«As my father was a landscaper, I have always lived surrounded by flowers and plants. I also worked for several years as a landscaper in France.
Then, after having lived in Mexico, I settled in Madrid, where I have now been for 17 years. There I began to train in floral art, in various companies, but also with international designers, mainly Russian, French and Lebanese.
I quickly set up my own company to dedicate myself solely to event design, and now I collaborate with the most important brands to decorate their events, such as Dior, Armani, Chanel, etc.
I also design wedding decorations, mainly for an international clientele since Spain is a highly sought-after destination for destination weddings with beautiful locations such as Ibiza, Mallorca, Barcelona, Marbella, etc. .. and, occasionally in other countries such as France for of course, Portugal and Switzerland.
My project now is to be much more present on the French Riviera, which is an area with wonderful locations and which therefore attracts a very high-level international clientele. »
The professional world in which it operates is truly extraordinary because a wedding designer lives to build the happiness of the most important day of a couple. How do you feel every time you start a new project?
It is indeed a great luck to be able to participate in the most important day of a couple’s life and to have them trust you to fulfil their dreams. But the downside is that it is also a huge responsibility, expectations must be met and even exceeded!
Each project is so different, that starting a new one is like starting over from scratch, capturing the essence of the couple, and entering their world to be able to offer them something that represents them. And that is really the most exciting thing about this profession, to continually reinvent yourself and discover new horizons.
How is your day to day and how do you start the different projects that you are commissioned to do?
The good thing about this profession is that there is no routine!
I spend a lot of time visiting locations (venues) and looking for exclusive sites to offer to clients, studying the possibilities of each space and designing the sets for weddings or events. The venue is the starting point of the whole project, the one that is going to define most of the work, and for that reason it is essential to be inspired by its architecture, its natural or urban environment, the chromatic ranges present in the place, the light, etc.
On the other hand, it is essential for me to keep up to date with all the latest trends and novelties: on the one hand, attending the different international horticultural shows in Amsterdam where they present every year the new varieties of flowers and new materials, and on the other hand, continuing to learn in master classes of the best florists in the world, mainly from France, Lebanon and Russia.
Clients give you the guidelines or rather do you suggest the ideal for them?
Normally clients have the general idea of their wedding, given all the information that is available today through social networks (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook) and the innumerable wedding blogs. My work consists in collecting all this information to define the style of your wedding, adapting it to correspond to the personality of the couple.
Nowadays the client is very up to date regarding the trends, knows what they want and is very demanding!
Is there really a real need for the figure of a wedding designer? When did this new profession emerge?
The figure of a wedding designer is essential to merge the aesthetic part of the wedding. In the past, each supplier took care of their own part with little or no coordination: the caterer proposed their tablecloths, tableware, furniture, the florist their centrepieces, and the lighting technician their different light effects. Without coordination the result can be the opposite of what the bride and groom wanted: inadequate lighting can completely cancel out the effect of beautiful flower arrangements, and flowers, however beautiful, must be in harmony with the tableware and the tablecloths that have been chosen. All the stationery must also follow the same line (invitations, minutes, seating plan, etc). This way we get each one to enhance the other and not the other way around, we look for this union between all the aesthetic aspects, thus multiplying them «Wow»!
I know that such luxurious brands as Dior and Armani have hired you. What value does Frédéric Martin add to such important brands?
I think that, apart from offering them the best possible service and the best flowers available on the market – which is obvious – they have found in me a person capable of adapting and capturing the essence of each brand. With Dior, for example, the corporate style is very marked: Christian Dior was a rose lover, who cultivated them in his garden with great dedication. We are always looking for varieties of old garden roses, French or English, very delicate roses, in the style of French floral art. On the other hand, with Armani, we look for Italian luxury and refinement. So, each brand requires its own flowers and styles, it is very important to have the ability to understand the image that each brand wants to transmit to its customers.
I really like your exquisite way of working. What moves you to make those magnificent designs of flowers and accessories?
I learned the basics of my knowledge of flowers thanks to my father who was a landscaper in France, he taught me how to combine colours, different textures, shapes, and movements, but above all he taught me to love flowers! We spent weekends in nature, looking for plants and flowers, we could go for miles to visit a nursery that grew peculiar plants, he took me to an endless number of salons and exhibitions of horticulture, landscaping, and floral art. It was a great learning experience. Then the inspiration comes from everything around us, art, architecture, fashion, history, nature, travel, etc. The important thing is to keep an open mind and a desire to learn continuously.
In recent years, the market trend in your sector has shown an increase in the taste for themed weddings. What do you think about this and what are the most popular themes?
I do not like theme weddings, the theme of the wedding must be the couple, and that must be reflected in all the details of the celebration.
Wedding designers work with a great team of collaborators who are suppliers. Is it important to surround yourself with professionals with certain characteristics?
For me, it is very important to rely on each supplier and their professionalism, the ability to work as a team, but what I value most is humility, accepting to learn from others and knowing how to renew, improve and rethink.
Flexibility is also essential, unforeseen events always arise when mounting the event, and we must always know how to provide solutions. We always say that setting up an event or a wedding is a succession of problems to be solved until the result!
In addition to weddings, you carry out luxury events. Which one you have not done yet that you would love to be commissioned?
Yes, for me it is fundamental to be able to design both weddings and corporate events, each one brings me knowledge that I can apply to the other aspect of my work. I would have dreamed of being able to participate in the design of Chanel‘s fashion shows with Karl Lagerfeld, he has always been a pioneer and innovator, he did crazy stuff! Now my focus is on Russia, which in recent years has developed a unique knowledge and style in the world of events. In fact, I have been learning Russian for the last 3 years and I hope to be able to work in the Russian market very soon. Now I collaborate more and more with Russian couples who are coming to get married in Spain (in Ibiza, Marbella, Canary Islands, etc).
How would Frédéric Martin define himself?
Although I always operate in luxury environments, I like simplicity, I already put up with a lot of sophistication and superficiality in the professional environment to bring it into my private life. Running away for a weekend to the mountains or enjoying dinner with friends and family is the best option for me. Another of my passions is music, I play flamenco guitar, and I hope that very soon we will be able to enjoy concerts again!