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Salone del Mobile: Marni

With the Italian furniture fair kicking off tomorrow, we look closer at Consuelo Castiglioni's chairs

The colour variations in Marni’s latest project to be launched during Milan’s Salone del Mobile, could well be the palette for a desirable fashion collection. Yet this time the house will be applying it to something equally fashionable, but totally unwearable, a collection of 100 chairs in metal and multi-coloured PVC threads.

Made in Colombia by ex-prisoners as part of an initiative to reajust to social and working life, the chairs are also linked to “L’Arte del Ritratto” (The Art of Portraiture), a photo exhibition and a video created in collaboration with photographer and filmmaker Francesco Jodice. The chairs are used as a background for a series of portraits of Marni teams from different departments. After Milan’s Salone del Mobile, the exhibition will tour to various Marni boutiques worldwide where the local teams will also be photographed, so that the event will always feature new material.

“The project, developed exclusively for the Salone del Mobile 2012, is part of the Marni Charity initiatives,” Consuelo Castiglioni explains to Dazed Digital. “We consider these as a way to participate to the daily life of those who need help. The project is also thought to be an homage to those who contribute to and collaborate with Marni.” 

“L’Arte del Ritratto” also fits in with the ideals of high craftsmanship standards behind Marni's designs on two levels. “In the research, as the seat is common in Colombian families but Marni reinterpreted the woven pattern and colour variations, and in its connection with artistic expression through Francesco Jodice’s shoot. Both approaches convey a unique Marni vision,” states Castiglioni.

The funds raised from the sale of the chairs will be donated to the institute ICAM of Milan - a project allowing children of imprisoned mothers to spend their youth in a family environment.

Marni’s collection of 100 chairs, the photo exhibition and a video accompanying it will be presented at the Marni boutique in Via della Spiga 50, Milan, during the Salone del Mobile, from 17th to 22nd April 2012. All the photos will be published on Anticamera2, Marni’s online magazine available on during the Salone del Mobile