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illycaffe and the art of enjoyment

From the July 2017 issue.

Italian roaster illycaffè is teaming up with iconic Italian fashion designer, Emilio Pucci, for the latest release of printed coffee cups.

illycaffe art cup

Iconic Italian coffee roaster illycaffè has long recognised the strong connection between coffee and art.

In order to honour this connection, in 1992 illycaffè began linking the pleasure of coffee to that of contemporary art through the release of its art cups.

Since then, the illycaffè cup, which itself was designed by renowned architect and designer Matteo Thun, has served as a canvas for more than 100 of the most important artists in the world, including Marina Abramovich, Julian Schnabel and Jeff Koons.

The design of the cup itself is a perfect expression of illycaffè’s commitment to the art and science of espresso. In commissioning the design of this cup, illycaffè asked Thun to pay particular attention to its shape and the type of porcelain used in order to get the very best out of the espresso within.       

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the illy Art Collections, illy has created the Robert Wilson illy Art Collection, designed by the eclectic American artist who has managed to capture the spirit of the illy Art Collections.

At the same time, Emilio Pucci and illy, two leaders in Italian excellence, are pleased to announce their first collaboration.

The Florentine-based fashion brand and the Trieste-based coffee company have partnered on the creation of a special collection of printed coffee cups.

The cups draw inspiration from six of Marquis Emilio Pucci’s exclusive “Cities of the World” hand-drawn scarf prints depicting scenes from global metropolises.

“This is the first time we’ve ever worked with a fashion brand,” says Carlo Bach, Art and Creative Director of illy, and mastermind of the company’s successful art-based program. “But Emilio Pucci was himself an artist, and it made perfect sense to bring his enduring vision and unmistakable style to life.”

The Emilio Pucci – illy Art Collection features six different prints on three different cup sizes: espresso, cappuccino and mug formats.
Portraying illustrations of Florence, Rome, Milan, New York, London, and Paris, the whimsical prints were selected from Emilio Pucci’s popular “Cities of the World” collection.

Originally produced for his chic silk twill scarves, the print was conceived as a portable postcard; a love letter to the Marquis’ hometown and a souvenir his clients could carry and treasure when they returned home.

Roughly sketched and brightly colour-blocked, the original artwork embodies Pucci’s signature, undisputable style and became the blueprint for the other hand-drawn cities that followed in recent years.

The Emilio Pucci – illy Art Collection is sold in sets contained within a specially designed Pucci box upon which the various monuments from the “Cities of the World” designs loop together to form a single, imaginary global skyline on a background of vivid Pucci colour.

Earlier this year, illy also collaborated with designer Ron Arad on a series of decorated cups.

The Israeli artist, who loves reinterpreting the concepts of shapes and structures by playing with different materials and techniques, casually laid on the cups and small saucers an imaginary drape, leaving it to interact spontaneously with these objects.

The result is a design that, with the use of sinuous lines, combines the artist’s desire and everything that materials can offer. Arad’s inspiration was to turn the solidity of ceramics into an interplay of soft drapery, creating the impression of a cup made of fabric. GCR

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