A true icon of Italian design, Alessi was founded in 1921 at the northern town of Omenga. Balancing robust manufacturing with a research-based, experimental approach in the field of the applied arts, the company has produced thousands of design classics, through its numerous collaborations with leading international designers and architects.
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Alessi: The Master of Italian Homeware and Tableware
Italian brand Alessi was established in 1921 and is truly one of the leading icons in the world of Italian design. The brand produces kitchen utensils, homeware, and tableware, taking everyday objects found in the home such as pieces of cutlery, bowls and kettles and developing their designs and aesthetics to create long-lasting, visually pleasing pieces.
Behind every Alessi product is a meticulous research process, focusing on artisan products made with the assistance of machinery. Since the foundation days in the 1920s, Alessi has continued to opt for making its products by highly skilled craftsmen at the factory in Crusinallo, Omegna.
Alessi was founded by Giovanni Alessi in 1921, an Italian national who was raised in Switzerland. In the early years of the company, he began producing an array of tableware pieces made from silver-plated brass, chromium, and nickel. Giovanni’s son, Carlo, later became chief designer and developed most of the brand’s iconic products in the decade spanning 1935 to 1945.
In 1955, Carlo’s brother, Luigi, pushed forward the idea of collaborating with external designers and architects, including the series of Ice Bucket and Ice Tongs for Program 4 for the 11 Triennale in Milan and also individual products such as the wire baskets, still one of Alessi’s most famous bestsellers to this day.
Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Alessi experimented with new materials such as plastic, as well as working with a new generation of architects including Zaha Hadid, Wiel Arets, Greg Lynn and UN Studio.
Alessi products feature in museums around the globe, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Carlo Alessi is founder Giovanni Alessi’s son and took over the second generation of the company. Some of Alessi’s most timeless and well-known products were created by Carlo from 1935 to 1940. In 1950 he became the managing director of the company and introduced many collaborations with designers, giving way to new creative ideas and designs which have made Alessi as successful as it is today.
Designed the 'Ottagonale' coffee pot, 'Ottagonale' milk jug, 'Ottagonale' sugar bowl, 'Ottagonale' teapot and 'Ottagonale' tray for Alessi.
Aldo Rossi (1931-1997) was an architect and designer born in Milan, he is known for his expertise and contributions to modern Italian architecture and product design, working with geometrical patterns and simple shapes. After studying in Milan at the Polytechnic University, he went on to start his career by working at the studio of Ignazio Gardella. Rossi was quickly recognised for his unique designs, leading him to win two international competitions in 1987, being awarded the Pritzker Prize in 1990 and later becoming an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and letters in 1996.
Designed the 'Il Conico' tea kettle, 'La Conica' coffee maker, Pitcher, Press filter coffee maker or infuser, 3 cups set and Press filter coffee maker or infuser, 8 cups set for Alessi.
Sir David Chipperfield
David Chipperfield is an English architect born in 1953. He is best known for his major projects including the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire (1989–1998); the Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany and the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri.
His company, David Chipperfield Architects, was founded in 1985 and has offices in London, Berlin, Milan, and Shanghai. With a unique and wide-spanning portfolio, Chipperfield has worked on everything from residential and cultural projects to refined leisure.
French designer Inga Sempé creates homeware and home décor pieces and is known for her clean-cut and modern designs. Collaborating with Italian brand Alessi, she designed the “Collo alto” collection made up of cutlery for both eating and serving..
After studying at the ENSCI-Les Ateliers in the French capital, Sempé won a scholarship in Rome at Villa Medici Académie de France. In 2000 she went back to Paris, her home city, and opened her own studio.
Sempé designed the 'Collo alto' salad set, 'Collo alto' moka coffee spoon, 'Collo alto' cake server, 'Collo alto' 24-piece cutlery set, 'Collo alto' serving spoon, 'Collo alto' five piece cutlery set and 'Collo alto' serving fork for Alessi.
