Thirty five years ago, Etel Carmona set up her atelier in Brazil under her own first name. It was the 1980s, and the design scene was mostly steered by male talents, but Carmona’s vision of craftsmanship, and being a platform for modern icons, made Etel an anchor in Brazilian design. These days the company is led by another powerhouse female, Etel’s daughter, Lissa Carmona.

Female foundations were the roots of the São Paulo-based brand’s newest venture, Women and Design. Curated by Tony Chambers, founder of design consultancy TC & Friends, the showcase is a tribute to Etel’s contemporary female forces with an exhibition that will be on view at Milan Design Week. In addition, Etel shows its empowerment of international women too, with a debut collection by Spanish designer and architect Patricia Urquiola.

Urquiola was an easy choice for Etel, given her affinity to materiality and craftsmanship – her collection includes a console, two side tables and a tea trolley. Works by Carmona and Urquiola will be joined by Ines Schertel, Claudia Moreira Salles and Lia Siqueira in the celebratory exhibition in June.

MARBLE TOP

‘Curating the upcoming exhibition, Woman and Design, is a thrill and a challenge,’ says Chambers. ‘Selecting, editing and juxtaposing key works from these magnificent creators to tell a coherent story of their role and impact on design, culture and society.’

As well as societal consciousness, Etel is invested in managing its impact on the planet too, with ongoing research ensuring sustainability is an everyday part of practice. The brand take pride in being the first Brazilian manufacturer to receive the prestigious seal of the Forest Stewardship Council. For Urquiola’s console, the materials are FSC-certified Amazonian wood for the refined curved base, and an experimental twist on marble for the top. Made by Marco Guazzini, Marwoolus is a compost mix of marble waste and wool yarns – the effect is a whimsical spin on classic marble veins.

‘Through the artisan’s work, we have underlined the characteristics of making them protagonists of a totally tactile project’, says Urquiola of this thoughtful and innovative range that will rub shoulders with other pioneering projects by Etel’s captivating female creatives. §