"My soul settles when I'm in Mexico."
Kim Ficaro has been one of New York's leading interior stylists for over a decade. After graduating from the NY School of Visual Arts with a BFA in sculpture, she worked her way up, assisting some of the best stylists in the business. In 2006, she became style editor of the original Domino Magazine until its closing in 2009. Since then, she's worked as an independent stylist, editor, author and housewares designer. Kim is the co-author of The Inspired Home, published by Rizzoli. In 2014, she launched a capsule housewares collection with Canvas Home. In fall 2016, she's launching her own line, Totem Home, a collection handmade in Morocco and Mexico.
Photo: Andrea Gentl & Martin Hyers
What was your pivot point?
There was no real specific point for me. It's fluid. I've been a stylist for over 10 years, and there was a point in my styling career where I knew I needed to shake it up, adapt to change, dive deeper into other projects. Moving from one job to the next and never stopping was going to catch up with me at some point, and I didn't want to burn out. I made a book with a co-author, and that was a big stepping stone. I did a small capsule collection with a home line, and started working on interior projects, residential and retail, and now a small consulting project on a hotel in Mexico. My biggest "now" project is starting Totem, my home line. It's a mixture of textiles, ceramics, furniture, lighting and more. It's being made in Morocco and Mexico. It feels scary, unknown and exciting all at the same time. A challenge that I know I'm ready for now. No looking back!
Photo: This is a room in Casa Violeta, a hotel in Tulum that I've been slowly working on and helping consult on.
What advice would you give someone going through their own transformation?
Try your best to listen to yourself. Transition times aren't always the best for making big decisions. Take pause, be humble, listen and learn. Let it feed you, then you'll fly.
Photo: My studio, where I love to work.
Are you being guided by a mentor? Who and why?
I've had many amazing mentors and crazy-inspirational people in my life. I went to art school, studying fine art and sculpture and had many incredible teachers. But when I realized I wanted to be a stylist, in 2000, I was working at a shop called Lake in the East Village. Lauri Faggioni was the owner. I worked for her in her shop, and we would make the most beautiful animals out of vintage fabrics. I just wanted to be in her world and help her create her visions. I was inspired by her to think differently, express myself and build communities. During this time, I met the one and only Sibella Court. She was a huge collector of Lauri's animals. I started assisting Sibella for a couple of years, then met Christine Rudolph, one of the best stylists that ever was. These three were pivotal people in my life. From there, I followed a path, my own. I've always been curious, wondering, searching as a stylist does.
Photo: The Mexican markets are the best in the world.
Where's your soul place?
My soul place is absolutely Mexico. For the past two years, I've been going often. My soul settles when I'm there. The warmth of the people, the flavors of the food, the beauty in the craft, the history, the richness of the culture.
Photo: Todd Nickey, the co-author of my book 'The Inspired Home' owns this shop in Los Angeles...so beautiful and inspiring!
What do you want to do next?
I'm doing it. Totem, my home line! Then, maybe design a small hotel on the beach, from scratch. And possibly another book.
All images used with permission of Kim Ficaro.