The Line-Up: Kim Ficaro of Totem
Photography by Gentl and Hyers
New York City is arguably home to some of the coolest and most interesting people in the world; and in my opinion it is due to the fact that most city dwellers have a very eclectic sense of style and taste. Though we might get used to walking down the same streets and going to our usual favorite dinner spots, one thing is for certain: there is not a day that goes by where we don't meet someone that inspires us to expand our minds and appreciate things outside of our own comfort zone and expertise. Kim Ficaro, for instance, embodies all of the characteristics and personality that makes New York such an interesting and amazing city.
Originally from Westchester, Kim's passion for art and design started at a very young age. Once she graduated from the School of Visual Arts, she immediately knew that prop styling and design was her calling: "After art school I was working for different artists, then becoming obsessed with interior magazines, especially world of interiors and ELLE Decor, so I wrote letters to the editors, no emails, and sometimes I would even make drawings for them and mail them. I was very persistent to assist. I eventually found Sibella Court, who is Australian and lived in NY at the time, and Christine Rudolph who is Danish and was working in NY. Both women are incredible and I learned and worked my butt off. Ultimately, I was drawn to creating spaces and creating a dream world by hunting and gathering props and pieces that told a story."
Like a true New Yorker, Kim didn't give up on her dream until she succeeded in making her mark. From her role as the Style Editor of the original Domino Magazine (until its closing in 2009) to co-authoring The Inspired Home, published by Rizzoli, and ultimately launching her own homeware line, Totem Home, Kim's career is as successful as ever and she still continues to be one of the most sought-after interior stylists around.
Though her CV is incredibly impressive, Kim states that some of her biggest achievements to date still include the 'smaller' triumphs. When asked about this she says, "I think there are so many, where so many seem to be small, they are also the biggest ones. Like learning to lead a team where we can work together and handle all obstacles and being able to style anything from the most intricate delicate shot to the vastest giant set. Having jobs that take me all over the world, where I am dropped in a country and get to dig through small towns and villages to find the impossible or being sent up by helicopter to a glacier in the alps with my props hanging from a rope."
Lucky for us, we had the opportunity to chat with the woman who we could only dream of designing our own home spaces. Read on to hear all that makes Kim such an inspiring creative and be sure to check out her own line, Totem, for the BEST artisanally-designed homeware collection handmade in Morocco and Mexico.
Where are you from?
I grew up outside of NYC in Westchester.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I laugh out loud about myself, to myself, usually walking down the street. I like to think of it as true self-love.
Favorite city to live in / favorite city to visit?
Oaxaca, Mexico. I have most of all of Totem made there, working with artisans to develop ceramics and textiles. The city is vibrant in all its textures of art, food, craft. I spend a lot of time in Tulum as well, so many special beings there that I love, and of course its magnitude. Costa Rica is the other place I love deeply where it holds you in nature. And to surf!
3 words that best describe yourself?
Heart-driven, earth-based, calm
Last concert you saw?
The last concert was Radiohead, last small music was The Donkeys in Malibu
If we hacked onto your Spotify, what would we be listening to?
Currently Jaako Eino Kalevi from Finland
I am forever a true loyal lover to diner and Marlow and Sons in Brooklyn, Gjusta and Gjelina in Venice, Contramar in Mexico City, eating Tlyaudas in Oaxaca.
Where do you go to get inspired?
The water, traveling the world, nature, the earth, stillness, connections with people
Impossible to name one- The souk in Marrakech, the road to Coba in Tulum, Warm in NY, Maryam Nassirzadeh in NY, Nickey Kehoe in LA
Any tattoos. If so, care to share of what?
Most recently on a work trip to Bora Bora, I got to spend time with friends who now live there and found a Polynesian symbol for the sky which resonated with me, its teeny tiny, not what the artist that did it was used to, its perfect, like its always been there. Symbolizes abundance, and migration.
I don’t use one!
Vintage Land Cruiser
Favorite shoes - casual and for a night out?
Casual, greek sandals or moccasins, Rachel Comey, night out-all the same
There are so many many many, but here are two: Mary Oliver- “You can fool a lot of yourself but you can’t fool your soul, that worrier.” and “ We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell
Workout(s) of choice?
Yoga, forever and always
Something you are most excited about for the future?
Totem, my home line I started 2 years ago, getting to work with artisans in Oaxaca to create beautiful pieces, witnessing and being part of its evolvement
Artist(s) you love?
Marina Abramovic, Agnes Martin, James Turrell, my friends Patricia Iglesias, Connie Vallese.