A prominent leader in the design world, Magis products push the boundaries of contemporary furniture. Established in Italy in 1976, today Magis is a benchmark in the world of interiors.
For the last five decades, Italian furniture brand Magis has worked alongside world-renowned designers to produce forward-thinking, innovative products. Known for their outside-the-box thinking, each Magis creation has its own story to tell, its own character to express. In celebration of Magis’ anniversary, we delve into some of the highlights from their first 45 years.
Top : Aviva Folding Chair, Left : Voido Chair, Right : Air Armchair
The Early Days Of Magis
In 1976 Magis presented their very first product, Toto, to the market. Designed by Berti & Bressan, Toto was a practical bar cart whose top could be lifted, giving easy access to the storage space inside.
Aviva, a collection of folding chairs, was introduced in 1979. Designed by Marc Berthier, Aviva is still available today making it the oldest product in Magis’ portfolio. Shortly after, in 1984, Magis launched Step, a functional ladder designed by Andries & Hiroko van Onck. Step become first in a series of pieces defined as “forgotten designs”. Shop Aviva, the oldest Magis design in production here.
During the 90s Alberto Perazza and his wife Barbara Minetto joined Magis, a move that was instrumental in driving the company into the 21st century. Magis began to collaborate with names like Jasper Morrison, Stefano Giovannoni, Jerszy Seymour and Marc Newson. The designs created in collaboration with these legendary designers soon began to gain an international reputation.
In 1994, Magis presented Bottle, a stackable bottle rack designed by Jasper Morrison. This design went on to become the first Magis product to be a permanent fixture in renowned design museums, such as the V&A in London and the MoMA in New York. In 1997 Magis unveiled Bombo, an innovative design by Stefano Giovannoni. Bombo was the first gas-lift bar stool with a hidden mechanism to adjust the height.
Top : Spun, Left : Chair One, Right : Flux Chair
In collaboration with designer Jasper Morrison, the Air Chair launched in 2000 heralding a new era for Magis. This innovative design was the first one-piece chair developed with air-moulding technology.
Over the course of the 2000s, Magis intensified their partnerships with major international designers and elevated their eagerness to experiment. The instantly recognisable Chair One by Konstantin Grcic launched in 2003 giving life to a bold and unique piece of furniture made of die-cast aluminium. In 2006 the Déjà-vu stool, designed by Naoto Fukasawa complemented the Magis collection with a reassuring sense of familiarity and simplicity.
Top : Cyborg Chair, Left & Right : Magis Puppy
The Magis Puppy (pictured above) was designed by Eero Aarnio in 2004 for the “Me Too” Collection. A then-new line of furniture created to reflect a child’s perspective on design. Made from colourful polyethene, the Puppy represents everything that is quintessential about the iconic Finnish designer: Organic silhouettes, vivid colours, a desire to push the boundaries. Aarnio’s Plastic Puppy is manufactured using innovative rotational moulding technology.
2010 marked the launch of Thomas Heatherwick’s Spun Chair. A totally unique design, Spun is a joyous object with a rotationally symmetrical form that, with interaction, becomes a comfortable chair. This was shortly followed by the introduction of the Cyborg Chair, designed by Marcel Wanders in 2011. Cyborg (pictured above) combines the modern practicalities of polycarbonate with solid ash creating a dining chair worthy of any interior.
2015 saw the introduction of Officina, a constantly evolving collection of furniture and accessories that celebrates craftsmanship. Featuring forged iron and geometric shapes, the collection has a distinctive, instantly recognisable appeal.
Top : Aviva, Left : Bell Chair, Right : Officina Series
Magis continue to push the boundaries of design. Their collection has a forward-looking attitude, offering furniture and accessories that comply with changing times. For 45 years the brand has asked design questions and, in response, created products that are innovative, aesthetic and responsibly produced.
The Bell Chair, designed by Konstantin Grcic was introduced in 2020, a product that proves how tradition can be turned into innovation. Crafted from recycled and recyclable plastic, the chair is produced using a minimum amount of material, time and energy. As the collective conscience moves towards a more planet-friendly approach to design, Magis have underlined their commitment to sustainability. The recently launched Costume Sofa, designed by Stefan Diez, is a shining example of this. Boasting new construction methods the sofas core is made of recycled and recyclable plastic. There is also the possibility to fully dismantle all elements for recycling at the end of the products life.
Choosing timeless, well-made designs is arguably the most sustainable approach to buying furniture. The best design stands the test time and will last, and look great, for generations to come. Magis products like the Aviva Chair, designed in 1979, still look as contemporary as ever, proof that they are a wonderful investment.
Here is to the future of Magis. We are sure we will be celebrating these timeless designs in another 45 years. We also greatly look forward to seeing what their innovative approach will create next.
Browse the full Magis furniture and home accessories collection here.
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