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July 31 2014

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Where Design Comes Even Closer Within Reach

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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.

Photo: Courtesy of Skitsch

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Comments

  1. miamiolivia says:

    Tim you have hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. Eyewear. Years ago it was the bane of many existence. Now it exudes Style and Design Intelligence. I (Eyewear Fanatic Blog) just spent 4 days in New York at International Vision Expo where Europe camps in our glittering city and spreads out its wares in magical carpet-like booths in the Jacob Javits Center. And style runs as high as if economy were not an issue. To be sure, New York has its designers who know how to fashion delectable, desirable adornment. But something about the draw of European style screams “you can’t begin to know chic until you wear THIS”. The French, the Italians, the English, can hammer out eyewear that can make the most banal of us just look incredibly, extraordinarily cool.

Dept. of Culture