I DIDN’T know much about the Italian brand Calligaris until I interviewed the NYC-based designer Stephen Burks over the summer. Stephen – funny, candid, a great interviewee basically – spoke about how the folks at Calligaris are keen for him to help them revisit the values they started the company with, many moons ago.
It’s an issue most commercially successful design companies share today: namely handmade values and how to reinstate them into larger commercial outfits/ how to reclaim a bit of that soul that all these family companies began with either pre-or post 2nd World War (in Calligaris’s case in 1923 when Antonio Calligaris produced his first wooden chair with hand-woven rush seat, the Marocca). Particularly now that that company produces the most chairs of any Italian manufacturer.
Stephen’s first produced design for Calligaris is seen below. It’s the Frame table, £1338 – a beautiful, minimalist table with echoes of post-war design and a bit of Gio Ponti elegance thrown in (the light above it, btw, is the Pom Pom, £852). It’s gorgeous, but we’ll be keen to see Stephen’s ongoing ideas with the company unfurl and see how they embrace ‘handmade’ more and more in upcoming collaborations.
Stephen aside, Calligaris also do fabulous rugs (that perfect combo of ethnic and modern) that I am completely hankering after, and which seem to grace every interior I am in love with at the moment (below in red is the Marocco, £684), as well as nice shots of colour (the Pom Pom floor light in red, £886; Electa blue chair top, £1434, green Lazy armchair bottom, £1505).
They’ve picked up perfectly on the key colours for this next year and beyond: dark red, blue and green. There’ll be a lot more of these around in the coming months…
If you have the time, read my full Stephen Burks interview here: http://howtospendit.ft.com/house-garden/66161-stephen-burks