17 October 2018

40 years of Flou and “its very own” Nathalie

“Beds are where the future is made, where couples spend time together, where families are created and where plans for the day to come are made. I feel the same way about it now as I did when I created Flou.” Rosario Messina.

The first 40 years of Nathalie. It doesn’t feel or look like it. Deserving of celebration like a beautiful woman and delighted to have reached such an important milestone still young, fresh and desirable, Nathalie remains an icon of timeless style, one of the most plagiarised and “inspirational” products of all.

Back in 1978, Rosario Messina, who had recently set up Flou, cottoned onto the (then largely overlooked) potential of textiles and upholstereds and wanted a bed that could channel this. Vico Magistretti came up with a design not just for a simple bed but one that was truly innovative in terms of type, looks and function, marking a watershed in the history of contemporary furnishing, revolutionising the elegance of and taste in beds. Nathalie also helped to revolutionise domestic routines during the Seventies, being the first modern textile bed, which could be remade with a simple gesture of the hand because it was padded, functional and completely strippable. It also came with a full “sleep kit”: mattress, pillows, duvets and coordinated bedding.

Flou is celebrating Nathalie (along with the company’s 40th anniversary) with a limited edition of 299 pieces which faithfully replicate one of the original versions, recreated thanks to the invaluable input of people who worked for the company at the time. Alongside the “bed with bows,” the book Nathalie/40, edited by Ruben Modigliani, traces its history, with words and images documenting the evolution of taste, habits and major developments since 1978, as well as the collaboration between the designer Vico Magistretti and the industrialist Rosario Messina, which informed a rich and stimulating dialogue geared to creating something absolutely new, shaped by their extraordinary feel for good looks.

A short film, written and directed by Andrea Cavallari and conceived and produced by Cristian Rabbiosi accompanies the book. The poetic, atmospheric film tells the story of a family – a simple story, made up of fragments of life, emotions, traditions and lessons. The theme and common thread is a bow finally revealed as the “perfect bow” featuring on Nathalie’s headboard. “Nathalie also serves as a metaphor for our family: the set of values that always has and always will underpin the way we live and the way we work,” said Rosario Messina.

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