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Alessi

alessi

its centenary

Alessi likes to call itself the dream factory… and rightly so. Since 1921, this legendary Italian design brand has collaborated with the most fascinating designers on functional, transgressive items linked to domestic use. Quality takes precedence over industrialisation, while its manufacture, guided by Giovanni and Carlo Alessi, saw its golden age during the 1940s. In 1970, Alberto Alessi changed the design approach and surrounded himself with the greatest designers to create objects that were as functional as they were poetic. This year, we’re celebrating the centenary of this dream factory!

Alessi

The brand celebrates its 100th anniversary this year and takes us on an exciting journey to discover its brand world. Mixing poetry, art, history, creativity and a hint of humour, join in this one-year event, full of surprises and marked by 12 values that make up the richness and uniqueness that is Alessi - yours to discover each month!

The value for May 2021

1/12
Industrial craftsmanship

Since it began, Alessi has worked with machines ... while retaining the artisan mentality: with quality taking precedence over quantity, the most important thing for the brand was to maintain, using machines, craft production and the logic of product assembly. This is what Alberto Alessi calls augmented humanity.

The Sottsass Collection

Alessi is officially launching its centenary with a huge surprise: the brand is reissuing some of the finest creations by Ettore Sottsass from the Twergi collection. The result: the colour language of one of the greatest Italian designers , expressed in pink, yellow and red, renews his totemic objects, to our great delight.

Discover the collection

Ettore Sottsass
Architect of anti-design

"As soon as you put a shape on a base, the shape immediately becomes important, firmer: it becomes a small monument."
Ettore Sottsass

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The value for June 2021

2/12
Art

Art to transcend consumption, differentiate function and emotion, and touch souls: a value dear to Alessi, which this month offers us a memorable interpretation.
Indispensable, desirable, unique. Proust’s 100% Make-up Vase is the 101st vase from the eponymous project. An object of desire for art collectors and fans of Alessandro Mendini. Its pointillist style, pure gold gilding and shape designed by the Italian master make it a rare and unique collector's item

Art on the 100% Make Up vase

Initially, the 100% Make-Up project brought together 100 designers invited to create the decoration of a vase designed by Mendini himself, for Alessi. The Proust vase, the 101st in the collection, offers an ornamental interpretation of an art dear to the Italian master.
In a limited edition of 999 copies.

Check out the vase:

Alessandro Mendini

"The decorations are like fish in the sea:they exist, even if we don't see them. The ornamentation is positive since it is the narrative element that animates the cold, tautological object."
Alessandro Mendini

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Paradoxe, the value for July 2021

3/12
Art in its most paradoxical expression

The paradox contradicts everyday experience and common sense, to make them surprising. A value dear to art, which Alessi often takes beyond the apparent banality of everyday objects with humour, sometimes provocation but always by reinventing a design model, with a desire to shake up the established codes. For example, these icons like the Firebird 2.0 lighter by Guido Venturini or the Dédé door stop by Philippe Starck.

Merdolino by Stefano Giovannoni also perfectly illustrates this paradoxical expression, and combines the toilet brush, as an unassuming everyday object, often hidden away, with the shape of an entirely gilded flowerpot, poetic and precious, to display.

Merdolino, the 1st designer toilet brush

Redemption for this type of everyday object, often hidden from view: Stefano Giovannoni’s Merdolino toilet brush is being considered for the first time in the world of design. A real revolution when it was released in 1992, surprising to some and adored by others! Reissued in Gold version: it’s entirely dressed in a golden finish, designed to delight collectors and provocateurs, art lovers and undoubtedly the most paradoxical expression of art.

Discover Merdolino

Stefano Giovannoni

These objects had an effect on the design world that I would describe as shocking, and even today I carry with me the criticisms of all those who saw them as an attack on the official practice of design. It wasn’t just about adapting to the market; there was also a desire to create objects that could resonate with the desires and imagination of the public.
Stefano Giovannoni

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Above and beyond

4/12
The desire to always go further

Far from resting on their laurels, Alessi is constantly working on this desire to perfect everything above and beyond the object: to push limits; to surprise; to blend together various disciplines, like art. A way of captivating daily life and beyond… A way of shaking up the relationship we have with objects, our ways of working, and our universe. Through this vision, Alessi carries us towards its better, brighter future.

The Cohncave basked

The fruit of a harmonious union of the shape, function and emotion, the Cohncave basked is an object for day-to-day life which captivates the eye thanks to its constant interaction with the light: its double-meshing concept creates an optical illusion with a shimmering effect, giving this object a minimalistic yet hyper-detailed design, rendering a highly sophisticated finish.

Discover Cohncave

Susan Cohn

The Cohncave basket is one of those creations that not only marks a turning point in your practice, but also continues to nourish your thinking.

An Australian metalsmith and renowned jewellery and small items designer, her creations can be found in leading contemporary art and design museums.

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Hybridisation

5/12
The perfect balance of blends

According to Alberto Alessi, "hybridisation is a blend of various cultures and various disciplines". ». One of Alessi's fabric brands justly allies the culture of design with industrial culture. This is no mean feat, and requires perfect harmony between poetics and the market, lyricism and functionality, aesthetics and reality.

