The Aesthete: Pavlo Schtakleff talks personal taste

Pavlo Schtakleff is the co-founder of Sé, the glamorous European design brand renowned for its finely crafted and cerebral “future heirloom” furniture and objets

Pavlo Schtakleff at home in London
Pavlo Schtakleff at home in London | Image: Leo Goddard

My personal style signifier is wearing navy‑blue clothes. Colour is so important in my work that I don’t want anything to detract from what I create. And it makes getting dressed simple.

The last thing I bought and loved was a polished bronze sculpture – She # by Steve Howlett. Its incredibly tactile, curvaceous form takes my breath away. £19,920;

Santa Croce in Florence
Santa Croce in Florence

And the thing I am eyeing next is a Citroën DS 21 Pallas in navy blue. I’ve loved its elegant curves and unique character since my teens – I dream of driving around the Côte d’Azur with the roof down.

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a pair of Red Wing’s Rover 2951 round-toe boots. I spend a lot of time in factories, so I need something tough on my feet – and these are proper American work boots. They’re cool too; Steve McQueen wore them. £249; 17 Newburgh St, London W1 (020-7287 5007;


An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to recently is Monte Grappa in the Venetian Prealps, for a shoot. When we arrived it was -20°C but the sun rose as we got to the summit; the effect of the pinky-blue tones of the sky against the purity of the snow was spectacular.

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a slab of Brazilian Azul Macaubas granite. I came across it at a suppliers in Slovenia – I’d never seen such an array of natural textures and colours before. I’m hoping to transform it into a console table.

Schtakleff’s prized lobster by London Taxidermy, from £2,100. Red Wing Rover 2951 work boots, £249. She #1 bronze sculpture by Steve Howlett, £19,920
Schtakleff’s prized lobster by London Taxidermy, from £2,100. Red Wing Rover 2951 work boots, £249. She #1 bronze sculpture by Steve Howlett, £19,920 | Image: Leo Goddard

A recent “find” is the tailoring and antiques shop Labassa Woolfe in London. Joe Woolfe and Johan Labassa’s bespoke suits are wonderfully detailed, and mixing tailoring with French antiques makes for a very interesting environment. 6 Percy St, London W1 (020-3205 0111;

An object I would never part with is my taxidermy lobster. When I explained my rather odd passion for the unexpected intricacy and colours of taxidermy crustaceans to my wife, she was horrified – but she bought this for me anyway. I see it as a rather unconventional symbol of her unconditional love. From £2,100;

The London tailoring and antiques shop Labassa Woolfe
The London tailoring and antiques shop Labassa Woolfe | Image: Edmund Dabney

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Constantin Brancusi. His work has a primal element combined with a softness that resonates with my aesthetic.

The last meal that truly impressed me was at a Fondue in the Sky pop-up restaurant in Verbier: Swiss moitié-moitié fondue made with Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois, accompanied by a delicious white wine by Jean-René Germanier, which I ate in a cable car hanging high above the mountains.


The best gift I’ve given recently is a 19th‑century shell, ruby and emerald necklace to my wife Amalia, after she lost a very special one from her grandmother. I didn’t want to replace it, but I did want to find something that fulfilled the same role of being a future heirloom that she could wear every day. Saint Esprit, Bourbon Hanby Antiques Arcade, 151 Sydney St, London SW3 (020-7351 3030).

An indulgence I would never forgo is switching off my phone at night.

If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Florence. I studied history of art there in my 20s, and the shapes and colours of the Franciscan church Santa Croce, and its Pazzi Chapel, still have a significant influence on my work. I always visit the perfumery Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a paradise of history and scent; and the vaulted contemporary design gallery Flair, where unique art and furniture is curated with Italian panache. In the evenings, I relive my youth with a Campari spritz at Cabiria Lounge Bar in Piazza Santo Spirito. Basilica di Santa Croce, Piazza di Santa Croce 16 ( Cabiria Lounge Bar, Piazza Santo Spirito 4r (+39055-215 732; Flair, Lungarno Corsini 24r (+39055-267 0154; Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala 16 (+39055-216 276;

My favourite apps are Spotify, because I can’t work without music, and the weather app Dark Sky because I am half English and therefore obsessed with it.

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