A New Luxury

may 19, 2020

French-born in Austria, Marc Sadler currently lives in Milan. Experimentation with plastics, the central theme of his studies, and his great personal curiosity have always had a prominent place in his activity as a designer. Citizen of the world (he lived and practiced the profession in France, the United States, Asia, and Italy), he collaborates with many companies in the furniture, small and large appliances, lighting, more purely industrial products, as well as still heavily engaged in the sports sector with almost thirty-year collaborations.

At the beginning of the 70s, he developed the first fully recyclable thermoplastic ski boot, then industrialized by the Italian Caber (later Lotto), of which he quickly conquered the responsibility of all product lines, establishing a long and fruitful collaboration marked by the patent of the symmetrical hull boot, which remained the best-selling in the world for several years. This is the origin of his specialization in sports design that leads him to work with the most important multinationals in the USA, Asia, Japan, and Europe, both in sports shoes and in many other sports sectors: skiing, tennis rackets, golf clubs, etc. The origin from a branch of the industry where the research and experimentation of new materials and production processes are more widespread, allows him to export knowledge in sectors where the concept of design limited to aesthetic form is rooted. Sadler also designed a shoe for Nike, the first water-repellent thermoplastic rubber slipper, very light and comfortable, that could be worn when taking a shower. Still, one of the most sold Nike products worldwide.

Although he maintained his partnerships with the sports industry, in particular with Dainese, a company he has been collaborating with for thirty years, lighting and furnishing became his primary focus. Award-winning with the ADI Compasso d’Oro for the Drop (Flos, 1994), Tite and Mite (Foscarini, 2001) lamps, the Big bookcase (2008, Caimi Brevetti) and the Bellevue ice cream counter with Panorama technology (IFI, 2014 ), has received many other important international design awards.

His back protector designed for Dainese is in the permanent design collection of the MOMA in New York, and the Mite by Foscarini is part of the design collection of the Beaubourg in Paris.

As we know from the luxury brand theory, branding is not about getting a consumer to choose a luxury brand over the competition. Luxury branding is about getting them to see the brand as the only solution to their desires. Marc Sadler has developed many products that fit into this category: to be the only solution to someone’s appetite, such as Alukit Kitchen for Boffi in 1993. Alukit (the kitchen and bathroom system) started with an idea to make a handle in transparent plastic and developed into a revolutionary kitchen project door in transparent plastic material. Alukit was the dream of the so-called metrosexual of the ’90s. But on some point, Sadler had become concerned with the environmental impacts of working with plastics and decided to reject it as the material of choice for his design work, even it was one of his preferred working materials in his early working days. We will talk about how the dreams and ideas are changing trough the designer’s practice and will find out what is a new luxury for Marc Sadler today. 


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