The Anna G & Alessandro M bottle openers

Created by Alessandro Mendini, the most famous pair of bottle openers in Italian design have been redressed for Alessi's 100-year anniversary in the dreamlike "Galla Placidia" decor, designed by the designer himself in 1984. Inspired by the splendour of the lighting, the colours and the mosaic ceilings in the small Ravenna mausoleum, this decor creates an iridescent play of shapes and colours, in which the harshness of the lines uniquely contrasts with the vivid, ethereal hues. A new version which plays further on hybridisation by combining the "cultivated" design universe with the ornamental extravagance found in fashion.

Bottle opener Anna G.

Bottle opener Alessandro M.

Alessandro Mendini

A man of many talents: designer, architect and style advisor for big names such as Swarovski and Philipps, Alessandro Mendini has sculpted the identity of modern Identity design. Considered as a "punk" in the world of design, he has invented the concept of "Anti-design", to oppose the logic of mass industrial production. As a result, he has created multiple objects, in small series and within the confines of the art: masterpieces which have become iconic.

View the designer’s work

October value 2021

6/12
Research lab

Much more than mere creators, Alessi pushes the limits of product development through close collaboration with designers. A bona fide industrial and research lab, this is where the dialogues are started for infinite creative possibilities, from fulfilment requirements to artistic achievement for the designer and what the public wants.
Unique witnesses to these research processes today are brought back into the spotlight, with the Conica manico lungo (long side handle) espresso coffee maker and the 9090 manico forato espresso coffee maker (with a perforated handle), with these two design trials never having made it to production in the past, pulled up from the documentary archives of the Alessi Museum.

9090 manico forato espresso coffee maker

Tribute to the genius of its creator, Richard Sapper, the 9090 has a holed handle to reduce heat conduction, and to mark the occasion is available in a bold red colourway, highly appreciated by the designer, instead of the traditional burnished steel finish.
An iconic classic which has been awarded a Compasso d'Oro, in a previously unseen version, created to delight all design fans!
“ wanted to create an unlikely cafetiere” - Richard Sapper

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La Conica manico lungo espresso coffee maker

It's back to the future for this original concept, produced by Alessi for the very first time!
Boasting a long handle that is reminiscent of cafetieres from the olden days, La Conica by Aldo Rossi is a masterpiece of volumes and lines which are unique yet basic. We love its elongated cone-shaped form, which surprises viewers and creates a distinctive marker for this household piece. A 20th-century design icon.

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Irony, the value for November 2021

The designer’s irony, a collective trait for Alessi

Irony is everywhere in Alessi’s collections: yet specific to the designer, the expression of his character, his desire for levity at a given moment, it’s the main common trait that connects them all to the brand. Like the choice not to take yourself too seriously: a freedom that Alessi bears and brings to everyday objects.

Bulbul kettle

This model from 1995 hasn’t gone unnoticed! Inspired by curling stones, this Achille Castiglioni kettle is the quintessential ironic expression: an ordinary everyday object becomes a game to slide along the worktop. The designer’s inexhaustible curiosity and taste for experimentation can both be found in this kettle with its innovative look! A fun way of interacting with the object, as its name suggests: bul-bul, or “it’s boiling, it’s boiling!” in the Milanese dialect that Achille Castiglioni loved so much!

See the kettle

Achille Castiglioni

Another important factor is that you have to know how to make fun of yourself… and not take yourself too seriously with this design, to accept society as it is.
Achille Castiglioni

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Borderline, the value for December 2021

8/12
The thin line to success

The notion of borderline is an everyday experience for designers: will my project be understood, appreciated? Will it go down well with its audience? Thin and rather fuzzy, this line separates the possible from the impossible. For Alessi, it's a balancing act between risk-taking and public sensibility. It’s about exploring the limits of what’s possible, pushing them back, moving forward while contributing to the evolution of society.

Juicy Salif Studio n°3

A perfect example to illustrate the concept of borderline is Juicy Salif, an iconic design by the genius Philippe Starck which has established itself as the "most controversial citrus press of the 20th century". Spider, sea monster or spaceship, Juicy Salif has captured the public’s imagination. A brand-new version just released, Juicy Salif Studio no. 3 stands out with its bronze material. Its curved ribs move away from the initial function of the citrus juicer to become a sculptural object, with a strong, expressive charge. A piece to collect and display, for design enthusiasts. Edition in 999 numbered pieces.

See the Juicy Salif

Philippe Starck

« Juicy Salif isn’t here to squeeze lemons; its interest lies in the images it arouses, the ability of this micro-sculpture to let our imagination run wild. All it takes is for someone to ask, "What’s this? ", and then a conversation begins. This is the scenario that inspires me when I design objects as strange as this. »
Philippe Starck

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Poetry

9/12
Time, coffee and poetry

What’s the link between design and poetry? A Greek root, that’s what: “poiesis”, originally meaning “creation”, is closely linked to the work of the designer, and reminds us of the pretext of creation as a way of rising above everyday life and initiating introspection through the prism of the object.

