These Fashion Designers Made Their Name Reinventing the Uniform. Now They’ve Turned Their Eye to Furniture

One of the more poignant collections to come out of lockdown was on view earlier this month at Nilufar Depot in Milan. Called “Scarpette and Carolino,” the exhibition — conceived by the Danish-Italian duo OLDER, aka Letizia Caramia and Morten Thuesen — featured two pieces of design dreamed up during a period of pandemic isolation spent at Caramia’s father’s studio in Pietrasanta, on the seaside edge of Tuscany. “As lockdown isolation is a lonely affair, our idea was to create a small series of friends to bring us company and warmth,” say the founders. One of the objects was a round wooden seat with powder-coated iron legs, its top sometimes covered in Muppet-like orange fur and its feet splayed out anthropomorphically. The other was a serving wagon — essentially an old-school bar trolley, bathed in bright, joyous colors, to transport breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cocktails around the house — an idea that does some of the work of altering the memory of lockdown from something fraught with anxiety to something a bit cozier. (It recalls as well a piece of airplane travel, also a faint memory during that period.)

What also caught our eye is that while neither piece is particularly ground-breaking in its typology and both are quite functional in their use, the choice of colors and details absolutely transform them beyond the level of utilitarian. It’s not surprising considering that OLDER’s founders made their name in fashion, working to revolutionize the idea of the European hospitality uniform with asymmetric silhouettes and a smart bio-cotton fabric they’ve developed in the studio. OLDER have only indulged in a few pieces of furniture design so far — another favorite being a marble carafe with a beak-like handle that they released earlier last year — and we’re more than interested to see what comes next.