WSJ Magazine: Italian Designer Gabriella Crespi Returns
After decades spent out of the spotlight, Gabriella Crespi, known for her singular furniture designs, launched new pieces at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan—and is poised to make a comeback
The fashion industry has long embraced Crespi’s aesthetic. “She was boho chic before boho chic existed,” says Italian Vogue’s editor, Franca Sozzani, who owns one of Crespi’s coveted Z desks. Sergio Rossi dedicated a collection of shoes to her designs, Fendi started installing Crespi furniture in its flagships and Stella McCartney, who had been a collector of her work, sold her jewelry at her boutiques. “I was immediately drawn to the warmth and the femininity,” she says. In 2008, McCartney adds, “I totally sought her out, wrote her a letter and asked if we could meet for tea. We met at a hotel in Milan, and I learned about her life, her warmth and all that she has been able to achieve as a woman in design. Our relationship really built off from that, and we stayed in touch and still write each other notes. She is an incredible woman with such strength, and yet there is a sense of fragility. It’s a special combination.” The sunglasses Crespi wears every day now are gifts from McCartney.