Caffettiera con
cuore e stelle

A brilliant example of a creative, poetic approach to design, Neapolitan designer Riccardo Dalisi succeeds in moving us through this creation, which at first glance is devoid of any functionality: resulting from a socio-anthropological analysis that led to a hyperbolic animation approach, caffettiera con cuore e stelle embodies an approach without equal in the history of design.

A captivating work halfway between art and design made entirely of copper, crowned with an explosion of stars and a brass heart. It’s made entirely by hand by artisans from Rua Catalana, a historic street in Naples and home to lots of tinsmiths. Caffettiera con cuore e stelle will delight lovers of Italian craftsmanship, aesthetes and poets at heart.

Limited edition of 999 pieces.

See the piece

Riccardo Dalisi

« The animation had a ‘methodological’ role. The extravagant, free form breaks all codes and creates a magical space where anything can happen and where it becomes possible to catalyse a moment of ‘pure research’ on function or form ».
Riccardo Dalisi

Thingness, value for February 2022

10/12
The principle of thingness

The main prerogative that appears on the best design projects and touches their raison d'être: what is the purpose of an object? To succeed in synthesising the gesture for which it was designed and thought out, until it becomes an archetype in its category: here is how Alessi chases away the superfluous and touches the very essence of an object, by representing its thingness.

Farfalla

To reach the very essence of thingness? A quest that Enzo Mari knows how to meet, with Farfalla, which strips the object of its superfluous characteristics to rigorously respond to its precise typology. The Farfalla steel nut cracker is a concrete example of an object defined by just a few precise lines. It can be summed up in an essential action borrowed from a mechanical workshop: a thumbscrew to turn and tighten.

Farfalla (butterfly in Italian) reveals a critical approach to design by Enzo Mari. Designed in the late 1990s and never produced, this 2021 edition pays tribute to one of the masters of Italian design, who passed away in 2020.

See Farfalla

Enzo Mari

"Design is all about decanting, removing anything that’s unnecessary or false."

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The value for April 2022

11/12
Transgression

While design obeys many technical, aesthetic and marketing rules and constraints to form part of our daily lives, it’s sometimes worth playing around with these rules and shaking off the shackles and conventions. Accepting risk has always been one of the prerogatives of Italian design. Transgression? A constant!

By shaking up the pre-established codes, it changes the look, and encourages real product innovation, a revolution in its functionality. Transgression, for Alessi like other design houses, is that element of controlled risk that gives birth to masterpieces!

La Cubica

A typical example of transgression: Aldo Rossi's "La Cubica" casserole dish goes against the obvious. It imposes its square design inspired by Japanese gastronomy in a traditionally oval kitchen, and so dear to Italians that the rules seem very difficult to change.

With La Cubica, designer Aldo Rossi once again expresses his fascination with geometric solids, the common thread running through his work, as with the Conica coffee maker, an object that’s gone down in the history of design, and one of Alessi's bestsellers.

Initially launched in 1991, it only remained in the Alessi catalogue for a few years, due to its extreme production complexity. Freed from its conventional characteristics, its transgressive cubic shape also allows very good preparation of risotto, meat and many other dishes.

Casserole dish in cast aluminium with a non-stick coating. Induction-compatible

See La Cubica casserole dish

Aldo Rossi

« Observing things was arguably my most important formal education. Then, observation turned into a memory of these things. Now, I seem to see them all arranged like tools in a row, aligned like in a herbarium, a list or in a dictionary. But this list halfway between imagination and memory isn’t neutral; it always concerns certain objects and also constitutes their deformation or, in some way, their evolution »

See the designer’s work

12/12
Projection

Icons & victories

Compasso d’Oro
Alessi’s prestigious victories

As a design house, Alessi has collaborated with masters of design to redefine the creative expression of tableware. Discover these gems which have rewritten the rule book of their time, crowned with a Compasso d’Oro.

Alessi’s icons

Contemporary collections

Dressed
Kitted out like a chef

A link between past and present, the inimitable style of Marcel Wander, iconoclastic designer, is coming to your table. A relief with baroque tones, as pleasant to the eye as to the touch, discretely adorn each piece of this service. New to this collection, the outdoor range and its picnic set give it an irresistible rustic charm!

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Bark
Inspired nature

Now a Christmas decoration, then an object for the kitchen, the Bark collection recalls the bark of trees, evoking its protective function with this motif. The result is a strongly poetic collection where each object shows itself, through its form or function, to be in continuous, harmonious dialogue with nature.

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Cutlery
Mixing tradition and modernity

Elegant tables, the pleasure of cooking, sharing tasty dishes with family or friends … such is the aim of the legendary design house through its numerous cutlery collections. Alberto Alessi calls on the greatest designers and architects to ensure that formal delicacy and poetry reign, right to the end of the fork.

Historic designers

Achille Castiglioni

Alessandro Mendini

Marcel Wanders

Michele De Lucchi

Philippe Starck

Jasper Morrison