The worlds of architecture, product design and fashion frequently collide but perhaps never more so than during Salone del Mobile. To coincide with the 2016 week-long event, luxury Milanese leather goods company Valextra teamed with rising star Lorenzo Vitturi, a London-based sculptor and photographer, who has created a series of new window displays, styled photographs, and a towering sculpture in the center of the brand’s Milan flagship. Combining Valextra’s bags and leather samples with materials and objects from his own collection, Vitturi’s kaleidoscopic installations are a collage of contrasting colors and shapes that deconstruct and reconstruct the distinctive elements that make up the design of Valextra’s leather goods.
Design is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. "Valextra has always been very connected to architecture and is very design-driven," explains Marco Scarpella, Valextra’s director of merchandising, as he opens up one of the brand’s wallets to reveal the sharp black lines that zig-zag across its interior—a trademark of Valextra’s craftsmanship since 1954.
Eager to demonstrate this intrinsic connection, over the past year Valextra has been busy working on a series of special collaborations with architects, designers and artists within its Via Manzoni showroom. Last year, Martino Gamper contributed a playful magnetic display wall, which is still in-situ, and earlier this year Peter Saville unveiled an aqueduct-inspired display for Valextra’s spring/summer 2016 collection. In addition, the store received a complete interior overhaul in January courtesy of Belgian architect Bernard Dubois who implemented new colors, surfaces and a series of sculptural grey-brick display tables that will remain in store for one year.
"I played on a multi-disciplinary dimension," explains Venice-born Vittori, "combining photography, sculpture and installation to subvert and re-imagine the brand’s signature elements."
Titled "Inside Out", Vittori’s project coincides with the pre-launch of a limited edition pouch from the brand’s forthcoming autumn/winter 2016-2017 collection. Featured within Vittori’s compositions, the new pouch is crafted in Valextra’s hallmark pergamena leather and inlaid with graphic black ‘X’.