Marta Sala Éditions
Design as DNA and Beauty as Legacy
Marta Sala Éditions is the story of one woman’s vision and confidence in its realization. Extremely focused on perfection, Marta is at the same time playful, daring, and full of flare. This comes from the confidence of knowing her trade, of loving what she does and remaining open to the influences around her.
Born and bred in design, brought up since childhood by a strong family aesthetic, Marta Sala grew up with a mother in constant research of harmony and perfection. “Since a young age, I was lucky enough to accompany my mother or her production manager to the craftsmen’s workshops and there, to follow from conception to birth, the evolution of a piece of furniture, from its design until the finished object.” Marta was born into one of the most iconic families of Italian design, Azucena, created in 1947 by the architects Luigi Caccia Dominioni, her uncle, Ignazio Gardella, Corrado Corradi Dell’Acqua and owned by her aunt Franca and her mother, Maria Teresa Tosi. The preoccupations of form and function, quality, and beauty, have been part of Marta’s world before she can remember. Design is in her DNA.
In 2015, Marta created her brand, Marta Sala Éditions (MSÉ), to tell her own design stories. Steeped in this rich cultural heritage, it was not until 2015 that Marta Sala decided to reinterpret her family tradition in design for a new generation, to update the concept of architects drawing furniture, produced and checked by her, and to add her own flare. “1950s design corresponded to an Italian or European upbringing, culture, way of life, it encouraged sitting in a certain way and influences one’s attitude. Today, design travels across the whole world, with its multitude of cultures and behaviours. So, we have to create nomadic high-quality objects and pieces of furniture, with a freedom of use, positioned as it suits to any client and lived as they fancy it. Everyone uses their furniture in their own way, ac-cording to their culture, and reinventing their living space when desired.” Quality design is a niche that travels now 360 degrees, Marta Sala Éditions reaches many countries of the world, with which we must create a bond of culture and recognition, and at the same time, we still produce haute couture.
For her brand, to her name that highlights her personal commitment, Marta added “ Éditions” , she doesn’t work with single pieces, she builds up collections, deciding a precise theme of inspiration : The Secret Soul of Useful Things, The Rule of Detail, Déclinaisons, Frames, Rooms... the titles of MSÉ collections represent her spirit and her creative imperative, shaped by the Bauhaus philosophy.
Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering, the first MSÉ collections’ fathers
For her first Editions, Marta chose Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering, two Rome based architects. She admires their approach to design, with a Bauhaus touch, their way of optimizing use and space, their talent: “I selected almost all the pieces of the first collection from their archives to bring them to life, such as Megan the table-lamp, Wanda, the multi-modular armchair, being a small and quiet sofa or a vis à vis, or Eugenio, with two tables-in-one. Their furniture is a micro-architecture, with multiple functions and configurations, and I really felt they deserved to pass from unique or sporadic projects to pieces available on the market. With Claudio and Carl, it is as if I found a pencil to represent what I am dreaming of, they shape our collective brainstorming, and MSÉ brings the furniture to reality/into a solid form/its body manifest.”
Thank to this collaboration, collections started to be completed, invented and ever evolving. Within only five years, Marta Sala Éditions includes more than 60 pieces, from all different typologies. For Marta, what is truly important is to create a new, recognizable, dense world that is loaded with identity, ethics, and high-quality craftsmanship, with a touch of humour.
Highly skilled and dedicated Milanese craftsmen are the core of MSÉ identity and uniqueness.
“I decide the collections’ themes, depending on the market, the frequent demands, my own requirement and Claudio and Carl’s inspiration. I then discuss with the craftsmen,” explains Marta, “The dialogue between our different and strong know-how is very stimulating, daring, and playful and, with the attention to our clients wishes, is the secret of our quality.”
Once the design is completed with the architects, Marta works with the craftsmen she has selected, who are exclusively Italians. At this point, they discuss every detail: the feasibility of the piece, the best materials to use, the costs etc. All in order to obtain the evidence and the lightness of perfection, such as the proportions of the Murena chair, from The Rule of Detail collection. It’s geometric but never rigid lines give a poetic and delicate soul to the furniture. The back of the Lavinia hexagonal armchair, with its Fontana cut, shows how the artisans work with the same attention in every detail and every side. The screen Jean-Louis, of an apparent simplicity, has a very sophisticated metallic pattern. Inspired by the nomadic spirit, this paravent is modular and can be molded/reinvented with Megan, the screen-lamp-table, in order to reshape the space of a room. This is craftsmanship at its best. Materialized chic design and technical innovation.
