Founded by Arianna Lelli Mami (Desio, 1975) and Chiara Di Pinto (Milan, 1976) in Milan in 2006, Studiopepe is a multitasking design studio that takes on a wide range of projects, including interior design, styling, set design, consultancy, trend forecasting, and exhibition and catalog design, as well as object and product design.
The founders both graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 2001; Lelli Mami studied interior design, and Di Pinto studied industrial design. Since joining forcing, the duo has earned an international reputation for their unique color palettes and highly composed presentations.
Studiopepe boasts a full resume of successful projects and collaborations. The following includes a selected list to date: In 2009, Studiopepe began an ongoing relationship with high-end, Milanese design showroom Spotti, which led to the production of a number of exclusive designs for the brand, including the Kora Vase (2013). In 2012, the studio was commissioned by Republic of Fritz Hansen to design the Danish brand’s Milan flagship store, including ongoing seasonal window displays and events. Also in 2012, MaxMara Group hired Studiopepe to consult on materials and colors for the Max&Co. flagship in Milan, which also led to ongoing seasonal window displays and events, as well as Studiopepe’s work on the new MaxMara building in Tokyo in 2013. In 2014, Kvadrat chose Studiopepe to design the multi-room installation for the launch of its new collection of Raf Simons textiles. Studiopepe has also done work for Agape, &Tradition, Elle Décor, and Fendi, among many more.
In 2015, Lelli Mami and Di Pinto launched Studiopepe Design—the arm of their business that’s dedicated to retail and private interiors as well as product design—to create a clear distinction between their styling and consulting projects and their design and production work. Studiopepe Design’s first official creation was Ossimori, a collection of one-of-a-kind sculptural objects that debuted at Fragile Milano during Salone 2015. Studiopepe Design has since followed up with another research-driven project, Out of the Blue, produced for the Ladies & Gentlemen exhibition during Salone in 2016.
When asked to describe their design approach, Lelli Mami commented: “We spend a lot of time experimenting with new combinations of colors, shapes, and materials in order to find a new aesthetic. We also let ourselves be inspired by very disparate subjects. For example, for Out of the Blue, we were thinking a lot about astronomy and how we could deepen the cyanotype process.” Di Pinto added, “Beauty is something that is not only related to shapes. It’s a moral attitude. As Dostoevskij said, ‘Beauty will save the world.’ Or as Wilde pointed out, ‘Beauty is a form of genius—is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation.’”
Kora Vase and Ossimori V were exhibited in the W. Women in Italian Design exhibition at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan in 2016. Ossimori I, Ossimori IV, and Ossimori VII were selected for the exhibition Collection #2—Human|Nature, curated by Andrew Zuckerman at New York’s Chamber Gallery also in 2016.