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Alessi

Author: Nancy Erdmann
Issue: July, 2010, Page 23
Photo by Werner Segarra

Store manager Gregory Gordon  stands next to some of Alessi's higher-end offerings.
Introducing One of the New Kids on the Block

Store manager: Gregory Gordon

Opened: February 2010

Location: Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E. Camelback Road, Ste. 130, Phoenix

Hours: Open daily (call for hours)

Phone: (602) 840-2441

Web site: alessi.com

History: In 1921, Giovanni Alessi founded his company in Northern Italy. A skilled lathe turner, he started making exquisitely crafted nickel silver, copper and brass objects for the home. Eventually, his sons took over and began producing items using “freelance designers”—more than 200 in total—including Frank Gehry, Michael Graves and Philippe Starck. Many of the pieces are considered collectibles, and Alessi is the largest collected manufacturer in the permanent archives of New York’s  Museum of Modern Art. Today, there are 30 Alessi stores worldwide, including this one in Arizona and five others in the U.S.

Philosophy: Alessi’s aim is to give life to new objects that are characterized by a high degree of innovation and a mix of eccentricity, style and playfulness. “Alessi products are about function, quality, beauty and design,” Gordon remarks. “Everything is made to be admired, used and designed to last.”

What’s in store: Contemporary cookware and items for entertaining include a wide range of stainless steel pieces that have been so highly polished they look like mirror. Also featured are whimsical items made from thermoplastic displayed alongside porcelain dishware and crystal glasses.

Don’t miss: The Richard Sapper kettle, around since the early ’80s, continues to be a big seller. Also check out the La Stanza dello Scirocco baskets, designed in the shape of flying playing cards. And, of course, anything by Michael Graves.

Photos - From  left:  The Anna G. and Alessandro M. wine openers illustrate the company’s more fanciful side. • Designed around a deck of cards, the La Stanza dello Scirocco citrus basket is one of the newest Alessi designs.

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