Monday, June 22, 2009

Made in Italy in New York

Year 1900
The first 100 cases of Martini vermouth arrive at New York port. The Italian vermouth encounters great success. In the 60's a young artist creates new posters to publicize the product...his name is Andy Warhol...

Year 1948
Salvatore Ferragamo opens a store on Park Avenue (25 years after his first American store in Los Angeles!). Today Ferragamo is on Fifth Avenue and it is his biggest store in the world. A shoe from the 40's designed for Judy Garland


Year 1950
Vespa by Piaggio zig zags in Manhattan happily until 1985, when it withdraws from the US market due to antipollution regulations. Vespa comes back in 2000 and now has about 20% of USA scooter's market.

Year 1952
Olivetti typewriters Lettera 22 and Lexicon 80 become part of the permanent Design collection of MoMa, followed in 1969 by the iconic Valentine by Ettore Sottsass,


Year 1972
at MoMa opens a new exhibition: "Italy, the new domestic landscape" with the best Italian names like Zanuso, Bellini, Joe Colombo


Year 1981
Flos opens a store in New York presenting new design pieces that changed the way of lighting. The latest Euroluce "Smithfield" already a hit, is designed by Jasper Morrison


Year 1988
B&B Italia opens in Soho


Year 1996
Ettore Sottsass receives the prestigious Design Award by the Brooklyn Museum. In 1956 his first trip To New York that was for him like "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang.


Year 1996
The first Artemide store opens on Greene street (now part of 15 stores in the USA) conquering the public with his lights. Here the classic "Fato" designed in 1969 by the genius of Gio' Ponti.


Year 1998
Snaidero cucine (Italian for kitchens)


Year 2002
On Greene street opens Flou (present already on the market for many years). Here the latest model "Mark" by Carlo Colombo


Year 2006
Gold medal for Italian Architecture and the creator of Paris' Beaubourg, architect Renzo Piano receives praise for the enlargement of Morgan Library. A year later he designs the new building of The New York Times.


Year 2006
In the "Italian mile" on Madison Avenue, Alessi opens his second store, after the one in Soho.


Year 2007
Designed by Patricia Urquiola and Martino Berghinz the showroom Moroso opens on Greene Street, near the temple of Design, Moss Gallery.


Year 2009
Valcucine renews his store in Soho with eco-sustainability in mind.


These are only a few names among many others "taking Manhattan"
and because of the first image of this post... I propose a toast to Made in Italy!

You may also like to read:
After Milan, New York
I Saloni


Judith. Santa Fe said...

What a perfect toast / post
to Italy in NY!

Anonymous said...


You do right. I raise my bicchiere too. "Taking Manhattan" must be a piece of cake. Italian design (at its best) is outstanding. Stupid Ingrid sold the Olivetti Lettera some twenty years ago. I became wiser, thank good. Italian vintage light fittings are my favourites! Pleaee take us to the MoMa exhibition in due course. Thanks for the post! Brilliant! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

Maria Killam said...

That was fun to see the progression over the years!

The colourful shoe one could use as a bookend now and the lighting is to die for.

Michele Dunker Interiors said...

I loved this post. Thanks!

Meade Design Group said...

God bless the Italians that brought such wonderful things to America.

I used an Olivetti Letera during my school years - I learned to type in one of those for today archaic machines :)

DesignTies said...

Very interesting post -- thanks for the history lesson in Italian design :-)

I really like the Snaidero cucine -- the bright green cabinetry is fantastic :-)

Our neighbours have a white Vepsa. I should ask them for a close-up look at it. And maybe a ride around the block :-)


Anonymous said...


The "One Lovely Blog Award" was passed on to me by Simon on the Side. Today I have passed it on to you because I find your blog really intriguing!

Rules to follow:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

All the best and bacione,Ingrid in Umbria

ticklishfromadistance said...

Really great post. So interesting. Thank you!

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