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Cab Chair

Mario Bellini,

Cab Chair

The Cab chair by Cassina represents the perfect meeting point between the excellent Italian tradition in the craftsmanship of leather and the structural experiments with the new materials that characterized the work of the great masters of the golden years of the design. It inaugurates a real current, very copied by many: the chairs entirely covered in self-supporting saddle leather.

Cab was designed by Mario Bellini in 1977, who has long been the responsible for the design of calculators and typewriters for Olivetti. Bellini loved the use of innovative technologies and approached the project by focusing on the realization of a plastic chair with highly high-tech aesthetic, but converting along the way to an idea that would further enhance the craftsmanship “know-how” that has always characterized Cassina company.

So he opted for a chair with very simple, almost stylized lines, with a slightly inclined backrest and slightly rounded corners, focusing on the relationship between the shell and the structure. The skeleton of the chair is in fact made up of a stable tubular steel frame, entirely hidden by a taut saddle leather covering that fits like a glove on it and makes the chair more pleasant to the touch and sight.

A sartorial chair, therefore, of refined elegance, which acquires more and more charm with the passing of the years and the ageing of the leather. Its success, which lasts to this day, has been enormous and in some ways unexpected: Cab in fact best embodied the recovery of the tradition that characterized the market in the 1980s, parallel to the rowdy proposals of Radical Design and almost in opposition to the same.

Cab gives life to an entire line of furnishings: from its versions in a small armchair format with armrests and stools, to the Cab Armchair variant of 1982 with the widest and deepest seat. The latter can be expanded in a two-seater version that takes on the appearance of a small sofa, while the Cab sofa and Cab Lounge armchair completely revolutionize the shapes of the original model, reconnecting it above all for the particular shape of the leather upholstery. In 2015 the Cab line also enters the sleeping area with the Cab Night bed, with a soft padded headboard.


The skeleton alone is worth nothing, you can't sit on it, and the leather alone is worth nothing; the whole becomes a chair that reminds me of Tutankhamun's ancient throne

Mario Bellini