The Iittala x Issey Miyake home collection is new territory for both companies. The designer is leaving the Feb. 9 press preview up to Irina Viippola, concept manager for Iittala. Executives at both companies declined to comment.
In its 80-year history, Iittala, which is based in the town in Finland by the same name, has worked with a wide range of landmark designers including Aino and Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala and Kaj Franck, as well as more contemporary ones such as Klaus Haapaniemi, illustrator Lotta Olsson and Musuta Ltd.’s Jopsu and Timo Ramu.
But Issey Miyake is known to have a proven track record with the MoMA Design store, which sells the designer’s Bao Bao bags in its retail locations and online. The newest addition was the $925 Aurora Prism Tote, an iridescent pink, green and blue bag inspired by the Aurora Borealis. The Bao Bao bags have such a following that the first store dedicated to them opened in Singapore last month.
Miyake’s work is also featured in the museum’s collection such as his N-EI, meaning “shadow,” “shade,” or “nuance” in Japanese, a collection of nine collapsible lampshades for LED bulbs made from a specially produced, recycled-PET fabric. Each lamp is folded from a single sheet of material, based on a mathematical program created by Jun Mitani, a University of Tsukuba computer science professor and master origami artist. The fibers are strong enough to support the lamp’s entire structure, making an inner frame unnecessary.