Issue Date: 2018 MARCH, Posted On: 3/7/2018

03062018 Renowned Designer Juan Montoya Over the Moon about New Area Rug Collection with Stepevi
Lisa Vincenti

Celebrated New York designer Juan Montoya debuts the textural Moonlight area rug collection created in collaboration with Turkish rug atelier Stepevi.

NEW YORK -- At high-end rug atelier Stepevi's Soho boutique, renowned Columbian-born, New York-based interior designer Juan Montoya unveiled his textural new area rug collection, called Moonlight, to U.S. audiences on March 6.

Moonlight collection features four captivating designs: Moon Island, Moon Rocks, Luna and Stellar -- all handcrafted from wool and high quality viscose. The striking range draws inspiration from constellations, planets and cosmic analogy as Montoya translates the significance of the universe into an everyday vernacular.

Crafted in Stepevi's Turkish facility, where the company is based, the rugs are designed for both residential interiors and contract settings, and are available in custom colors and sizes.

Stepevi launches Moonlight, a range designed by Juan Montoya for both residential and commercial applications, at its New York showroom in Soho.

Stepevi co-founder Aysegul Yurekli Sengor, a long-time admirer of Montoya, approached him with the idea of creating an area rug collection. Stepevi occasionally collaborates with designers but more often handles its new collections through its in-house team, she said. So inviting Montoya to create a new line is somewhat of an exception rather than rule.

While Montoya had created an area rug collection in the past with Stark Carpets, Moonlight is dramatically different. "Going to Stepevi's factory workshop and seeing how it is done gives you a sense of possibilities and ideas," the AD Top 100 designer told RugNews.com during a tour of the new line, which took about a year to create. "I always sketch and come up with ideas not only for carpets, but also for furniture, lighting, and different products."

Designer Juan Montoya and Stepevi co-founder Aysegul Yurekli Sengor celebrate the new Moonlight collection posing in front of the Moonlight collection's Moon Rocks rug.

Montoya's inspiration behind the range was based on his pondering and contemplating the moon and all the universe can bring, he said. "We informed Juan of all the different textures we could achieve on the surface and then he came up with the concept of the moon being the center of the collection and the power of the moon," said Sengor.

In this exclusive Q&A below, RugNews.com picks the designer's brain to learn more about how he uses area rugs in his own work and how others might choose to use his Moonlight collection.

Your interiors often create a sense of depth or dynamism, did you approach Moonlight the same way?

JM: This [the Moonlight area rug] is an element that really creates an impact ... it gives you a sense of a tapestry. Not only can you have it on the floor, you can also have it hanging, like a painting. That's an amazing experience.

The dramatic Moonlight collection Moon Island rug, a collaboration between designer Juan Montoya and Stepevi, features tones of grey, ecru and navy blue.

What kind of interior do you envision this design in?

JM: I envision it in a very large space, as well as a small space. My theory is that when you have a small space, you should bring in big, bold things. Not many; it could be two or three. But, bring those elements into any little space and it becomes bigger. 

Where do area rugs fit into the whole process of an interior design?

JM: If you're someone that doesn't know how to go about selecting furniture, I would select the carpet first. It's the starting point in terms of color, form, volume. That, altogether, helps you realize your dream.

From the new Juan Montoya Moonlight collection by Stepevi comes Moon Rocks with border in red wood and pebble gray.

Is that how you typically approach your interiors?

JM: I approach interiors based on client relationships. I approach the spaces that I do for clients based on where they are geographically. In those terms I have to think of the client more. I think that the carpet is very important, but can come in as we dialog with the client as to what they want. 

Do you envision the collection being used in commercial settings?

JM: It would be beautiful in the lobby of a huge hotel. I understand that it was purchased by a big Pakistani conglomerate when it was first introduced in Europe at Maison & Objet. It has an international language because we are all attracted by the moon. If we talk about the moon or walking on the moon, we feel this way.

Samples of the new Juan Montoya Moonlight collection show various color options.

How important was getting the right texture?

JM: The texture is what makes the carpet. Texture is everything in life.

That's very much how you approach all your designs isn't it?

JM: Yes. I think that if you have a beautiful cashmere sweater or a textured coat, it can give you a certain feeling rather than a plain coat. This has to do with transparency and layers. Layers are very important in my design because they give you surprise. Also, tactile. I like people to touch things.

A detail of the new Moon Rocks collection by Juan Montoya for Stepevi reveals the depth and texture of the designer's new collection.

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