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Everyday items
von Sandra Hofmeister | 5/3/2009

It was not a big showroom, the location chosen by newly established furniture brand "Moustache" for its first outing to Milan. It was nonetheless quite an exhibition room: this two-room store on via Tortona looked more like a private apartment than a salesroom. An everyday setting with tables, chairs and cupboards suitable for a large number of situations, expandable, easy to stow away and relatively cheap. The very name of this furniture brand sparkles with humor and irony. "We wanted a name that was graphically self-explanatory and did not need words," reports Stéphane Arriubergé, who founded Moustache, together with Massimiliano Iorio. The two CEOs know each other from being business partners at Domestic - a brand of "wall stickers" by reputed designers.

Humor and irony also form part of the work supplied by the five designers engaged by the two CEOs for their first collection. Both design studio Big Game and François Azambourg have experimented with polyurethane foam. The steel framework of Big Game's comic-like chair "Bold" is covered in the material and finished off with a removable fabric cover. "Bold" unexpectedly turns out to be quite practical to sit on - an avant-garde masterpiece of experimental chair art. By contrast, Big Game's flat tables are made of folded aluminum - a multi-purpose coffee table available, like most of the designs by this brand, in many colors. Inga Sempé demonstrates imagination and practicality with her luminaire "Vempeur" made of Tyvek. This flying object is made of a kind paper fleece produced from fiber functional textile - densely-packed, heat-sealed polyurethane fibers; it can be used either as a pendant or a table lamp. Inga Sempé's simple cupboard modules - wooden frames with folded textile doors that can be pushed open and shut round out Moustache's wide range, complementing chairs and tables by Matali Crasset and François Azambourg. Matali Crasset's room of retreat, "Xtra room", can also be altered for different spatial and living situations: a cave whose textile walls can be pulled over a wooden frame and easily dismantled. Wardrobe "Slastic" by Mir + Emili Padros and etagère "Mètre" by François Azambourg also have recourse to simple resources and are compatible with any kind of living situation.

Moustache introduces itself as a furniture brand with fresh designs that take their orientation from life. The brand goes for the basics, rather than trying out fashionable applications. For their first collection, Stéphane Arriubergé and Massimiliano Iorio have gone for versatile furniture - practical everyday items that everybody needs and everybody has around them throughout their lives. Moustache accordingly rejects trends in the furniture industry, focusing on useful new materials and simple solutions. Perhaps the credit crunch offers opportunities for brands like Moustache. We can only hope therefore that this newly established company's distribution network functions just as excellently as the furniture itself.