Bottega Veneta’s Gaetano Pesce track chairs are now on sale
At a fashion show, it’s usually the clothes that get all the attention. But to Bottega Venetait is spring 2023 release in Milan, the spotlight was shared by the track itself: designed by a renowned artist and architect Gaetano Pesce, the models flowed through what seemed like a pastel river of melted crayons, lined with color-blocked Rothko-on-acid resin chairs. “The idea was ‘the world in a small room’. We went all out,” said Bottega Veneta creative director Matthieu Blazy. vogue‘s Nicole Phelps of the commission at the time. “The idea was to represent different characters and put them in Gaetano’s landscape.”
Originally, the installation appeared to be site-specific, seen only by fashion insiders and celebrities notable enough to score an invitation from the famous Italian house. Yet Blazy has now chosen to make it available worldwide: From November 30 to December 4, Pesce’s chairs will be available to the public (and even for purchase) at the annual show Miami Design Fair in Miami Beach.
The collection is called, appropriately, Come on stai?—Italian for “how are you?” Blazy explains the deeper meaning behind the name in his preface for a book about the project. An admirer of Pesce since college, he finally met the artist at his New York studio earlier this year to discuss a possible collaboration, where Pesce greeted him with the utmost warmth and homemade cookies. After an afternoon imagining ideas together, the artist gave the designer a book. Blazy, in return, asked him to sign it. Pesce scribbled a simple inscription: “Hi Matthew, Come stai? Gaetano.”
“You know, Matthew, sometimes things won’t be easy, but if you open the book and read the question, Come stai?” Blazy remembers saying Pesce. “The answer should always be ‘Tutorial good!‘”
Blazy felt both touched and inspired. “You sit down to rest, you sit down to have a moment for yourself or with someone,” he explains. “You don’t sit on a chair to go on a mission. It’s a pause, a moment of comfort. ‘Come stai?’ that was it for me. It is very valuable to be honestly asked how you are doing. And what a beautiful name for a chair.
Each of the 400 pieces of furniture is unique, whether by its color or by the patterns it features: one has a smiley face, one a rising sun, the other a question mark. Turns out this rejection of uniformity (an unusual choice for chairs, usually sold in pairs or uniform sets) really is the point. “It’s about the human being; we are all different,” says Pesce. “People who say we’re all the same, fuck them!” We’re all originals, and that’s one of the themes of my design.
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