The .normaluisa brand is a precise idea of Giorgiana Zappieri. It was in Los Angeles and New York in fact that people first began talking of a whimsically anonymous Italian designer whose brand had already asserted itself. An American citizen of French origins, Giorgiana lives between New York (Broadway) and the Veneto area of Italy. Giorgiana’s idea was to create a highly recognizable brand without the aid of the designer’s face, thus sharpening focus on the product in the finest tradition of French haute couture. The women’s collection was originally single-product. Most in demand were the dresses, which Giorgiana focused on thanks to her deep knowledge of the Italian and foreign distribution system. In 2008, a collection of shoes, created in collaboration with the Kartell design label, was added on to the clothing line. Here too, Giorgiana’s marketing strategy of combining fashion and design proved successful, making “Glue Cinderella” – plastic ballerinas – veritable cult objects.
Ferruccio Laviani is part of a generation of young Italian designers who came to prominence in the early 1990's when the Memphis movement made its mark on international design. Laviani's Orbital Lamp, manufactured by Foscarini, perhaps his best known design, uses color-saturated biomorphic shapes for glass shades, with an angular, tapering metal base. Supernova™'s clever design combines shape, shadow and light to exude an explosive movement. His Bourgie lamp combines classical design with the modern material of plastic to give a contemporary and elegant look.
The Italian designer Gino Colombini became technical director of Kartell in 1953. Established by the chemical engineer Giulio Castelli in 1949, Kartell has always specialized in making articles of plastic, remaining to the present day a leading design firm working with this material. Kartell transforms utilitarian objects for everyday use into plastic objects notable for beauty of form. Gino Colombini's designs include a carpet beater (1957), a lemon squeezer (1958), wash basins, salad colanders, and lunch boxes. In 1959 Colombini designed a scoop with a long, upright handle so that it was no longer necessary to bend down over a dustpan and brush while cleaning. Gino Colombini was technical director at Kartell until 1960. He was awarded the Compasso d'Oro for his Kartell designs in 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960.
After studying Architecture in Milan and Venice, in 1953 Giotto Stoppino founded the studio Architetti Associati in Novara along with Vittorio Gregotti and Lodovico Meneghetti, before relocating to Milan ten years later. Stoppino has had his own office in the Lombard capital since 1968, becoming one of the most prominent names in architecture, design, and interior decoration. Two of his projects were featured in New York's MoMa 1972 exhibition "Italy: The New Domestic Landscape", and in 1984 his products and projects were selected as part of the Tokyo exhibition "Design Furniture from Italy" . Since 1963, he has maintained the position of Visiting Lecturer at the Italian Studies Center of Oregon University in Pavia, teaching the History of Architecture. In 1988 he taught a course in the Technology of Materials at Palermo University's Architecture Department. He was awarded the Golden Compass prize in 1979, the Gold Medal Bio 9 of Lubiana in 1981, and the Product Design Award from New York's Institute of Business Design in 1981.
Mario Bellini graduated from the Politecnico di Milano - Faculty of architecture in Milan in 1959 and began working as an architect himself in the early Sixties. His career as a product and furniture designer began in 1963. From 1963 to 1991 he was chief design consultant for Olivetti. For many years he designed furnishing products and systems for B&B Italia and Cassina, TV sets for Brionvega, and hi-fi systems and electric organs for Yamaha. He has also designed for Fiat and Lancia, lamps for Artemide, Erco and Flos, and office furniture for Vitra.In December 2004 he was honored with the “Golden Medal” by Italian Republic President.
Philippe Starck, born in Paris in 1949, is one of the most prolific and original designers of this era. Winner of important acknowledgements like the Grand Prix National de la Création industrielle and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award, he defines himself as "a Japanese architect, an American set designer, a German industrial designer, a French art director, an Italian furniture designer."
Born in Tel Aviv in 1951, he lives and works in London. He has created world-famous pieces, from Rover Chair and Well Tempered Chair to the Bookworm bookcase. He designs for Kartell, Moroso , Driade, Fiam.
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, born 1971 and 1976, respectively, in Quimper, France, studied at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Cergy-Pontoise. Ronan began independent design work immediately after completing his studies, while his brother, who was still in school, assisted him. Since 1999 both brothers have worked together as joint partners in their own design firm. One of their most unconventional designs, Algues (2004), was created in this context. Along with Jasper Morrison and Hella Jongerius, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have made major contributions to the steadily growing Vitra Home Collection.