Where Design Comes Even Closer Within Reach-------
When Renato Preti opened Skitsch a year ago in Milan, things weren’t looking so good for design businesses, but he’s obviously touched a nerve. Skitsch clicked so quickly that Preti has just opened a London flagship. Next step, the global rollout. The not-so-secret of Skitsch’s success: great design, great price, and the easy access bestowed by the Internet. The responsibility for Skitsch’s roster of marquee names from the world of contemporary design (Borek Sipek, the Campana brothers, Maarten Baas, Marcel Wanders, Konstantin Grcic, et al.) rests on the elegant shoulders of Cristina Morozzi, whose divalike status in Milan is such that she is known as the “Maria Callas of the design world.” Her formula is simple and seductive: “New shapes, new materials, new names—innovation and playfulness.” The play gives Skitsch design its chaotic charm; the focus on sustainability adds a wild card element that produces items as irresistibly odd as Giles Miller’s grandfather clock in plain old brown cardboard (€120), Pagani Perversi’s table lamp that looks like a paper boat folded from the same flame-resistant material firemen use (€68), or Inghua Ting’s pillows woven from seat belts (€48). The humbleness of the materials works in inverse proportion to the ingenuity of the design. And together, they’ve injected some fresh energy into the Milanese design world, a number of whose citizens had clearly flown in for Thursday’s London launch party, if the signature high-style eyewear was any gauge.