MarVles by Patricia Urquiola
Valextra launched its final chapter of the collaborative EXTRAMILANO series to celebrate the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of Milan, inviting Patricia to design one-of-a-kind handbags in collaboration with the marble master, Budri. Inlay marble is juxtaposed to the Iside bag as a precious handle or applied to it as a clasp.
Valextra presents MarVles: a multidisciplinary project in collaboration with internationally acclaimed designer and architect Patricia Urquiola and marble masters Budri, resulting in a unique blend of craftsmanship and technology. This is a new and final step in the series of creative collaborations presented earlier this year through ExtraMilano, celebrating the meeting of minds and talents typical of the Milanese attitude. In early 2020, Valextra worked with Massimo Alba, La Double J, Plan C, Arthur Arbesser and Sunnei, highlighting a community of independent fashion entrepreneurs. This project too comes from a remarkably Milanese dialogue between three visionary women: Valextra CEO Sara Ferrero, Alessandra Budri and Patricia Urquiola, who worked together mixing creativity, culture, craftsmanship and technology.
PATRICIA URQUIOLA MEETS VALEXTRA’S ISIDE
At the heart of the MarVles collection is a series of 19 limited edition Iside bags, merging Patricia Urquiola’s unique aesthetic sensibility with the combined craftsmanship expertise of Valextra and Budri. Valextra’s design-inspired attitude and commitment to engineered beauty materialize through a unique exercise in creative cross-pollination.
The project comprises three collections, each featuring a distinctive leather intarsia design, a new marble handle and a marble clasp. The Fuse, with organic curves that suggest rock formation; the Bow, characterized by a play of geometries through intersecting arches; and the Edge, an extreme angular motif that is part futurist, part art-deco. The whole collection was deeply inspired by agate, and its natural layers were reproduced in marble.
A timeless colour palette of leathers dominates the collection: organic shades that reference the natural marble hues, plus a series of pop colours from Valextra’s archives. Valextra’s iconic Pergamena white, powder blue, military green and black are mixed and matched with terracotta and currant red, royal blue and soft pastels such as mint and peony pink. The colours contrast and complement Patricia Urquiola’s sublime designs, the complexity of Budri’s marbles and the graphic purity of the Iside.
These designs have a three-dimensional architectural quality partly inspired by the iconic entrances of Milanese palazzos and their reduced scale represents a process which combines complex technologies and visionary creativity.
A PROCESS OF ENGINEERED BEAUTY:
VALEXTRA MEETS BUDRI AND THE MARVEL OF MARBLE
Materials clash and connect through Patricia Urquiola’s vision: soft and hard, cold and warm, raw and refined, architectural stones becoming functional jewels thanks to Budri’s savoir faire. Valextra’s Iside is not just a blank canvas for the project, but a timeless piece made precious by Patricia Urquiola’s intervention. Each bag features a multilayered design, created by Valextra through leather intarsia and by Budri using the same technique in marble.
With sophisticated new technologies, Budri succeeded in making the impossible reality: marble is made incredibly thin, light and strong, becoming handles and fastenings for the Iside, a wondrous functional addition to an iconic bag. Thanks to the incredible knowledge of the material and the technical innovations of its R&D department, Budri is able to magically manipulate the marble in miniature scale, something that has never been done before.
Patricia Urquiola selected an array of marbles including Alpi and Cipollino greens, Marquina black, white, Azul, Alicante red and Lapis pink: an impressive multicoloured series of materials which she combined with typical flair and transformed into precious objects. The wild nature of marble is tamed by Budri’s advanced technologies, with a series of contrasts that result in a harmonious and tactile product. This collection combines artistic output with technical performance: a fitting representation of the concept of engineered beauty championed by Valextra, and a new paragon of creative collaboration.
ABOUT PATRICIA URQUIOLA
Spanish-born Patricia Urquiola is one of the world’s most celebrated and successful designers and architects. After architecture and design studies in Madrid, she completed her studies at the Milan Politecnico under the mentorship of Achille Castiglioni. Since 2001, her Milan studio has specialized in industrial product design, architecture, art direction and strategy consulting. As well as being creative director of Cassina since 2015, Urquiola has worked with some of the world’s most important companies including B&B Italia, Haworth, Louis Vuitton, Moroso, Flos, Kvadrat, BMW, Starbucks and Ferrari among others. Her work is exhibited in art and design museums across the world including the MOMA in New York, the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris, the Triennale Museum in Milan, the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum of modern and contemporary art in Amsterdam and the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Since the 1960s, Budri has specialized in working with the world’s finest marbles. A family-run company operating like an haute couture atelier for marble, for over five decades Budri has worked on execution and installation of major projects across five continents, becoming a leading manufacturer of the material. Budri marble may be found in some of the world’s most notable architecture projects, including the Al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi as well as several fashion boutiques and private residences globally. In 2017, Budri launched a range of eyewear, a project representing their ‘lightness of weight’ manifesto. Values of technical precision, sustainability and innovation are the heart of the company, always striving to push the technical limits of what is possible with marble.
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