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April 19, 2012

Milan: Day three – 90 chairs and 10 tables at Marni.

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During Salone, installations and exhibits pop up throughout the city of Milan. This year, avant-garde Italian fashion label Marni is celebrating with a multidimensional art project called "L'arte del Ritratto," in which “products become subject and setting of the 17 portraits by photographer and filmmaker Francesco Jodice.”

One of those portraits tells the story of chairs produced by a Colombian man named Antonio, who as a prisoner set up a social rehabilitation program for prisoners reentering society. Embracing his skills as a craftsman while incarcerated, Antonio started building chairs out of plastic and iron.

Marni collaborated with Antonio for Salone, creating a limited-edition series of chairs. The company selected colors and color combinations to add a personal touch to the exhibit but every piece was made by hand in San Gil, Columbia by Antonio, local craftsmen, and inmates and former inmates of the San Gil Detention Center.

 

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After a 20-day ocean voyage, 80 chairs, 10 deck chairs and 10 tables are now on view at Marni’s flagship boutique at Via della Spiga 50. The limited-edition chairs and tables are available to purchase, and all proceeds “will be donated to the ICAM institute in Milan which, through one of its projects, enables the children of imprisoned mothers to spend their first years of life in a family environment, more fitting for the growth of the child.”

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And in case you were wondering, Antonio continues to manufacture these chairs and remains dedicated to the rehabilitation of prisoners who are returning to society.

Visit Marni.com to learn more and to watch a video of the chair-making process.

 

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