Armani Casa marks 20 years at the heart of the well-considered home
The Italian brand called on Wallpaper* contributing editor Nick Vinson to art direct its anniversary editorial campaign, which debuted in the September 2020 issue of Wallpaper*
It’s exactly two decades since Giorgio Armani launched his Armani Casa label, bringing his geometric lines and striking proportions into the realm of interiors. In addition to a now extensive range of furniture, Armani Casa has collaborated with industry-leading partners including Dada (part of the Molteni Group) on kitchens, Roca on bathroom fixtures, Rubelli on textiles, and Jannelli & Volpi on wall coverings. It also has its own interior design studio, responsible for Armani-branded hotels and luxury residences.
Mr Armani is rightfully proud of how far his design label has come. ‘I successfully and independently expanded into sectors beyond fashion to offer my all-embracing philosophy of lifestyle. I can say this is an enormous achievement,’ he says. Still, mindful of the current climate, he has eschewed the usual anniversary fanfare, instead marking the moment with elegant understatement by commissioning an editorial campaign titled ‘Living with Armani Casa’.
Art directed by Wallpaper* contributing editor Nick Vinson and photographed by another of our stalwarts, Beppe Brancato, the campaign, revealed exclusively in the September 2020 issue of Wallpaper*, envisions the home of a pair of longtime Armani Casa clients. The space is a harmonious blend of old and new: traditional boiserie panelling and marble flooring, offset by contemporary and midcentury design and art. It reflects a considered accumulation of pieces over the years, rather than one ambitious shopping spree.
An Armani Casa piece anchors every space – in the foyer, it’s the ‘Evans’ console from 2011, with its rectilinear central element (clad in a technical shagreen fabric) suspended among a pair of satin brass frames that fit flush against the sides. The dark and handsome ‘Euclide’ desk, from the same year, is the centrepiece of the study, its slender top and symmetrical chests of black maple drawers supported on painted steel ribbon legs. In the dining room, the 2018 ‘Ned’ table is in spotlight, its three elliptical legs joined by leather-upholstered spokes underneath the dove grey, Tamo wood-veneered surface. Each piece brings together refined forms with a luxurious yet thoughtful material palette, and the fine Italian craftsmanship that is a hallmark of the Armani brand.
‘I successfully and independently expanded into sectors beyond fashion to offer my all-embracing philosophy of lifestyle. I can say this is an enormous achievement’ – Giorgio Armani
Equal care has been given to the selection of accoutrements. They vary from a pair of 1940s, wood and raffa armchairs, by Italian Rationalist architects Mario Asnago and Claudio Vender, to a finely striped 2019 rug, by Lebanese design duo David/Nicolas. Likewise, the artworks suggest diverse creative inspiration: a Japanese screen print, a lithograph by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, a pair of small oil paintings by contemporary British artist Tobit Roche. This eclectic backdrop accentuates the versatility of Armani Casa’s pieces.
Despite a global economic downturn, Armani Casa is soldiering on – March marked the launch of the Residences by Armani Casa condo tower in Miami, a collaboration with the late architect César Pelli and the brand’s largest project to date. The 2020 collection, intended for launch during Salone del Mobile but postponed to September, pays homage to the abstract art of the early 20th century while emphasising salvaged materials – wood and stone for furniture, fabrics for accessories.
Due in 2023 is a revamped flagship on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue (which will also house Armani’s fashion offering), with 19 apartments above. ‘But it’s the public support and feedback at the early and most dramatic stages of the current crisis that fill me with pride,’ reflects Mr Armani. ‘They demonstrate a solid relationship built over time.’ §