Founded in the 20s in Omegna, on Lake Orta, the company makes a fortune in the 50s with contract supplies for hotels and restaurants, under the guidance of Carlo Alessi. But it is his son Alberto Alessi who goes on to make the company a part of history, sensing the potential of a union among the traditional metalworking tradition, the design world and an effective communication strategy. He is the one who invited some of the most important designers of the period to work with Alessi, such as Achille Castiglioni, Ettore Sottsass and Richard Sapper, who won the first Compasso d’Oro with the coffee maker 9090.
With the artistic consultancy of Alessandro Mendini the Officina Alessi series was inaugurated, dedicated to the most refined or limited series collections. The first big international success in 1983 was the Tea & Coffe Piazza series, in which the traditional tea and coffee set was reinterpreted by 11 of the greatest architects of the age in experimental forms that create a dialogue with the current postmodern architecture.
The operation was repeated 20 years later with the series Tea & Coffe Towers, which bears the signature of 22 archistars, such as Massimiliano Fuksas and Zaha Hadid. But the creativity of Alessi finds its outlet especially in the big series, with revolutionary and highly appreciated icons like the juicer Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck, the kettle 9093 by Michael Graves or the Mamì collection by Stefano Giovannoni. The design of Alessi products is always impeccable and innovative, often crossed by flashes of irony and a playful taste that makes them almost similar to toys.
The line A by Alessi takes these features to the extreme with a series of playful accessories with an affordable price. At the opposite pole of Alessi’s production are the rigorous re-editions of the beginning of the 20th century, such as the tableware services of Christopher Dresser of the Arts & Crafts movement, which has always been one of the company’s key conceptual references. The uncontrollable fantasy of Alessi is not limited to tables and kitchens, but it also extends to watches, bathroom accessories, office lines, small furniture and much more.