Gianni Cinti is a designer with a transversal approach, who loves to contaminate products with art and fashion. It is no coincidence that his past includes militancy in the creative team of the Maison Gianfranco Ferré, which launched him internationally. Then, in 2010, the opening of his own studio in Milan where he is active between fashion and product design, merging different approaches and languages, just like in the Jungle collection for Sambonet.
How did the meeting with Sambonet come about?
"I had already worked for the company a few years ago, signing with Serena Confalonieri the Kyma series, creations in which stainless steel meets finely decorated ceramic. On that occasion that empathy was born, that mutual interest that led to Jungle. Probably, at Sambonet they appreciated my 'contaminated' approach that combines fashion and product and also has a strong decorative connotation'.
Encounter is precisely the key word, the theme that inspired the Jungle cutlery collection. What does it mean, concretely?
"The encounter, in Jungle, refers first of all to the conviviality that is created at the table. Every table is the story of an encounter: of people and, therefore, of different sensibilities, a bit like in the case of me and Sambonet. The second meaning of encounter, on the other hand, is linked to the history of cutlery: my aim was to imprint on these objects, which must be practical and functional, something apparently very distant from their nature, namely decoration. Cutlery is almost by definition an object in which functionality must prevail over any other requirement. On the other hand, however, there is the increasingly strong appeal that decoration exerts in our time on product design, even on that most closely linked to industrial dynamics. This appeal has ended up conquering Sambonet as well, and I found myself designing 'talking' cutlery, with motifs impressed on both fronts and representing, also, a tactile, poetic, sensual invitation".
The result is a metal object that looks like fabric. What does it mean to bring a theme like decoration to a company with strong roots like Sambonet, with a hundred and fifty years of history?
"I like to say that my work for Sambonet has been very much 'warp and weft'. I entered into the company's meshes, structuring an open and sincere dialogue, something that is not very frequent, given the large number of projects that, even when entrusted to creatives with strong personalities, are often dropped somewhat from above. For Jungle I went back to echoes of the 1950s, designing a pattern that was intended to be elegant, made up of simple phytomorphic figures. This initial suggestion was followed by the idea of 'breaking down' the pattern cutlery by cutlery, so that each piece contains a part of it and the overall design can be reconstructed visually once at the table, by placing the fork, spoon and knife side by side. In this sense the theme of encounter returns, because only when the cutlery meets at the table does the pattern become clear, evident'.
The feeling is that of an industrial and, at the same time, artisanal collection.
"Yes: Jungle's moulds are handmade, at the same time Sambonet is industrial. I like to reconnect seemingly distant worlds. This is also an encounter'.
Finally, there is the theme of fashion. Where do we find the fashion designer's 'sign' in Jungle?
"Specifically, the idea of breaking down and recomposing the pattern comes from the typical approach of fabric design. Whenever I find myself working on the decoration of a product, I do so by borrowing the logic of fashion design. This aspect, in Jungle, can also be read in the various versions of the collection, conceived as real looks: there is gold, more classic and rich, the trendy powder pink, then an almost lava black, very rock. In short, a collection that wants to be suitable for every occasion, iconic and timeless'.