MILAN — The Maralunga armchair and sofa were something Vico Magistretti drew casually on a piece of paper for Cassina cofounder Cesare Cassina in 1973, according to the Vico Magistretti Archive. In celebration of the award-winning model’s 50th birthday, Cassina has released the Maralunga 50 in a special shade the house refers to as “Vico Red.”
“A true hallmark of Magistretti, red has been a constant throughout his life and career, from the socks he often wore to it becoming a symbol of his nonconformism in the design world,” Cassina said in a statement Thursday.
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One of the most influential Italian furniture-makers of the 20th century, Magistretti was inducted into the Cassina iMaestri realm of design masters earlier this year, along with bygone design visionaries such as Gio Ponti, Carlo Scarpa and Charles and Ray Eames.
Named Maralunga 50, the armchair and the sofa are available in two- and three-seat versions. Framed by special stitching that outlines its silhouette, the Maralunga 50 was envisaged in generous proportion, upholstered in Nubuck leather.
Bygone greats and 20th-century masters like Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Ico Parisi have all had their work crystallized in time by Cassina’s iMaestri universe, which was first presented to the public in 1973 with icons by Gerrit T. Rietveld and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Since then, the upscale furniture company has used the project to fuel the research behind some of the most significant pieces of furniture by leading figures of the Modern Movement.
The process behind the iMaestri collection began in 1964 with the acquisition of the worldwide exclusive rights for the serial production of the first four models designed by Le Corbusier, Jeanneret and Perriand.
Cassina celebrated 50 years of iMaestri with the exhibit “Echoes, 50 Years of iMaestri,” curated by its art director Patricia Urquiola with Milan-based curator and design adviser Federica Sala, during Milan Design Week last April.
The original Maralunga won the Compasso d’Oro industrial design award in 1979. Magistretti died in September 2006.
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