Hubert Burda Media

Perfect Pinto

When the world's well-to-do buy their yachts, jets or homes, they call on designer Alberto Pinto to work his magic.

Perfect Pinto

On any given day, Pinto's Paris office is plastered with floor plans, sample boards and artists' impressions of plush interiors, as diverse in style as the man himself.

His five-floor design domain, a 17th century residence in Place des Victoires is as skilfully appointed as his interiors. Born in Morocco to an Argentinean father and Spanish mother, Pinto's earliest memories are of travelling to exotic corners of the world. He carried his influences to the renowned École du Louvre in Paris, and then to New York City.

One such client was the Gucci family who commissioned Pinto for their yacht, challenging him and his team at Maison Alberto Pinto to learn about the intricacies of nautical design.

He fondly recalls, "I was immediately seduced by the idea of this totally new type of project. As a matter of fact, I always like to be confronted with challenges and diversification. I was lucky enough to start off with Creole, one of the legends of the luxury pleasure boat world."

This led to a string of other prestigious yacht projects, and Pinto's name was soon synonymous with nautical design.

"The design approach [for yacht design] will always, by necessity, be different. The most precious thing aboard a boat is space, and making the very most of it is the imperative that drives every yacht designer. In a space that condenses life, everything has to be practical, simple and within easy reach," Pinto explains.

His next stop: to explore the realm of aviation design. It was a whole new set of challenges, and sprouted only a decade ago. "Aviation was the last interior design sector created at my agency."

Still, it wasn't an area that stumped Pinto, who accepted a commission to design a palace in Riyadh. The design work took years to complete as Pinto had to source for marble from all over the world.

Upon completion, it imbued confidence in him to take on another large-scale castle project in England, to "bring the history of English decorative arts back to life, but also to create more modern living spaces."