colorful compositions inspire me a lot.  

Letizia: And is there something in your home that people might be surprised to find?

FX: Short and sweet, but that describes me in a nutshell: a boar's head next to a vase by homeware-designer Anissa Kermiche. I am drawn to contrasts.  

In conversation with Letizia Luperini - illustration 1
In conversation with Letizia Luperini - illustration 1

Left: Ketabi Bourdet Design at Design Miami Basel, 2022 / Right: Exposition ''Les choses que j'ai vues'' by Bernard Frize at Galerie Perrotin Paris, 2023 

FX: What is the best interior investment you've ever made? And by whom? Is there an up-and-coming designer we should be keeping an eye on right now?

Letizia: In terms of IRR it has to be the Melting Pot table by Dirk van der Kooij. It has more than tripled its value since we bought it a few years back. In terms of upcoming designers it's hard to choose just one but I'm going to go for Noe Kuremoto. 

Letizia: Your Artsper offices are based in Paris, a city known for its numerous galleries. Do you have some personal favorites in the city?

FX: Yes I do, one of my all-time favorites is Perrotin, a partner-gallery of Artsper with branches in Paris, New York and Shanghai, who's currently exhibiting Paris- and Berlin-based artist Bernard Frize (available on Artsper). He uses great colors that remind me of oil on water. 

At Rue de Turenne you can find Almine Rech. She has a great eye for emerging artists. One of them is Farah Atassi, who exhibited her, in her own words, “figurative paintings that depict abstraction“, last year at the Picasso Museum in Paris. Other favorites include Mariane Ibrahim at Avenue Matignon and Ketabi Bourdet, located on the Rive Gauche, focusing on contemporary artists as well as promoting French and international 1980s and '90s design pieces. I also love to visit Galerie Michel Rein in the heart of the Marais and Galerie Hus if I am looking for a nice gift for friends. I love their selection of fine art prints by famous artists (available on Artsper).  

Letizia: Artsper undoubtedly makes the art market less daunting to a first-time buyer. What would you advise to someone buying their first art piece? What are some things to look out for?

FX: My advice would be to start small and keep an eye out for emerging talents. For this, Artsper has integrated a dedicated page with artworks by  promising young talents. You can easily browse unique artworks before the prices skyrocket! Then in case that artist gains recognition, you could see an exciting return on your investment! I would also advise limiting yourself to a specific medium or category at the beginning, so you can get to know that sector of the industry better and feel more comfortable investing in that area. Once you've gained a little more confidence and experience, you can start mixing things up.  

FX: Pamono has a strong emphasis on sustainability, featuring vintage and upcycled items that encourage sustainability in the home. Can you share more about your vision for sustainable art, interior, and design, and how Pamono supports these choices?

Letizia: Pamono supports sustainable consumption in two ways. The first one relates to offering only timeless and good quality pieces, most of which will last more than a lifetime. By doing so we aim to reduce the waste coming from buying and disposing of cheap furniture (sometimes called 'fast furniture', in parallel to 'fast fashion'). It's ok to redecorate and update your home as much as you want but be sure to buy pieces that you can easily resell or give away when you do so. The second one is with regards to supporting a circular economy by providing an inventory of more than 250k pieces of used furniture.Today, less than 10% of the global economy is circular meaning that more than 90% of resources used and consumed are not being reused. We are optimistic about where the design consumer is heading. When we started buying vintage design 10 years ago it was quite a niche space dedicated to collectors. These days, vintage design is becoming increasingly mainstream with a vast majority of Millenials and Gen Z consumers choosing to buy from sustainable sources. We're also starting to see a growing amount of interior designers measuring and working towards minimising the carbon footprint of their projects. By buying vintage design, they are able to massively reduce their carbon impact. Our Trade program tailored to helping interior designers and trade professionals with their projects definitely encourages this more sustainable choice.  

Their favorite artworks

Painting, Sans titre, sans mot, Jéko

Sans titre, sans mot


Painting - 116 x 89 x 2 cm Painting - 45.7 x 35 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Petite glace, Jéko

Petite glace


Painting - 92 x 73 x 2 cm Painting - 36.2 x 28.7 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Violette, Jéko



Painting - 41 x 33 x 2 cm Painting - 16.1 x 13 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Sunday Feeling on a Wednesday - II, Sophie Mangelsen

Sunday Feeling on a Wednesday - II

Sophie Mangelsen

Painting - 50 x 50 x 2 cm Painting - 19.7 x 19.7 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Un mot dans la main, Jéko

Un mot dans la main


Painting - 65 x 50 x 0.2 cm Painting - 25.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch


Print, La Tristesse du Roi, Henri Matisse

La Tristesse du Roi

Henri Matisse

Print - 34 x 48 x 0.2 cm Print - 13.4 x 18.9 x 0.1 inch


Painting, Traffic natural square XL, Ronald Hunter

Traffic natural square XL

Ronald Hunter

Painting - 104.9 x 104.9 x 3 cm Painting - 41.3 x 41.3 x 1.2 inch


Painting, Love on the brain, Hildegarde Handsaeme

Love on the brain

Hildegarde Handsaeme

Painting - 120 x 100 x 2 cm Painting - 47.2 x 39.4 x 0.8 inch


Design, FD 109 Wool Bouclé Sofa from France & Søn, Ole Wanscher

FD 109 Wool Bouclé Sofa from France & Søn

Ole Wanscher

Design - 82 x 132 x 74 cm Design - 32.3 x 52 x 29.1 inch


Design, Panthella Table Lamp for Louis Poulsen, Verner Panton

Panthella Table Lamp for Louis Poulsen

Verner Panton

Design - 70 x 50 x 50 cm Design - 27.6 x 19.7 x 19.7 inch


Design, 155 Shell Chairs in Oak and Teak by Børge Mogensen for Søborg Furniture Factory, 1950s, Set of 3, Børge Mogensen

155 Shell Chairs in Oak and Teak by Børge Mogensen for Søborg Furniture Factory, 1950s, Set of 3

Børge Mogensen

Design - 77 x 50 x 48 cm Design - 30.3 x 19.7 x 18.9 inch


Design, DE01 Sideboard in Oak by Cees Braakman for Pastoe, Cees Braakman

DE01 Sideboard in Oak by Cees Braakman for Pastoe

Cees Braakman

Design - 86 x 135 x 48 cm Design - 33.9 x 53.1 x 18.9 inch