Magis: a history of rebellion and persistence made of Eugenio Perazza the most copied man in design
Magis is the story of a man who wanted more, and chose design to contrast the local habits of copying more than inventing.
These days is common to find young millionaires and Instagram stars gaining success in their early 20’s, while some great achievers and historic personalities like Henry Ford, Raymond Loewy or Charles Darwin would become who they are at a later stage in their lives, whether it is by chance, after failures or, as in this case, by contrast.
When it comes to design, the road to success usually means attending a good design school, long internships, living in the right city at the right time, and in some cases a big family name, or money, at least.
Magis’ founder Eugenio Perazza was nothing of the sort.
Born and raised in a small community in Northeast Italy, the founder of Magis started working at 15 and did not come close to the world of design until the foundation of the brand in 1976, when he was 36. Magis, the Latin word for ‘more’, is the result of years of tireless work, curiosity, and courage, to build a brand that chose to invest in designers and original ideas when everyone in that geographical area was offering only copies and trivialities.
Bottle by Jasper Morrison
This stackable bottle rack represents a turning point in the history of Magis, not only for being the first huge commercial success of the brand but also because it signs the beginning of Magis’ collaboration with Jasper Morrison.
A reworking of the crates actually used to carry bottles of water, Bottle is part of the permanent collections of prestigious museums around the world.
Bombo Stool by Stefano Giovannoni
The Bombo stool is the most significant piece by Magis, for more than one reason. Stefano Giovannoni designed the stool in 1997, and for the following 10 years, the remarkable design of the product accounted for more than 50 percent of the brand’s sales creating such a huge commercial success that it changed the perception of all the categories of bar stools.
Sadly, it soon became the world’s most copied design piece: only in China, thousands of companies are still copying the Bombo stool.
Air Chair by Jasper Morrison
In 2000 Jasper Morrison and Magis develop the first one-piece chair produced with air molding technology.
Presented as the beautiful manifestation of technological revolution, the Air Chair method consists of gas injected into a mold with fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene: the result is a stable, resistant, and extremely lightweight chair.
Puppy by Eero Aarnio
Originally invented for children as part of the Me Too collection, the Puppy is a little dog designed by the Finnish designer Eero Aarnio that soon developed into an iconic piece for the use of adult designers, collectors, and more.
Available in different colors and sizes, this abstract polyethylene dog is a durable stool, a playful sculpture, and a work of art in its own right.
Chair_One by Konstantin Grcic
The Chair_One is the piece that, more than any other, reflects the Magis values of boldness, persistence, and courage. Initially considered more a piece of art or an experiment, this geometrical chair designed by Konstantin Grcic exploits the potential of die casting, and is today, a widely acclaimed design classic.
If you want to know more about iconic brands in the design field, don’t miss Brand Story – Cappellini.