Inside the Cortile della Seta, Loro Piana’s headquarters in Milan, the brand presents a series of installations inspired by Andean culture, the apacheta. These structures are piles of stone that mark paths and passages in the Andes. Over the centuries, it was the wayfarers who brought them to life as they travelled those impervious routes, carrying a stone with them from the plains to the heights, where they were left as a gift and thanksgiving to the spirit of Pachamama, or Mother Earth. Over time, these stone columns grew, wayfarer after wayfarer, stone after stone, and today they are true towers, strong and imposing. Like a silent prayer they rise from the earth towards the sky, conveying charm and sacredness, history and secularity. The observer finds himself catapulted into an uncontaminated and wild environment, which is the very starting point of Cristián’s work.
“When we saw the design, we were immediately certain that it went beyond expectations. Cristián managed not only to put all his magic into the materials, but also to infuse the design with all the values we shared.”
The project pays homage to nature and the sustainable approach of which Loro Piana has always been a spokesman, and at the same time reflects on the values shared by the artist and the maison: attention to materials and craftsmanship, and the search for beauty and harmony even in rough and contrasting aspects and atmospheres. The province of Catamarca, in north-western Argentina, is where everything begins and takes shape. This is where the artist is born and where Loro Piana sources vicuña, the rarest and most precious natural animal fibre. A thin line that unites two pure souls, deeply in love with nature and the earth, the meeting of these two worlds thus offers a journey full of passion that knows no limits or boundaries. In the space inaugurated on the occasion of the Milan Design Week 2023, twelve towers rise up to 8 meters high, with an angular, irregular and unstable appearance, but at the same time harmonious and elegant. Even the colors are inspired by Argentine landscapes: red and white rivers and lagoons, green or brown bush branches, clear salt crystals, and warm, dusty earth. The stones are covered with Loro Piana Interiors fabrics recovered from past collections, inviting dialogue on the reuse of waste materials and more generally on the concept of sustainability.
“A unique, dreamy landscape that challenges the imagination of each of those wandering souls […]. Apacheta is a message addressed to our Pachamama, it’s history, it’s culture, it’s honesty and respect.”
Between the towers, the display also features furniture from the collection: sofas, poufs, benches and tables. The aesthetic appearance of all these elements recalls the arid landscape of the Catamarca wastelands, all the objects seem to resemble angular stones but softened by the materials of the Maison. Another element designed to contrast with stone is wood, hand-carved and rounded. Wood and fabric also merge with ceramic, used for the table surfaces and presented in the same shades and hues as the distant landscapes of Argentina. Visitors become wayfarers themselves, just like those who gave life to the apacheta tradition. Each figure moves harmoniously between elements of a landscape in which the original contrasts of a distant country have been recreated, mixing tradition, culture, color and materials.
The installation is open to the public until 23 April.
For more information loropiana.com.