Philippe Starck's New Collection for Alessi Started as a "Serious Joke"

Philippe Starck‘s new collection for Alessi is made up of furniture pieces inspired by the humble frying pan. Named “Poêle” – French for pan – the designs combine beech wood and metal, in reference to steel used in cookware.

Officially launching after following a preview in Milan during Salone del Mobile, Poêle marks the first furniture collection designed by Starck for Alessi. In total, the range includes a chair, an armchair, a coat hanger and a stool in two different sizes.

For Starck, working to Alessi’s strengths was a must. He based his designs around the Italian brand’s reputation and expertise in homeware and kitchen products, as well as their capabilities in metalworking technology.

“The Poêle Chair started as a serious joke, with a sketch of a pan with legs and the great idea of adapting an existing high-technology to different purposes,” Starck said, explaining that the seat and back were inspired by a frying pan – seeing the legs as its handles.

For Alessi president Alberto Alessi, working on furniture with Starck has been a longtime coming, given that the designer and the brand have been involved for some 30 years.

“I have been trying to make a chair with Philippe Starck for around 20 years now and, finally, we did it,” he said. “I asked him if it was possible to design a chair that is manufactured like a frying pan, using Alessi’s cold-press metal technology. As is always the case with Starck, it started with a subversion.”

The Poêle collection is available to purchase via the Alessi website, with prices beginning at £395 (approximately €450).
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