The millennial interior aesthetic could never have existed without the Memphis Group. Also known as Memphis Milano, it was an ’80s-era Italian design-and-architecture collective with a strong tendency toward quirky shapes and a distinct palette of faded terra-cotta, pale yellow, mint green, and pink. Now, as part of Saint Laurent’s Rive Droite project, creative director Anthony Vaccarello has collaborated with the group to celebrate its 40th anniversary.
Memphis Milano made furniture, lighting, fabrics, carpets, ceramics, and various décor objects — often using plastic laminate and terrazzo. It was all geometric, colorful, and abstract. Most notably, however, was the overall joyfulness of the designs, which have become the objects of Vaccarello’s inspiration. Combining classic silhouettes from Saint Laurent and the playful spirit of Memphis, Vaccarello created an exclusive capsule of two multicolored checkerboard hoodies, two dresses, one shirt, and two pairs of sneakers.
To accompany the capsule collection, the brand is also hosting an exhibition of Memphis Milano’s furniture and objects. The curated selection includes the ring bed designed by Masanori Umeda, the Carlton room divider by Ettore Sottsass, chairs by Michele De Lucchi, as well as books on the history of Memphis design. Some home décor and accessories — like ashtrays, vases, plates, and glasses — will also be available to purchase.
The exhibition will take place from May 19 to June 23 in both Saint Laurent Rive Droite stores, in Paris and Los Angeles.