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Merging Identities: How Furniture Brands are Embracing Interdisciplinary CollaborationsAuthor: Radmila Durasinovic
Merging Identities: How Furniture Brands are Embracing Interdisciplinary Collaborations
In a world of fierce business competition, brands are turning to creative collaborations to set themselves apart. These partnerships allow brands to merge identities, creating a product that embodies their shared values. The process of merging identities requires careful planning, with brands working to ensure that their collaboration aligns with their unique brand identity. When done right, it can produce a transformative experience for both brands and consumers alike—a chance to tap into the chemistry and creativity of one another, leading to a creation that is wholly unique. Interdisciplinary collaborations are opening new doors for furniture brands, giving them the opportunity to expand their horizons and explore new frontiers in design. From fashion to vehicles, top furniture manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of design by teaming up with brands from a range of fields. In this article, we showcase five innovative collaborations that demonstrate the power of cross-industry partnerships.
In 2020, a new chapter was added to the story of one of Italy's most iconic designs, the Fiat 500, as the brand launched its new electric model. With an appreciation for the original 500's role in building Made in Italy as a brand, Fiat sought to collaborate with three of the country’s renowned design houses to produce a limited series of all-new city cars that would showcase a fresh way of thinking and clever use of unconventional and sustainable materials. Kartell, Bulgari and Armani each placed their unique spin on the iconic car, creating three different designs as part of an awareness campaign aimed at promoting better consumer habits and protecting the planet. Drawing inspiration from the pattern of the Kabuki lamp, Kartell created a one-of-a-kind 500 model that captures the essence of the lamp's design, expressed in the car's interior and exterior elements.
"This collaboration highlights the many affinities between our companies, both characterised by research, innovation, quality and creativity, and both symbols of the Made in Italy brand worldwide. For us, being part of the launch of the new electric 500 means sharing strategies and values for a new concept of designing and manufacturing,” says Claudio Luti, President of Kartell. The Kartell Fiat 500 is, in Luti’s words, both a new form of mobility and a beautiful experience.
Under the creative direction of Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton has teamed up with various brands on collaborations that have taken the iconic LV style to new heights. The luxury fashion company’s partnership with Fornasetti is a journey that blurs the lines between experimentation and tradition. With the Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti collection, Fornasetti's visionary hand-drawn imagery meets the innovative creativity and craftsmanship of Louis Vuitton. Designer Nicolas Ghesquière delved into Fornasetti's vast archive of over 13,000 creations, seeking inspiration for the Fall-Winter 2021 collection in antique statues, cameo portraits, and architectural works. The resulting collection includes everything from clothing to accessories, and the unique Malle Coiffeuse, a trunk that embodies the artistry of both brands through meticulous woodwork, careful screen-printing, and hand-drawn finishing touches.
The iconic Stan Smith sneaker has undergone a transformation through the creative collaboration of Kvadrat and Adidas Originals. Inspired by the eclectic city of Copenhagen where utilitarian design, Japanese aesthetics, and modernist values intersect, Kvadrat’s take on the Stan Smith features textured patterns of coloured dots, as a nod to the Scandinavian design philosophy that emphasizes form, function, and simplicity. With the new colorways and textures, this beloved classic is reimagined in a modern and contemporary way, while retaining its recognizable silhouette.
As we have seen with Kartell and Fiat, when two Italian brands come together, the results are exceptional. The same goes for Poltrona Frau’s collaboration with Ducati, whose joint work resulted in the limited-edition Scrambler 1100 Ducati Club Italia motorcycle. Designed exclusively for members of Scuderia Club Italia, a prestigious association founded in 1989 by vintage and racing car drivers and enthusiasts, The Scrambler 1100 Ducati Club Italia is the most exclusive model ever designed by the brand. Recognizable by its red saddle crafted from Pelle Frau leather, every detail on this motorcycle has been carefully considered and meticulously crafted. From the sleek and timeless lines of the motorcycle to the sumptuous and refined leather saddle, this motorbike blends the best of both worlds: the iconic style of Poltrona Frau and the cutting-edge engineering of Ducati.
Marcel Wanders studio’s iconic Monster Family captures the playful and peculiar essence of monsters, with strong graphics that lend it a characteristic animated charm. The collection includes a wide range of designs, the most famous probably being the Monster Chair. Moooi's collaboration with Spalding, brought a unique new member to the collection—the Monster Basketball. In combining the distinctive black-and-white monster graphics of Marcel Wanders studio with Spalding’s sporting expertise, this basketball becomes more than a functional piece of equipment: it is also a visually stunning work of art for those with an appreciation for design.
June 16, 2023Marcel Wanders
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has been termed an anomaly in the design world and the Lady Gaga of Design by the New York Times. Beginning his career as a furniture designer, Marcel Wanders developed an affinity for interiors and has over 1,900 designs in his portfolio to date. Finding inspiration in the likes of Phillipe Stark, Antonio Gaudi, Issey Miyake and Frank Gehry, extravagance is a defining element of Wanders’ work.
Tag: Iconic Designers
June 16, 2023Made in Italy – Behind the Label
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
Dating back to ancient times, the practice of product branding and labeling based on the place of origin has a long and rich history. As global trade increased and trade barriers were removed in the 20th century, the importance of country-of-origin labeling grew. Starting with its origin, we explore how Made in Italy became one of the most well-known country-of-origin labels.
June 16, 2023Reimagining Iconic Designs: From Maison Dior to Tom Dixon
Author: Radmila Durasinovic
As furniture companies seek to breathe new life into iconic designs by infusing them with fresh creative perspectives, interdisciplinary collaborations are growing in popularity. Inspired by the enchanting Dior by Starck collection presented at the Salone del Mobile, we explore five creative collaborations that have reinvented some of the most iconic furniture designs.
Tag: Design / Showcase
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