British furniture and product designer Jasper Morrison creates functional pieces with simple yet quirky aesthetics, such as bowls, coffee tables and trays..
After obtaining a Bachelor of Design degree from Kingston Poltechnic Design School in 1982, Morrison went on to study for a master’s at the Royal College of Art, London. He now has studios in Paris and London and in 2020 was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to design.
Designed the ‘Round tray’ for Alessi.
Richard Sapper was born in Munich 1932 and worked together with Alessi to create kettles and coffee makers: two everyday items in a family home that have been given life with elegant and timeless designs with a hint of complexity. .
Sapper has a diverse portfolio, having studied philosophy, anatomy, graphics, and economy, he went on to work for Mercedes Benz in the design office and then the Rinascente in Milan.
Designed the Espresso coffee maker, one cup, '9091FM' kettle and Espresso coffee maker, three cups.
A British-Iraqi architect who also had an exceptional talent for interior design, furniture and homeware, Dame Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) had a professional career than spanned more than three decades..
Hadid was the first woman ever to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004) and later the Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects (2016). She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, for her contributions to architecture after she had worked on many of the most famous architectural projects in the world.
Designed the ‘Forma’ cheese grater for Alessi.
The ‘Pulcina’ espresso maker, large, was designed for Alessi by Michele De Lucchi. An essential kitchenware product in every home, this particular model’s design features a pronounced spout which is based on a baby chick and also a sturdy black handle, both of which facilitate pouring and use. The curves and lines of this espresso maker give it a contemporary touch, a timeless kitchen piece with an innovative revamp.
Alessi’s 'Trinity' fruit bowl, black was designed by Australian designer Adam Cornish. Made of black stainless steel, it features a curved shape made up of waved lines which is based on a nautilus mollusc. The striking design is brought out even more when the bowl is filled with colourful pieces of fruit, a timeless Alessi centrepiece to any table or worktop.
The '9091FM' kettle is one of Italian brand Alessi’s many kettle models, an essential homeware product which stands out for its modern form and style. This ‘9091’ was designed by Richard Sapper and features an eye-catching round silhouette made from stainless steel which contrasts with the black handle. In addition, it features a shiny brass spout which gives off a harmonious whistling sound when the water has boiled, taking our minds back to a traditional kitchen.
Alessi’s ‘Moka’ espresso coffee maker was designed by David Chipperfield, a British architect. An essential and practical kitchenware piece, it is a modern version of the 1900s original made by Alfonso Bialetti. Made up of eleven flat sides which give it a unique shape, it also features a flat lid and an angled grey handle which makes it easy to pour coffee.
An indispensable kitchen utensil, Alessi’s ‘Forma’ cheese grater shows off its unusual silhouette and style which features an upright grater and a black, curved base. Designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid for Alessi, the grater can sit on a worktop as a centrepiece but also fits easily in the hand for functional purposes.
Alessi’s ‘Il Conico’ tea kettle is a kitchenware piece by Aldo Rossi. It features sharp lines and a cone shape body and lid. The stainless steel from which it is made gives off a mirror effect which immediately adds a sense of luxury to any kitchen.
The ‘Collo alto’ salad set comes from Alessi’s ‘Collo Alto’ cutlery collection. Both pieces are made of polished stainless steel and feature an elongated neck which gives the pieces a total length of 315mm. Perfect for the everyday activity of mixing and serving salad while still adding a touch of refinement to any table setting.
The 'Rundes modell' 24-piece cutlery set was designed by Josef Hoffman for Alessi, back in 1906. The set is made up of forks, knives, tablespoons, and teaspoons which have all followed Wiener Werkstätte’s design guidelines, meaning that everyday pieces of cutlery are beautiful in their simplicity.
The ‘Ottagonale’ tray was originally designed by Carlo Alessi as part of the brand’s iconic Ottagonale range. A large tray which can be used to for holding and serving food and drinks, it is made of stainless steel with Bakelite handles for carrying.
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