B&B Italia Le Bambole '07
By Mario Bellini
The starting point was a shopping bag that contained formless material that was shaped when the bag was set on the ground and squashed. In the shared research undertaken by the designer and the company's internal R&D department, the Centro Ricerche & Sviluppo, the idea moved towards the shape of a cushion.
This is how Le Bambole came into being between 1970 and 1972. The series turned out to be an icon for the 1970s and won the "Compasso d'Oro" award in 1979. The search for a new shape for upholstered furniture: all of the parts are shaped like a large soft cushion. If we take apart Le Bambole, we get cushions in part, because they are a natural "free" shape, difficult to describe in a product drawing, but easy to perceive and analyse. Inside them is the "skeleton", or rather the vertical edges or elastic membranes that blend form and fabric to determine a balance between action and reaction. Le Bambole , said Bellini, “are not covered in fabric, instead they are built of fabric.”
Le Bambole never age. What makes them special is the apparent absence of a load bearing structure, the extreme naturalness of their shape, and the combination of comfort, softness and elasticity that their appearance conveys Le Bambole '07, in the versions armchair (Bambola), 2-seat sofa (Bibambola) and 3-seat sofa (Tribambola), in addition to the ottomans, were all made with removable covers.
B&B Italia opted to launch Le Bambole in an approach connected with the icon of the moment, jeans. With the precious contribution of a young Oliviero Toscani and the model Donna Jordan, the product launch was achieved with a very creative, distinctive campaign that was also a little provocative, once again breaking the sector's communication codes. The advertisement showed a topless Donna Jordan, photographed by Oliviero Toscani, as she invited the viewer to look at the product. The advert was censured immediately, and a simultaneous flow of communication began which had a very positive effect on the product's sales.