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Cassina as seen by Karl

Press release

September  29, 2018

Luminaire in collaboration with Cassina will present the book Cassina as seen by Karl on Thursday, October 4 at Luminaire Lab, which explores the fashion designer's unique perception and artistic vision through a selection of Cassina furniture personally chosen by Lagerfeld to photograph.


Printed and produced by Gerhard Steidl in 2018, the book will be displayed in a setting among large-format reproductions of Karl Lagerfeld's photographs, with their contrasting colors, light, geometry, and graphics, while a number of screens will reveal backstage footage of the original photoshoot.


As a tribute to the project, five unique pieces of furniture produced by Cassina in black and white, including the Utrecht armchair by Gerrit T. Rietveld and the Tre Pezzi Wool armchair by Franco Albini, will be presented in the showroom. These temporary editions will only be available through 2019. In addition, a selection of pieces from the Cassina collection in black and white finishes will be displayed in unison, completing the cohesive exhibition.


A true lover of design and one of the most influential aesthetes of our time, Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with Cassina on this photographic project in 2013. Never before has Lagerfeld worked with a design company on a project of this nature in which his favorite design references would pose in front of his lens.

“I had never ‘worked’ on this kind of project. To visually reinterpret examples of perfect design is completely new for me, and therefore stimulating, exciting even.


I am also a fan of the Cassina ‘productions’ and for years I own many of the photographed pieces, often more than one. My first ‘order’ was the famous chaise-longue by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand in the 60’s...” - Karl Lagerfeld


Involved in the project from the outset, renowned publisher Gerhard Steidl closely followed the entire process of its production, right up to this year’s launch of the photographic publication Cassina as seen by Karl.


"Just as Cassina's furniture pieces are multiples of the designer's vision, Steidl books are multiples of the photographer's work - in this case of Karl Lagerfeld's modern and graphic pictures.


It's been a pleasure to create a book that rivals Cassina's furniture in terms of quality materials, craftsmanship and longevity." - Gerhard Steidl In Cassina as seen by Karl, Steidl rediscovers Lagerfeld's photographs, from the LC2 armchair by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand to the Auckland armchair by Jean-Marie Massaud, bringing together a series of milestones that represent a concise history of design. Without betraying the furniture’s identity, Lagerfeld manages to extract an element of humanity from their form, creating unusual graphic compositions such as stacked, in conversation, captured by a detail, reversed, or simply as a tribute.