The world behind the world of Apartamento
It has been called “the world’s hippest interior magazine.” But to be honest, it feels like much more than that. Apartamento has been one of the most unique magazines of the past decade in terms of interior and lifestyle and this year they celebrate their ten year anniversary with a book; The World of Apartamento. In honor of this release, MENDO had a little Q&A with co-founder and designer Omar Sosa.
‘The space is never the focus for us; it all starts with the person.’
‘The space is never the focus for us; it all starts with the person.’
Hey Omar, congratulations on your ten-year anniversary! What has changed in those years since you started?
The magazine has evolved and matured in the same way that we all have over this time. Our initial team has grown into an amazing group of more than 10 people in Barcelona and New York. Our list of contributors has grown too, and we have reached a number of countries and people we only could have dreamt of 10 years ago. We are boosting our editorial line with new titles, like the cookbooks and the architecture series. And our brand is constantly expanding through new ventures with other brands, in the form of collaborations and the provision of services with our recently founded agency, Apartamento Studios.
How does one become the ‘world’s hippest interiors magazine’?
That’s not for us to answer. I guess by being true to yourself and your roots and believing in good work rather than only profits.
In the book, Michael Bullock wrote that Apartamento approaches interior design from an anthropological point of view. What do you think he means by that?
We are interested in the inhabitant; the house is the expression of someone’s life, the shell that packages all those stories and layers of life. The space is never the focus for us; it all starts with the person.
In that light, would you consider Apartamento really to be an interiors magazine?
Yes, it is, in the sense that we show interiors. But we have pushed the boundaries of what interiors magazines used to be.
How would you describe the style of the magazine, and how does that show in the book?
Apartamento magazine features extensive interviews with people at home in a rather compact format. This new book was never intended to be ‘the best of Apartamento’; I personally have never liked those kinds of books. They make me feel that I either came too late to the party and missed the real magazine or, if I have all the issues, they seem like a repetition.
For this book we wanted a different experience of consuming content and a different way of looking at the pictures. The World of Apartamento has no long interviews and the texts are limited to small captions under each picture. We have made a hardcover book with a much bigger format than the magazine. The photographs are mostly full bleed, and unlike in the magazine they are stripped of their context. Now the images go from cover to cover and form one constant narrative that transitions from one imaginary section to another. This book is closer to what a classic interiors book looks like, but instead of a singular vision or style of interior design, The World of Apartamento is made up of and photographed by around a hundred different people. It’s a celebration of diversity and inclusion unlike any other interior design book.
Your stories’ subjects vary from actresses, to designers, to musicians, and photographers, do you see certain interior aspects that return in particular professions?
It’s difficult to generalise, as we love to feature people that contradict what you would expect from them. But, in general, artists are probably the messiest of all of them, together with musicians. Designers and architects have the tidiest homes, and their places have a lot of inventions and smart ways to optimise space. However, the bigger differences come with age. Old people tend to have more interesting houses as you can read through all the layers of the years that they’ve been in the space, and of course they have more stories to tell.
Do you have one story that stands out for you, personally?
It’s really like choosing your favourite child. It’s hard to say; my favourite stories keep changing all the time.
What was the process of making this book like for you?
It first took a while for my colleagues Nacho and Marco and me to figure out the right format. After we knew the type of book we wanted I went through every single picture that we had featured in the first 20 issues, and then all the unpublished images as well. After that there was a long process of editing. It was exciting and painful at the same time, as we wanted to make sure the book had the best of all this material, while also keeping a consistent narrative and including as many stories as possible, so that everyone is represented. After that there was the painstaking job of licensing each image and finding the right caption, for which Maddie, Robbie, and Laura from the office in Barcelona did a great job.
What have you learned from it?
That we are lucky we only have to make a book like this every 10 years!
About the book
Apartamento is widely recognized as today’s most influential interiors magazine. International, well-designed, and simply written since 2008, it is an indispensable resource for individuals who are passionate about the way they live. Apartamento breaks the traditional magazine boundaries that separate home design from homeowner, and offers readers a glimpse inside the lived-in, often cluttered homes of celebrities and industry legends such as REM frontman Michael Stipe and indie screen queen Chloë Sevigny.
Five Amsterdam Uncovered contributors share their absolute favorite Amsterdam things from the book.
Made by MENDO
This book is unlike any other. And although there are more publishers saying that, we promise you, there’s absolutely nothing like this. Casper Reinders greatest interiors are collected in our…
The first MENDO publication of 2019 is a fact: Frame/Work, created in collaboration with Union, is a book that inspires every young metropolitan citizen.
Their books are better
"Sorry, we don’t sell magazines." Or do we? Here’s a list of our best books on and by magazines.
In light of the release of LIFE = CRAZY, we talked with the protagonist himself: Martin Garrix.
We had a moment to talk with Colette, the mastermind behind most of the recipes you’ll find in The Avocado Show book.
(New) Architecture titles
An overview of China’s architectural expansion, Mid-century modern classics, iconic architects, and local landmarks—here’s a collection of our latest books on architecture.
Interview with Ali Kirby, art director at DENHAM
In January of 2018, DENHAM released the book A Decade of DENHAM, in collaboration with MENDO. We talked to DENHAM's art director Ali Kirby, driving force behind the book, about…
There is no better way to see movie stars and musicians than through the lens of the Grand Dame of colourful, staged portraits: Annie Leibovitz.
After introducing Pie Aerts, it’s time for a chat about his first book ‘Tales From The Roads Less Traveled’, which is designed by MENDO (expected July 2019), the visual stories…
A sneak preview on our next book in the Streets Of... series
We're currently finalizing Streets of London, the second publication in our Streets of... series. Editor Mikel van den Boogaard learned that London can be considered as a street photographer's idea…
What’s new, classic and coming soon in fashion books
We consider ourselves to be pretty fashionable at times. And most of that is due to our extensive browsing through the fashion books we have. Here are six titles you…
The hyperreal, luminous and compelling work of photographer Alex Prager never seizes to amaze us. According to some guys at MENDO, she even made one of the best book of…
In our series Shelf Sessions we climb the shelves of some of MENDO's friends. In this episode: Jochem Leegstra, co-founder and creative director at ...,staat.
Jack Davison spends most his time experimenting with photography, which results in a body of work that consists of captivating images. For this Photographer’s Profile, MENDO chats with Davison about…
The best images from books at MENDO
Our books offer a treasure trove of thousands and thousands of visually inspiring images. MENDO will dive into the imagery regularly and dig up some of the best images around.…
Some favorite contributions
For our newest book MOAM and MENDO asked 100 Dutch creatives to show and tell us what fashion in Amsterdam is.
The ultimate starter kit
Fashion = big business, and to get you started, we compiled a short and simple guide with books to help you achieve fashion career success.
A year in review
2018 draws to a close, and what a year it has been. We made 12 books, used 31 km of wrapping paper, and sent Adam Katz Sinding to sign his…
First eCommerce platform ever to win SOTM
MENDO.nl has won the prestigious Site Of The Month at Awwwards. And that is A Big Thing.