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The Jaguar Inside

Rare Animal Sightings Inspire a Designer’s Worldly Approach — and May Change Home Styles Forever

BY Gabriella Bradley // 08.15.16

Jan Barboglio brings to life the magical and rugged heritage of her native North Central Mexico in her elegant home decor line. Originally beginning with iron candelabras, her collection now boasts something for every room in the house, including barware, a variety of hammered-iron decorative pieces, and full table settings. Her newest holiday collection is now available, so don’t wait.

We chatted with the designer about the inspiration behind the new pieces and how she continues to bring the heart and soul of old Mexico into houses across the globe.

Describe your latest collection.
It’s hitting the stores now and will go through Christmas. There’s a lot of tabletop pieces and entertaining pieces. We’re doing something with jaguar-printed glass. What’s fun about that is [the engraving]. I think it really makes it sparkle and different. We’re doing well with bars — we’ve got a rolling bar and a bar that folds up. For this season, we’ve got a mini-me of those two, and they continue to be top sellers.

What was your inspiration?
The inspiration for the jaguar comes from what I’ve seen in Mexico and Central America. More than anything, the jaguar is thought to be manly. There’s a myth that every man carries a jaguar within himself, and every jaguar carries a man within itself.

Not too long ago, [it was] thought the jaguar was extinct in North America, but there was a sighting of one in Chihuahua, a state in Mexico that is right above where I’m from. Then they spotted one in Arizona. That got me thinking … I’ve seen leopard, lynx, a lot of different animal prints, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mexico try to do a jaguar print in glass, much less with engraving on it.

Where do you love to travel?
I don’t feel like I’ve explored nearly as much as I wish I should. One of my favorite places is Africa. I can’t get over how primitive it is. When I think of primitive, I think of Latin America; I don’t think of whole cities without electricity, and that really impacted me.

We flew into the capital of Tanzania at night. I knew the plane was [landing], but I kept looking for the lights and there weren’t any, except for on this thin runway we were flying into. And we were flying into the capital! If I were really young, I think I would move to Africa. It’s wild, it’s spacious. I’ve been to northern Africa, but I didn’t like it as much. I liked the central part. I understand that South Africa is very cosmopolitan, but I like the undiscovered parts.

Favorite places in Dallas to eat and shop.
My only shopping destinations are Neiman Marcus, Forty Five Ten, and flea markets. I love BBQ — Slow Bone in the Design District has been [called] the best. I go to Ojeda’s for Mexican food. Of course, I like the Mansion, and I like Oishii for sushi.

While entertaining, what do you serve your guests?
I love tequila shots and margaritas! I really, really do. But I’ll always have an open bar with wine. I’m not into the big, fancy drinks. When I am entertaining, I very seldom have flowers. I like to use things that I have in the house, like decorative items and a lot of candlelight. I love indoor-outdoor entertaining as well.

Jan Barboglio collection, available at Neiman Marcus.

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