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Georgia O’Keeffe, Gabriella Crespi, and More: Art and Design’s Leading Ladies Inspire This Season’s Collection Debuts

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While gender equity has become a larger part of the conversation in all sectors of design and architecture, the historical contributions of female creatives are often still eclipsed by their male peers. Multiple design brands have turned to pioneering women artists and designers to inspire new collections launching this spring. During Women’s History Month and beyond, these eclectic bodies of new work serve as reminders of legacy figures whose output merits ongoing study, exploration, and celebration. The ways in which that can happen prove to be exciting and surprising, as demonstrated in five timely cases below.

Gabriella Crespi x Gubi

Gabriella Crespi.

Photography courtesy Archivio Gabriella Crespi

For its new Bohemian 72 Collection, Gubi turned to prolific Milanese artist and designer Gabriella Crespi’s relaxed rattan furniture designs, which feel as fresh now as they did when drafted some 50 years ago. “We share many common values with what Gabriella Crespi stood for—curiosity, courage, and creativity,” explains Gubi CMO Marie Kristine Schmidt. The collaboration marks the first time the late designer’s original rattan designs will be in production for the public. (The Bohemian 72 sofa, ottoman, lounge chair, and floor lamp had been made before, but only for Grespi’s own clients.) Gubi collaborated with Archivio Gabriella Crespi and Elisabetta Crespi, Gabriella’s daughter, who “ensured the original expression of the design,” Schmidt says. Crespi, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year, “was eclectic and sophisticated, and the more you get to know her history and work, the more you understand how relevant she is today,” Schmidt recounts.

The collaboration between Gubi and Gabriella Crespi marks the first time the late designer’s original rattan designs will be in production for the public.

Photography courtesy Gubi

Madeleine Castaing x House of Hackney

There were few decorating rules that French design legend Madeleine Castaing wasn’t afraid to defy. (Leopard print, for starters, was considered a neutral in her palettes.) And if well-behaved women rarely make history, as they say, then Castaing is proof: She continues to be a muse for many, even 30 years after her death at the age of 97. More recently, the self-taught designer and art patron is a fitting source of inspiration for House of Hackney’s latest launch, given that the British brand has a particularly deft touch with revisiting historically-informed maximalist pattern play. Reflecting Castaing’s love for botanicals, the new range of fabrics and wallpapers includes options like the ivy-climbing Hedera and the verdant Bryher Rose Trellis. When paired with exuberant accessories, such as House of Hackney’s Ananas pineapple-shaped lamp, these creations pay appropriate homage to Castaing’s legacy of spectacularly audacious interiors.

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