In the 1980s, the late Ettore Sottsass whipped up a design movement that was the equivalent of big shoulder pads and leopard-print leggings. Brash and gaudy furniture, in garish colours and quirky shapes, created a so-bad-it’s-good aesthetic that deliberately broke all the rules of “clean lines” practised by modernism. The Memphis Design Store in Milan was an overnight sensation and quickly morphed into a cultural movement and a symbol of new design.
Around 20 designers were involved with Memphis over the years, and the inner sanctum consisted of Matteo Thun, Martine Bedin, Aldo Cibic, Michele De Lucchi and Marco Zanini. They were all prolific, and much of their tableware, furniture, lighting and rugs is now available at the immaculately curated online Memphis Design Store, along with classic pieces by Sottsass and other lesser-known followers.
Sottsass and Alberto Bianchi founded Post Design as the Memphis showroom, and today it not only exhibits the work of protégés past, but also those contemporary designers who it feels share the same Memphis spirit. Exhibited works generally make it from gallery floor to the online store, where €150 scarves by Sottsass and Michele de Lucchi ties, €90, are sold alongside a special-edition Logo Table by Richard Woods (€14,520, first picture).
Recent additions to the site include Concept 1, a unique rug designed by Karim Rashid in 2010 (€8,850, second picture), CEM1, a colourful abstract runner by Korean-born, Milan-based artist Chung Eun Mo (€2,805, third picture), and RW7, one of a series of limited-edition rugs by artist Richard Woods (€5,337, fourth picture). The site also digs out designs from the Memphis archive, such as Nathalie du Pasquier’s classic Riviera rug from 1984, which can be made to order. All the rugs are hand-tufted and signed by their authors, and everything shown on the website is available immediately.