We put this blog entry in our travel section because merely mentioning the word “Italy,” causes us to slide into a daydream of winding Roman alleys, fountains splashing in Naples, and sunny days with cold Negronis in the piazzas of Venice.
Italy does it so well.
What is “it,” you ask?
Everything. Food, music, art. Indulgence, romance, architecture. Tailoring, opera, aperitivos and automobiles.
Pininfarina has long been one of our favorite companies in the world, ever since growing old enough to covet a car … to notice the way the sunlight pours over the near-sexual curve of a Ferrari’s hood or the way light pools out of the buoyant headlights on a classic Alpha Romeo. We may never grow out of our teenage lust for cars, but it’s a very adult appreciation that we have for this company, which has styled some of the most iconic brands in the world.
A very brief history …
Battista Pininfarina was born in 1893 and he launched Carozzeria Pininfarina in 1930, as a design house for automobiles. He employed 150 people and the first expression of his incredible talents arrived in the Lancia Dilambda, displayed at the 1931 Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este. In the same decade, the Hispano Suiza Coupé and the Fiat 518 Ardita arrived.
His first projects were based around limited edition models, the toys of the rich and famous, royalty and celebrities, produced often as singular testaments.
In 1947, he unveiled the Cisitalia 202, with its steel frame, cherry-red curves and dominant front grill. Nothing in the design was superfluous. Everything flowed seamlessly, elegantly. It was this car that would influence the designs of dozens of others for decades to come. It also became the first car to be placed on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
The 1950s would help Pininfarina and his company to rise to meteoric heights. In his most famous decade, Ferrari’s style became a global icon and a forever testament to Italian style.
His son Sergio and son-in-law Renzo Carli took the reins after Battista’s passing in 1966, and today – under the careful eye of Paolo Pininfarina – a look back provides a wealth of historic successes in design. It hasn’t been merely sports cars, but also train cars, buses, planes and yachts. These were followed by a move into interiors, architecture and graphic design from the 1980s onwards, with Pininfarina Extra.
And, now, we’ve brought our members one of the most modern (and also timeless) collaborations in the company’s long history. The Forever Pininfarina Cambiano is a gorgeous addition to a desk that needs no ink nor lead. It writes by lightly scratching paper with a space-aged alloy tip, created by another Italian design house––NAPKIN.
Polished wood. Sleek metal. A curved body. A classic, inviting style. If we didn’t know better, we’d claim we were describing a car, not a writing tool. It’s no mistake. This instrument was designed after the concept car that gives it’s name.
We could not bring our members a Ferrari this September, no matter how hard we tried. We also have not found ourselves physically strolling those cobblestones of Rome recently.
However, we continue to indulge any daydreams of Italy that float our way.
And to ruminate on our passion for Pininfarina.