Text by: Annarosa Laureti

When we think about Milan we usually match it with unpleasant images: the fog, the cold, the traffic, the chaos… However it is not only this, and Valextra knows qualities of the city so well to celebrate them throughout its latest collection.

The vibrant and creative Milanese atmosphere, in fact, has been inspiring for several and several people since remotest times but if focusing on XX century, we cannot forget those years that deeply changed the whole Peninsula: the 50s and the 60s.

Northern Italy was literally invaded by creative minds. Designers, architects, business men and intellectuals worked side by side to transform – in less than 20 years – the agricultural country in an industrial one, which started to be populated by an increasingly modern society, looking at the American culture, but never forgetting the Italian heart and attitude as well.

Remembering those lively times, Valextra Fall Winter collection’s color palette refers just the unique items that marked that era, such as the Olivetti typewriter, the Fiat 500 and the bicolor seat by Carlo Ratti. Light blue, military green, terracotta, rust and off white dye precious materials like crocodile and piton leather, in addition to the iconic Valextra polish calf.

The collection includes iconic contemporary items presented in new versions: the “Maxi Passpartout” and the “Iside” travel bag, now also available in a maxi format and characterized by a wide pocket on its back side.

Furthermore, coming back in time, the legendary “SerieS” gets back the main piece of the collection: born exclusively for men from the pure shape and lines of the “doctor bag” in 1961, it became also a feminine accessory in 1969. At first the bag was inspired by the curvilinear silhouette of the VolksWagen Beetle, by the Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe’s chaise lounge, by the “Palistano” seat by the Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha; and today the new version is enriched by renovated proportions and details, directly linked to Carlo Scarpa’s geometry.

Finally, the entire collection was presented in the flagship store in via Manzoni, Milan, together with iconic and archive pieces.

Highlighting again its bond with architecture and design – always sources of inspiration for the brand – Valextra chose to work with the British architect John Pawson: elegance and minimalism are the keywords of the new exhibition space, halfway from a museum and a shop, conceived as a truly art gallery that shows off latest Valextra masterpieces.