The newest bar to descend upon Tribeca has an Italian riviera resort vibe dreamt up by an unlikely designer. Housed within The Frederick Hotel, the space—Primo’s, which opens May 1—is spearheaded by Aisa Shelley, who brought in 27-year-old Camilla Deterre to oversee its interiors. That the model turned photographer turned designer was selected over more established industry names is a testament to the bar’s playful spirit—and to Deterre’s sharp eye for detail.
“We have these hyper-curated spaces we’re all living in, but I think it’s nice when things are a little bit off,” she says on a walk-through of Primo’s. Inspired by art deco, the midcentury resorts of the Italian Riviera, and the Italian Radical Design of the 1970s, Deterre meticulously sourced vintage pieces that reflect the slightly off-kilter vibe she prefers. Outfitted with minimalist mirrored tables, 1960s chrome chairs, and sinuous banquets upholstered in a signature cotton velvet from Schumacher, the front room has a casual atmosphere that gets a burst of drama from a marble bar ornamented with Achille Castiglioni’s organic Cocoon pendants. The back room is moodier, reminiscent of a gentleman’s smoke room. Here, the booths are deep-red and the fixtures more daring: a bubble-like 1970s Stilnovo chandelier and an ornate mantelpiece provide contrasting focal points that somehow complement each other.