Founder of CABANA Magazine

Martina Mondadori Sartogo

Martina Mondadori, founder and editor in chief of Cabana Magazine, has a timeless style that seems to transcend time and location. Her aesthetic is defined by bringing together varying colors, textures, and periods, to produce an authentic style that is inexplicably known when seen but difficult to describe in words. Mi Golondrina recently collaborated with Cabana on a very special tabletop collection. We were thrilled to partner with her and to learn more about her vision and her life in this month’s Mujeres interview.

Tell us a little about your childhood growing up in Milan and what you envisioned becoming when you were little.

Oh I wanted to be all sorts of things! Ballerina, doctor and even a teacher at some point. But I always wanted to be a mother, and this has been my biggest accomplishment with my three kids who make me proud every single day. Growing up in Milan is very cozy. It’s a small city, and, yet, it’s very creative. I am a real fan of my hometown, especially recently. It has a very good vibe.

You’ve talked about Renzo Mongiardino as a huge influence in your overall aesthetic; what other designers have influenced you and your vision?

Other Milanese designers such as Gio Ponti, Piero Portaluppi and Ignazio Gardella. Milan is an interesting mix of traditions and modernity.

When you launched Cabana, did you see a void in the market or was it more driven from your own style?  What goals do you have for Cabana in the next few years?

I definitely saw a void and somehow felt that the style I grew up with could have a comeback at that specific time. But one cannot just stick to one style, you need to make your brand feel inclusive of those styles that represent you. So you can get a more sophisticated #cabanamood or a more rustic one. One inspired by the Middle East and another one by Mexico or simply by a movie or a book you read.

What drew you to Mi Golondrina and how did you discover the brand?

I think brands are successful today if they are truly authentic. And Mi Golondrina is one of them. I first discovered it thanks to Lisa Fine on my first trip to Texas last March. And I reached out to Cristina shortly after, and our collaboration was born! Could not think of more well-suited brands than Cabana and Mi Golondrina.

Travel seems to be such a big part of your design aesthetic, drawing together disparate things from around the world to create a cohesive, colorful look. Where have you traveled recently that has inspired you?

My trip to Colorado and Utah last summer was incredibly inspirational. The colours and Nature in those places are truly inspiring.

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What three things are you wearing most from your closet now?

A vintage YSL blouse, a pleated Gucci skirt and an old pair of black velvet trousers.

How do you spend a typical day (schedule from wake-up to bedtime)?

The thing I love about my work is that it never feels the same. But, generally speaking, I wake up at 6.30 am, get my kids ready to school, walk the boys to their school bus stop and then walk Cosima, my little daughter, to her nursery school which is very cozy. I then head to the office, work with my team and very often have lunch there (avocado on toast with smoked salmon is a go-to). I spend the afternoon with the kids at home; I love helping them with their homework, it’s a way of learning new things for me too.

Finish the following sentence:  “My ideal Friday night is spent….” 

Watching a series on Netflix with some roasted chicken.

What two or three things should a person invest in when designing their home?

I think the most important thing is to understand what one’s personal touch is in a house. Whether it’s the furniture or the objects… I started collecting ceramics and antique textiles when I moved to London and the house is slowly filling up with these things, but these are what makes it feel like mine.