Design entrepreneur George M. Beylerian has launched a new design venture, Design Memorabilia, a series of international collections of high-designed functional objects for daily use. The first collection is Design Memorabilia Italy: De Gustibus, a group of table top objects by 32 of Italy’s most celebrated designers of the past five decades. The collection features new original designs to honor individuals with whom Beylerian has shared a creative history, and who have also left their own impact on the world of design.
From left: George M. Beylerian, Gae Aulenti and Michele De Lucchi.
The collection features pieces like a candle stick by Michele De Lucchi, a small cookie or cake tray by Anna Castelli Ferrieri, vases by Angelo Mangiarotti and Andrea Branzi, flatware by Gae Aulenti and a tea set for two by Marcello Morandini. All pieces in the collection are available for $95 or less, and include the name and signature of the designer on the piece.
“It’s history you can buy for $12,” said Beylerian.
Paesaggio Italiano nine-piece set by Aldo Cibic, founder and member of the Memphis Design Group.
Beylerian deliberately chose to work with established designers instead of young designers to preserve their legacy and return to the forefront the post-war movements of the 1960s, which caused a historic shift by bringing design to the masses.
While Scandinavia had a long history of product design, what distinguished the Italian movement was that the Italians worked in glass, plastics and other new materials that were much more affordable than the wood used by the Scandinavians.
“Affordable, well-designed products created a concept of ‘my lifestyle, my home’ to the masses, and made people more conscious of design in their lives, removing it from the elite level,” said Andy Van Meter, vice president of Design Memorabilia.
"Infinite Love" Tea for Two by Marcello Morandini.
“Italian design has had a big name, but no one has access to these things at reasonable prices,” said Beylerian of his drive to create Design Memorabilia, and his long history with providing Italian products in the U.S. “The idea is to bring great design to today’s masses—not only the cognoscenti, but to new generations…consumers will now have access to sophisticated contemporary designed products created by the very best global design talent.”
Squared CIrcle bowls by Ettore Sottsass, another founder of the Memphis Design Group.
De Gustibus will launch in the U.S. at MoMA Design Stores, coinciding with Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy. The collection will be available in stores in July, but can be pre-ordered online as of April 12. ‘De Gustibus’ loosely translates from Latin to “about taste;” the 33 food-related objects reflect the theme of this year’s EXPO 2015 in Milan, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and the creative energies associated with both design and preparing and enjoying food.
“The impact of this collection is that some who have died are not here, and can no longer promote themselves. So we need to perk up the history, make some noise to extend their life and achievements,” said Beylerian. “It’s a little lesson in history, remembering design and designers—a tribute to them.”