In the 1940s, Flora Scalamandré famously sketched two prancing zebras to adorn the walls of Gino of Capri in Manhattan. That pair of zebras turned into more than 300 safari-inspired creatures leaping across a tomato-red backdrop and helped create the atmosphere that made the Italian restaurant a New York institution. Eight decades and multiple colorways later, that whimsical motif, Serengeti, remains one of the most recognizable patterns in the world of textiles. And its ability to transcend time makes it a formidable contender in joining a handful of other iconic classics recently reissued for the next generation of design enthusiasts.
In this vein, Scalamandré has teamed with NuWallpaper in a wall covering collaboration that marries the historic craft of the heritage brand with forward-thinking self-adhesive technology, as four familiar prints from Scalamandré’s archives are going peel-and-stick for NuWallpaper’s Signature Series. “This new removable option is a great choice for clients who are less committed to bold design decisions but still want to give it a try. They’re also a fun way to spice up a closet interior or the backs of bookcases, or even the back of a glass-front armoire or secretary,” says designer Liz Caan of Liz Caan & Co., a longtime admirer of the textile house. “My favorite is Serengeti Green Zebra Safari. It’s bold, playful, and has stood the test of time. It adds life to any space you put it in.”
But it’s not only zebras that are experiencing a renaissance. To mark its 100-year anniversary, family-owned British furniture brand Ercol launched L. Ercolani, a sub-brand that celebrates its roots while embracing the future via classic designs by the late Lucian Ercolani as well as new pieces by designers across the globe.
Its latest limited-edition collaboration gave Los Angeles–based pop artist Steve Harrington the chance to pay homage to Ercol’s long history but with a contemporary spin, engraving the 1950s Stacking Chair with a laser-burnt cartoon-esque illustration called “Our House Is On Fire.” Crafted using solid elm and beech timber, the chair still features outward-facing, tapered legs for stackable convenience and a curved back for support. As a bonus, the stretcher has a vibrant pop of teal, and Harrington designed a commemorative logo and contemporary Ercolion (Ercol’s original mascot) for the underside of the chair.
The 1950s also gave birth to Revolt, a modernist task chair conceived by Dutch-born industrial designer Friso Kramer for Ahrend. Keeping its midcentury-modern principles intact, Danish brand Hay teamed up with Ahrend to give the Revolt chair new life using a bent powder-coated steel frame and a mix of post-consumer recycled and virgin ABS materials for the backrest and seat. This time, the chair is rendered in a fresh palette of understated hues from Rice to Ocean Blue and Black.