Milan Design Week: My Favorite Things

Fashion designers reveal their top home design pieces.

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WWDStyle issue 04/06/2011

Donatella Versace: “My new iMac … supertechnological, extremely beautiful in terms of design and easy to use.”

This story first appeared in the April 6, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


Giorgio Armani: “I admire everything that strongly transmits a sense of history, like the work of Jean-Michel Frank, a father of Art Deco, who has always impressed me for his modern, minimal aesthetics.”

Karl Lagerfeld: “Marc Newson’s hourglass and Studio Job’s paper chandelier — I love those objects because there is a new modernity, post-minimalism without a postmodern spirit.”

Vera Wang: “I have a pair of empire chairs by [Georges] Jacob. They are a pair of Ram’s Head chairs that are extraordinary. You can put them in a modern apartment or in a traditional setting. These are the things that become objet.”

Frida Giannini, Gucci creative director: “Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair, one of the biggest icons of international design. It’s my favorite because it’s timeless, stylish and works with any kind of decor.”

Sir Paul Smith: “The paper clip — small, maybe, but a stroke of genius, definitely!”

Pierre Cardin: The Levitron floating globe. “Suspended in the air, it has something powerful, even if it seems to be fragile.”

Roland Mouret: “One of my favorite pieces of furniture in my new store in [London’s] Mayfair is a pair of Jacques Charpentier sofas, reupholstered in beautiful metallic velvet, reminiscent of the chic Parisian interiors of the late Seventies.”

Alberta Ferretti: “The Triennale lamp designed by Angelo Lelli in 1951 for Arredoluce, because its clean and essential design makes it a timeless, everlasting design piece, a work of art.”

Consuelo Castiglioni, Marni: “Joe Colombo’s white lacquered chair from 1964, Model 4801 for Kartell. It’s perfectly clean, elegant in line and its curved wood is a feat of engineering. I live with two of them.”

Anna Molinari: “I’m particularly fond of Carla Tolomeo’s chair-sculptures, imaginative and exuberant handcrafted creations. Where painters use colors, Tolomeo uses fabrics and prints to create unconventional mixes and combinations that, transmitting happiness and positivity, perfectly match my personal aesthetic taste. In particular, the chairs with the back in the shape of a maxi rose reflect my passion for this seductive and feminine flower.”

Brunello Cuccinelli: “I’m fascinated by objects like the Tripolina, created by an anonymous designer in the Fifties. This chair is very close to the person and features a structure that is very essential but functional.…The four crossed poles, covered with a rectangular piece of leather or fabric, may resemble the first fundamental objects used by primitive man.”

Silvia Venturini Fendi: “A small wood and steel kitchen designed by Joe Colombo in the Sixties. It has two burners, some small cupboards and it is set on wheels. For me, it’s the perfect example of an object that is beautiful and functional at the same time.”

Diego Della Valle: “One of my favorite’s is the Ron Arad Wave staircase. I like how it merges conceptual design with technical excellence. It is one of my favorite design pieces because of its clean, linear shape in stainless steel, rendering it iconic and contemporary.”

Tory Burch: “I have two pieces that I especially love — a Billy Baldwin Parsons table and a hand-painted Karl Springer coffee table. Both pieces are different, but I love that both Baldwin and Springer believed in mixing influences. For Baldwin, it was his mastery of print-on-print and the idea that a room could look beautiful and yet be someplace where you could relax and really live in. Springer had diverse inspirations — China, Africa, Art Deco, Bauhaus — and brought it all together so seamlessly in his designs.”

Elie Tahari: “I love the work of Ico Parisi. I bought a beautiful desk by him at Art Basel in Miami about three years ago and it’s one of my favorite pieces. It has beautiful lines made out of walnut intertwined with bronze elements on the legs and a large oval glass top. I’ve since bought a couple of other pieces of his, including another small desk that I actually have in my SoHo store.”

Rossella Jardini, creative director, Moschino: “Poltrona Frau’s Vanity Fair chair in red leather, because it was Franco Moschino’s favorite design piece.”

Ennio Capasa: “I really like Thomas Heatherwick’s works because he combines a respect for the environment with a strong, innovative point of view.”

Jacopo Etro: “The Parentesi lamp. The light! I love lighting design because on a technological level, it has always been the most advanced, thanks to the focus on development, innovation and research. It’s a kind of design that always looks toward the future. If we also think about lighting design of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, we can find lamps that are still contemporary, revisited and reedited with actual technological evolutions.”

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