Salone del Mobile: Frankie Morello

Ahead of next week's furniture trade show in Milan, we look closer at the Italian fashion house's collaboration with Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlmar


Fashion, music, style and above all the exuberance of every day life are the main inspirations behind an interior design project launched by the Italian maison Frankie Morello in collaboration with UK-based Swedish artists Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlmar, founders and creators of luxury interior brand Jimmie Martin. The project comprises pieces – from chairs and sofas to beds and mirrors, each of them hand-painted to make them totally unique – commissioned by Frankie Morello’s designers Maurizio Modica and Pierfrancesco Gigliotti, plus selected works from Jimmie Martin’s collection of floor lamps. The pieces will be unveiled at the Frankie Morello boutique in Milan during the 50th edition of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile. 

Dazed Digital: What prompted this collaboration with Jimmie Karlsson and Martin Nihlmar?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: During one of our trips to London we saw in an interior design shop their works. We were struck by their antique furniture customised with hand-painted decorations that included subjects from the animal world and from urban environments, such as pieces that looked as if they had been defaced by graffiti artists. We thought it would have been amazing to meet the artists behind those pieces, so as soon as we got back to Milan we invited them to come to the Frankie Morello HQ.  

DD: What inspired the pieces included in the collection?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: Frankie Morello’s signature graphics in bright and bold colours and some motifs from the Autumn/Winter 2010-11 and Spring/Summer 2011 menswear collections. We also emblazoned on the back of three chairs the symbols of the maison.

DD: Which is your favourite piece?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: The armchair with the image of the Mexican “Santísima Muerte” revisited in typical Frankie Morello style, an image we also included in our Spring/Summer 2011 collection.

DD: Jimmie and Martin described this collaboration as “playful and unexpected”: how would you define it?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: Extravagant and ironic!

DD: In your opinion, what’s the main difference between designing clothes and accessories and creating interior design objects?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: In both cases artists and designers are moved by an endless and irresistible passion that inspires them to create something. Maybe the only difference is the wearability since you can’t obviously wear a chair, but then again you can use a chair to “dress up” a specific space. 

DD: This is the first time Frankie Morello launches a project during the Salone del Mobile, are you working on anything special for the Expo 2015?
Pierfrancesco Gigliotti and Maurizio Modica: We do have a genuine passion for discovering new artists and so far we managed to collaborate with quite a few of them also thanks to our project “Frankie Morello Meets Art” that allowed us to challenge and be challenged by talented people from different fields. We actually have some exciting projects in mind for the future and one of them is for the Expo 2015. You’d better watch this space for updates!

The Frankie Morello/Jimmie Martin collaboration will be unveiled at the Frankie Morello boutique in Corso Matteotti 3, Milan, Italy, during the Salone del Mobile, 11 - 17 April 2011    

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