In 2013, on the eve of Gaetano Pesce's first solo show in New York since the '80s, at Fred Torres gallery, I (Monica) sat down to interview the Italian design icon in his studio in Soho, amidst the relics of a career spanning 50 years. Pesce told me that the exhibition — fittingly called "L'Abbracio," or "the hug" — felt like he was finally being embraced by a city that he'd called home for decades, yet had somehow perpetually overlooked him. If only he'd known that seven years and three more major solo shows later, he'd be a certified New York design celebrity; his laments in our conversation may seem outdated now, but his stories and insights do not. I originally turned this interview i...

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