September 9, 2016

Ettore Sottsass Protégé Sergio Mannino Puts Whimsical Drawings on Scarves

Sketches courtesy of Sergio Mannino Studio.

Sergio Mannino Studio has launched a unisex scarf collection covered with cartoon-like illustrations taken straight from the designer’s sketchbook. The hand-knit scarves, available in dark blue and gray fabric, feature Mannino’s architectural sketches of cantilevered objects.

Sketches courtesy of Sergio Mannino Studio.

Mannino found inspiration for the collection in the pages of illustrations lying around his studio desk—along with his deep-rooted love of drawing, color, and the natural world. “I try to sketch without thinking,” Mannino says. “Being trained as architects, we are taught to explain every single decision and prove that our design is the correct answer to a problem.” Mannino describes his foray into fashion as a playful departure from this calculated thought process, which he says can “stifle innovation.”

Mannino’s artistic curiosities sparked while training as Italian designer Ettore Sottsass’s protégé. “[Sottsass] loved my drawings and always pushed me to draw more,” Mannino says. “He gave me the freedom to draw objects that did not have to necessarily become real.” Under Sottsass, Mannino designed 100 pieces of furniture that closely resemble the illustrations adorning his scarves—he eventually constructed nine, which he presented at the Memphis Gallery in 2002.

Sketches courtesy of Sergio Mannino Studio.

The collection is produced in the same Como, Italy, factory that produces merchandise for high-fashion brands such as Hermès and Moschino. Local artisans hand-knit each scarf with wool and silk blends, fusing traditional Italian craftsmanship with contemporary style.

Mannino’s collection is available for purchase on his website.

Sergio Mannino scarf modeled by Adam Lugungu Maketa. Photography by Lisa Klappe.

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