Focus on The Rule of Detail
“Rooms, as a collection introducing innovative and aesthetic ideas, illustrates how you can make the bedroom truly live, by day as much as by night. The Eugenia headboard is hung up like a painting. The bedcover is designed to be adaptable to different models of bed, with zipper details that become ornaments. The pillows are hidden in a cover reminding an envelope, embellished by the brass zipper. Part of the Frames collection, the Lavinia light armchair highlights the importance of unexpected de-tails and extraordinary craftsmanship for every single piece. The piece was created with thin tubular elements, in order to emphasize the structure, the purity of the architect’s design and the artisan’s maestri (mastery). Thanks to the skill of the craftsmen, the original was realized in matt brass elements and positioned one by one from the base, to avoid any type of visible welding. It required more than 60 hours work. I created a second version in similar brass varnished iron, that is lighter and far quicker to produce, and therefore less expensive. It allows access to more customers, which is important for MSÉ, so that beauty can be shared.”
The Secret Soul of Useful Things, Made in Milano
Each piece of furniture is the fruit of a creative dialogue. With her very specific background, Marta is the trait d’union between the designers and the craftsmen. She has an acute feel for proportions and for materials and a detailed knowledge of production constraints, “When I see a drawing, I can figure out the technical solutions, which allows the craftsmen to manufacture the prototypes, I then supervise the production, and I also take care of the quality control. Whether metal, marble, glass, fabric, wood, leather, there are at least 2 or 3 skills required to build each object, but always what makes the furniture stand apart is the uncompromising and rigorous hand finish. This gives the piece a unique and singular presence, what I call the Secret Soul of Useful Things. Tancredi is a square pouf, with a very special curve. It is surrounded by a metal band, covered with powdered gold. This shiny bracelet reflects the lights and animates the pouf. It not only has an aesthetic purpose, but also brings comfort and practicality to the furniture. The backrest has a notch, that allows one to easily carry the pouf.
For me, it is fundamental to work with artisans of that mastery, they are an integral part of our strength and uniqueness, and it is also a way to support the Italian craftsmanship, its culture and tradition.”
Marta Sala Éditions offers products unique in terms of quality of design and manufacturing, but also pieces that could be reproduced in quantity to satisfy the needs of increasingly refine and demanding clients who are looking for authenticity, beyond brands and trends.
Déclinaisons: furniture’s family and stylistic coherence
Marta brings a unique attention to the would-be owner who becomes also part of the creative conversation: he chooses fabrics, leathers, marble colours, metal finishes, and he can also decide parameters such as the height of a lamp or of a chair, the length of a sofa. His involvement transforms the furniture into objects of affection, for the owner and its descendance. “When I have a typology that works, it's nice to make it evolve, body and space, and allow various configurations, so long as it doesn't damage the identity of the design, the integrity of the furniture, its comfort, aesthetic proportions and stability.”
For Marta, it is also a way to create a family around this piece of furniture, and to develop a stylistic coherence. The Claudia lamp can sit on a table, become an applique or even 2 different shapes of chandeliers, the Murena chair also exists as an armchair baptized Silla, from a long curvy sofa, Alastair can become, amongst others configurations, two small sofa in vis-à-vis. MSÉ also plays on the piece’s proportions. Dudina and Dudotta are the Duda’s variations, with lower, higher, wider, or narrower seats. They can be adjusted according to the space (height of ceiling, size of rooms), the way to use them and even the future owner body shape. Lavinia exists in two heights, normal and low. “And interestingly, once in a room,” says Marta Sala “chairs with different heights seem to fuel the conversation. Perhaps this is because the interlocutors are at different levels? I don't know why, but it works! It's a bit like the notes of a musical score, they create a tune and give rhythm.”
A creative synergy between Marta, the architects, the artisans… and the desires of the would-be owner
With twenty different metal finishing treatments in its catalogue, exclusive fabrics and various marbles, bespoken dimensions, and outdoor solutions (a new and strong driving trend!) the goal is also to offer to professionals a real support in creating custom-made pieces and to go deep in searching the different price ranges according to the requirement of each single project.
“I import the would-be owner’s unique codes and languages in every single piece. There is a responsibility towards our clients, after all, they will live everyday with our furniture, and hopefully for sever-al generations, so we must ensure that what they invest in remains timeless. It’s my great commitment.”
Marta Sala Éditions furniture is part of prestigious projects, residential, yachts, high-end hotels and fashion boutiques located around the world.