MEET MARTA SALA
THE ITALIAN DESIGNER MARTA SALA OPENS THE DOORS OF HER PARISIAN APARTMENT TO US
To conclude our Italian journey, Le Bon Marché met the designer Marta Sala, who is presenting her latest furniture collection as part of the “La Famiglia Rive Gauche” exhibition. She is from a typically Italian family of designers and developed her own range of contemporary furniture that is heavily influenced by her country’s culture and also by more modern and personal movements. Marta Sala welcomes us into her Parisian apartment to talk to you about her inspirations, her vision of Italy and her pieces, which she describes as true companions for life. Family
A FAMILY HISTORY
How did you get involved in design?
It’s a family affair: my mother started designing in the 1950s and producing architect-designed furniture. My uncle also used to design pieces. I grew up in this world, but with a desire to move away from the family tradition so that I could create contemporary furniture while still using my heritage. Then I asked myself what was desirable on the market. I concluded that what was missing were well-designed pieces, which were well made and, above all, available and affordable. I launched the brand in 2015 with this approach; the first collection had 15 pieces and the second had 10. The third collection has just been completed and offers a range of old models and creates “furniture families”.
What are your inspirations?
I particularly like the Bauhaus movement for its shapes and its use of colour. But, of course, my main source of inspiration is still my family and Italian values. That is why I chose to work closely with my artisans, who are genuinely involved in the design process and all work in the same workshop in Milan. The furniture is all made on-site there from start to finish; we all work together like a big family, which definitely helps to create pieces that are likely to arouse some emotion.
A TYPICALLY ITALIAN DESIGN
How does your furniture reflect “Italian style”?
I often amuse myself by saying that people who look at my furniture for the first time instinctively remark that “this is Italian furniture”. It would be difficult for me to say where that comes from and what gives the pieces this “Italian” look that is so quickly identifiable. Perhaps it comes from the way in which I produce them, which involves combining industrial manufacture with more artisanal production, and the furniture is always hand-finished by my artisans in our workshop. It also most probably comes from the fact that I work with Italian architects, such as Claudio Lazzarini or Carl Pickering, and not only with designers like in other countries.
What does your involvement in the “La Famiglia Rive Gauche” exhibition at Le Bon Marché mean to you today?
My brand is still quite new: I am only on my third collection. When I was told that I had been chosen as a guest of honour, I was immediately very flattered and enthusiastic. I see my involvement as a way of validating my brand and giving myself credibility as a designer. It is a place which has a natural elegance, and yet it is still very warm. As soon as you enter Le Bon Marché, you are mesmerised by the beauty of the décor and, at the same time, welcomed as if you were walking into your own house.
Furniture is part of everyday private life. I feel that I have a responsibility to design beautiful and well-made furniture and to bring a little happiness to the people who look at it every day. There is an ethical side to design.
LE BON MARCHÉ’S FAVOURITE PIECES
“T1 Harry” low table
“P4 Dudina” chair
“LP1 Claudia” wall or table lamp