May 27, 2024
Gucci Reworks 5 Italian Design Icons in Gucci Rosso Ancora Red Color

MILAN — Gucci’s creative director Sabato De Sarno is a man on a mission. After launching his tenure at the company with the Gucci Rosso Ancora red shade last year, seeing the color trending and convincing fashionistas to add a burgundy touch to their looks, he’s now coming after their homes, too.

On the occasion of Salone del Mobile this week, the brand is to unveil Gucci Design Ancora, a project co-curated by Michela Pelizzari and spotlighting five icons of Italian design, reedited and customized in De Sarno’s red hue of choice.

Pieces in the collection include the “Storet” cherry wood chest of drawers designed by Nanda Vigo for Acerbis in 1994 and reissued in 2020; the “Clessidra” rug edited by CC-tapis and evoking in textile form the designs of architect Piero Portaluppi; the “Parola” table lamp designed in 1980 by Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni for FontanaArte; “Le Mura” modular sofa conceived by Mario Bellini for Tacchini in 1972 and reedited in 2022, and the “Opachi” vases designed by Tobia Scarpa for Venini in 1960s and reedited in 2021.

De Sarno said that developing these pieces in the Rosso Ancora shade “is an operation that aims to celebrate the values of Italian style shared by all the parties involved in the project: the search for absolute quality, the welcoming and familiar desirability, the lifestyle based on the joy of sharing.”

“Design objects have always been a source of inspiration for me, especially when [they are] icons. I have discovered them, observed them, collected them. I have explored their stories and [iterations],” he continued, adding that the pieces selected are “classics among classics that have given shape and personality to the concept of Italian design, today so recognizable and loved all over the world.”

Gucci Reworks 5 Italian Design Icons in Gucci Rosso Ancora Red Color

Gucci Design Ancora, 2024, by Anthony Seklaoui.

Courtesy of Gucci

“Through Design Ancora, Gucci doesn’t simply celebrate old icons, it creates new ones,” said Pelizzari, who is also the founder of Milan-based strategic consultancy P:S. “The aura emanating from the brand spotlights five pieces by Italian masters that are perfect from a design standpoint but less known to the general public.”

The designs will be displayed in an immersive exhibition conceived by Spanish architect Guillermo Santomà and staged at the Gucci flagship store in the city’s Golden Triangle. The in-store showcase will open on Monday and run through April 21, when a special edition of the objects will be available for purchase on the brand’s website.

“At the time in which these objects were created, there was a really strong connection between the industry and the designers. The form, the use and the way in which they were produced were one thing. That’s why they became icons,” said Santomà, who’s known for his multidisciplinary approach merging design, architecture, sculpture and scenography.

The concept he conceived for the exhibition will see the pieces showcased separately and standing against curved walls in a green hue. “If we had put the objects all together, we would have created a living room. Instead, we decided to remove the boundaries given by how we use these objects and create a sort of limbo,” Santomà said. “Floating objects don’t have meaning or a function. They are just shape, materiality, color.” 

The same visual approach will be embraced in the store’s windows. In one of them, a pair of Gucci Cub3d limited-edition sneakers created combining 3D-printed elements and Gucci’s Demetra material will appear to be floating mid-air and rotating on a magnetic installation. In another one, a 3D printer will be displayed as a unique object customized by Santomà himself.

When unveiled in December, Gucci’s renovated flagship store revealed De Sarno’s passion for the arts and his commitment in paying tribute to Italian creativity, as furniture pieces in the space included Cassina’s “Utrecht” armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld; the “Maralunga” sofa by Vico Magistretti for Cassina’s iMaestri Collection; the “La Bambola” armchair by Mario Bellini, and the “Rod” seat by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani, among others.

An art collector himself, De Sarno also added a selection of modern and contemporary works from Milanese masters such as Lucio Fontana, Getulio Alviani, Liliana Moro and Franco Mazzucchelli, as well as international artists including Nathlie Provosty, Jaime Poblete, François Durel, Michael Rey, Herbert Hamak, Adji Dieye and Augustas Serapinas.