In this year’s Best of the Best, we continue to honour the brands and people who have continued to create covetable products, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Here we have the Camaleonda Sofa by B&B Italia win ‘best reissue’ in the design category
The furniture world has been obsessed with reissues lately, with sketches from Arne Jacobsen, Le Corbusier and Gio Ponti wriggling their way out of various archives and into the new millennium. Few, though, have exploded in popularity like Camaleonda, which was designed by lauded Italian architect Mario Bellini and first produced in 1970. Even then it was one of the most forward-thinking creations available. Instead of the designer telling you how to live – a chair is only a chair, after all – users could decide for themselves, tethering Camaleonda’s tufted seats and ottomans together via hooks and loops to create endless seating options.
These days, modular seating is a dime a dozen. And yet Camaleonda does more than endure. It has become an Instagram darling, gracing the feeds of actress Chrissy Teigen, fashion blogger Aimee Song and interior designer Athena Calderone. The appeal has everything to do with the sofa’s eccentricities. Instead of the clean, angular shapes that are indicative of still-popular mid-century-modern designs, B&B Italia’s couch maintains a squared-off structure but is also a thick, bulbous creation that’s incredibly soft and inviting, an aesthetic note in high demand last year as homeowners transformed their spaces into cosy refuges from the tumult of a world in the grip of a pandemic.
B&B Italia didn’t cut any corners when it came to reviving the famous furnishing, either. While the design remains the same, its materiality addresses contemporary concerns, using Forest Stewardship Council-certified beechwood for the legs and recycled plastics in the upholstery. In addition, the interior of the sofa can be disassembled, making it easy to recycle.