Milan-based Marni has been a leader in luxury ladieswear for almost two decades now (and has subsequently launched men’s and accessory lines), but last year the label branched out in a new direction: a furniture line of 100 metal-framed chairs. Each was woven with bright, pop-hued PVC cords in styles common in Colombia, where the pieces were handmade by ex-prisoners seeking rehabilitation and reentry into the social and working world.
This year, the second collection of 100 Chairs, as well as a children’s collection, debuted in the new Spazio Marni, a renovated 1920s-era factory characterized by incredible skylights and an industrial feel that manages to maintain the history of the original locale. In addition to the colorful seats on display, the company partnered with the Education Department of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea to produce “Inhabi-tants: The Migrating Multitude,” a series of mini-robots and figurines assembled from found objects and discarded scraps.
Now that design week is done, Marni plans to use the space for offices, showrooms, fashion shows, a gallery, and, undoubtedly, a different incarnation of furnishings for next year’s Salone.