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What do Raf Simons and Gaetano Pesce have in common?
Jun 14, 2018
Katy B. Olson

Calvin Klein has put together a Gaetano Pesce–inspired installation—and it’s also the first installation for the brand at the Design Miami/Basel show in Switzerland. In the exhibit, chief creative officer Raf Simons debuts an authentic American barn outfitted with a selection of limited-edition, upholstered Feltri armchairs by Cassina.

Cassina Feltri-CALVIN KLEIN-Photo Credit-Stefano De Monte.jpg
Cassina and Calvin Klein’s Feltri chairs; © 2018 Delfino Sisto Legnani, © 2018 Stefano De Monte

The barn, one of a number that were crafted for the fall 2018 Calvin Klein runway show, is made from reclaimed wood that dates to the 19th century. The barn’s walls are decorated with billboard-size images of Andy Warhol’s artwork, in keeping with Calvin Klein’s partnership with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The throne-inspired Feltri chairs, which were designed by Pesce for Cassina in 1987, feature a thick wool felt structure designed using a patented process. But how did the recent collab come about? Simons had approached Cassina about what he terms a “cultural correspondence,” resulting in a curation of 100 numbered Feltri armchairs outfitted with Calvin Klein house codes, each applied to the armchair’s interior upholstery. All of the featured chairs are adorned with unique heirloom quilts from the 19th and 20th centuries—“emblematic,” says the brand, “of both American heritage and a homespun, handcrafted ethos of days gone by.”

The installation will comprise what the American brand describes as a “vast open space punctuated by a freestanding barn and populated by a field of limited-edition Feltri armchairs.” The chairs numbered 1 through 50 will be available for purchase at the fair, and the remaining 50 chairs will be available via Cassina at a later time.

Design Miami/Basel runs in Basel, Switzerland, through June 17.

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