Iconic British brand Heal’s has launched a retrospective of the past century of Italian influence on British style. This includes a new furniture range, several instore events, and original illustrations representing thirteen landmark events in the past century of Italian design.
The illustrations, created to represent Heal’s relationship with Italian designers, include many items that the brand have stocked for a century. Heal’s is the only brick & mortar retailer still selling Riva’s products, first created in the 1920s. Each individual illustration represents the most pivotal events in Italian design for that decade, re-created in a modern style.
“Heal’s has been bringing Italian style to the UK since the 1920s," says Heal’s head of buying, Sabina Miller. "Our first exhibition of Italian art and design pre-dated the MoMA show by over a decade! However, Italy itself has always been far ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to pushing the boundaries – they were already championing industrial design and versatility in the 1930s. Many ubiquitous features of furniture today, such as the flick switch on the power lead of most modern lamps, were first produced by Italian designers.”
All the images were created in partnership with Lucie Sheridan, an up-and-coming illustrator who Heal’s first discovered through Instagram. To continue the Italian tradition of blending interiors with visual art, and to champion good British creative in every form, Heal’s commissioned her to create the series as their first original graphic design project for 2017.
”I love how this job came about through Instagram," says Lucie. "I had screen-printed and illustrated the Heal’s flagship store as part of a personal project, and tagged them in my image on a whim. They came back almost immediately to tell me how much they liked my work, and this project grew from those discussions. I’ve always wanted to work for a company as prestigious as Heal’s, so I was more than happy to work with them. My favourite fact was Castiglioni’s ‘invisible cow’ lessons, where he used to demonstrate the versatility of design by climbing onto a table and pretending to milk a cow! I wanted to reflect that spirit of fun and experimentation in my work, while also faithfully representing the furniture."