Violraviol Buenos Aires
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Issue 07

In the vibrant barrio of Palermo in Buenos Aires, home to a colourful mix of small shops, restaurants and hotels, is where you will find Violraviol, a design shop run by Cecilia Sonzini and Javier Gomez Dodero. The pair take granny trolleys and other accessories to new heights.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

“We make products to help you bring your groceries from the market, like shopping trolleys, reusable bags, and baskets” says Cecilia.  “They are the objects used by our grandmothers, but we make them super functional.”  Violraviol’s market baskets are made from discarded material found at fruit and vegetable markets, making each basket unique.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

As far as materials go, the company operates on the whim of what is in season and import regulations on food products coming into Argentina.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

Violraviol Buenos Aires

“The colours you see in a basket are impacted by seasonal produce. For example, if it’s banana season, the zunchos (straps) are yellow because that’s how the banana company packages their bananas. It’s amusing to depend on such a random factor but we have learned that those obstacles are a starting point, so we create based on what we are missing.” says Sonzini.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

INTERVIEW: Cecilia Sonzini, Co-Owner, Violraviol {Buenos Aires}

01 How did you become a designer of home accessories? 
In Argentina, there’s not a career that focuses on a product or object design. Industrial design is a career that approaches the industrial process and development, and interior design focuses on the design of spaces.
I graduated from interior design and took some industrial design courses. My academic training is based in both areas.

02 How often does Violraviol release new products?
Twice a year, however we are not very strict with the dates. We make new objects in between these two productions. For the most part, everything flows depending on the opportunities that appear to produce and the different ideas. We can also come across raw material that inspires and leads us to the realization of a certain products.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

03 What inspires you when you design?
We’re inspired by the ‘everyday’, our childhood, and the world that our grandmother’s immerse us with the smell of home made food. We also love the markets, their dynamism and their colours.  We’re inspired by the gatherings that are celebrated by friends and family around the table, in the working hands that give us a warm welcome, in the details of those gatherings, and the love that does conveys with the gesture of cooking and welcoming. We’re inspired by the textures, the raw material, threads, cotton, the colors that are provided by nature, and organic shapes.

Violraviol Buenos Aires

04 Do you entertain at home?
I love being at home. I really enjoy inviting friends and cooking for them, especially with my daughter, she is 16 years old and loves to cook.  Our table always has tons of details and soft textiles; We play with different fabrics and layer them. We have all kinds of tablecloths and napkins. One special characteristic is that there are no 6 glasses alike, no 6 sets of silverware alike, and no 6 wine glasses alike. So the spirit of the table is given by its mixture and by the diversity of textures. Many times, we set the table together, but when Violeta sets it by herself, I enjoy watching that, on one side she can not escape from what she grew up with, and at the same time she has her own touch, her character, her view on how to put it together. And there is her composition and her invitation. It’s easier for me to watch it from the outside, but probably when I set it has to do with becoming a part of.

Violraviol Buenos Aires
Photo Source: Violraviol

05 Is there something unique or special (a custom or tradition) related to entertaining guests at home in Argentina that you could share with us?
In Argentina we enjoy ourselves and get together at home.  It’s common to receive friends and family at our homes and cook for them. Personally, I like the informality about our get togethers in our culture.  One can begin to cook when the guests arrive, and have that as a part of the moment. I love the hours of table talk, the Sunday’s after lunch where naps are permitted on the couch after a long conversation, and then tea time arrives and again around the table.

A typical Argentine food is the Asado (barbeque), there’s always someone, a friend or family member with a terrace, patio, or back yard with a barbeque grill and that’s where the meeting takes place.   Our last campaign was inspired on this food; its photo shoot took place on a farm, kilometers away from the city. Some friends helped with the campaign, they came to cook and enjoyed a day outdoors. We basically recreated the atmosphere and the typical customs. Something very cherished by our culture.

The Name: Violraviol is a play on words. When Cecilia’s daughter was little, she loved to eat ravioli. Her name is Violeta. Cecilia’s sister, who is an excellent storyteller, would tell Violeta stories about a character named Violraviol over and over again.

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