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Miss Sissi & Mister Gandini Jr.

Every great success comes from taking risks (or) from the courage to bet. In the mid ’80s, Sergio Gandini met a young Philippe Starck, and accepted to manufacture his fairy-tale lamp, Arà.

Seeing the potential in Starck’s visions Piero Gandini, who had begun working alongside his father, developed the Arà design on an industrial scale. He realized the big talent of the best of postmodern authors and decided to mass-produce one of Starck’s designs in plastic for a hotel in New York, a type of iconic table lamp later called Miss Sissi, defined by Starck as: “What everybody subconsciously thinks a lamp is.”

It proved an amazing success (8,000 pieces sold in the first 10 days, 100,000 in a year) and was the first in a long series of iconic best-sellers produced by Piero Gandini, together with Starck or Castiglioni. By way of new technologies and materials, they updated the Flos image and opened ingenious paths of research and development.


by Stefano Casciani

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Philippe Starck with Piero Gandini in a Cadillac for the making of the Miss Sissi brochure, 1992
A. Castiglioni, a hand sketch for the Taraxacum 88 lamp, 1988
Sergio Gandini and Achille Castiglioni
The new Flos offices at Corso Monforte 7 in Milan, design by A. Castiglioni with Davide Boriani (lighting) and Max Huber (floor pattern), 1981
A. Castiglioni, installation with Flos lamps for his one-man show at the MAK Museum, Vienna, 1984