Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
MILANTRACE 2018 Partner Banner | Yellowtrace

 

Just as I thought it was not possible to adore them anymore, with each trip to Milan, my admiration and respect for Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto of Studiopepe goes up a notch.

This year, the dynamic duo and their clever team brought to life what was probably THE coolest experience of Milan Design Week 2018 – Club Unseen. Conceptualised as a Members Only Cub, this event was billed as ‘one of the best-kept secrets of Salone’ and it was the one I couldn’t wait to check out in person. As I said before, there are only a handful of designers who are guaranteed to nail it every time, and whilst this kind of pressure and expectation is never fair on anyone, Studiopepe simply deliver.

But back to Club Unseen. The six-room club occupied a former late 19th-century warehouse, and it was created as an exclusive place and an informal refuge away from the usually crowded events associated with the week. And given 2018 was the year when the turnout was more epic than ever, Studiopepe were well aware this place was going to get slammed if the invite-only rule wasn’t enforced – they were, after all, keen to manage the experience of those who were lucky enough to be there.

 

Related:
The Visit by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2017.
MILANTRACE Moment with Studiopepe at Out Of The Blue.

 

 

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Dana Tomic Hughes, Yellowtrace and Arianna Lelli Mami, Studiopepe at Clubunseen, Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018

Left & Right: Photo of Clubunseen entry by Giuseppe D’innella. Middle: Dana Tomic Hughes (that’s me!) chatting to Arianna Lelli Mami of Studiopepe. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace. 

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018

Clubunseen Living Room. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Clubunseen Living Room. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Studiopepe’s Sketch of Clubunseen Living Room.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018

Living Room & Bar at Clubnseen. Photography by Giuseppe D’innella.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018

Bar moments at Clubunseen. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Despite the secret location, the word spread fast and the club quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town. The DJ played late into the night (Club Unseen was open every night from 6pm to 12am through the week).

The guests gained entry via a tattoo of the club’s logo which was sent by post, adding to the anticipation and intrigue.

At the heart of the Club was the bar – a backlit custom-made geometric textured glass screen that turned the ‘gestures of mixology’ into performance art. People stood in front of it in absolute awe, watching deft hands placing ice into a cocktail glass with tweezers, pouring and stirring the drinks just so. Watching your drink being made was possibly even more exciting than the drink itself!

 

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018

Sitting room with THAT pink onyx table! Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Lounge at Clubunseen. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018

Lounge at Clubunseen. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018

Bathroom at Clubunseen. Photography by Giuseppe D’innella.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Studiopepe’s Bathroom sketch for Clubunseen.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018 | #Milantrace2018

Details from Clubunseen, including the small tatoo (the official way to get into the club). Photography by Giuseppe D’innella.

Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018
Club Unseen by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2018. Photo © Nick Hughes | #Milantrace2018

Entry to Clubunseen was via a discreet door that only revealed the logo which matched the tattoo invite. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

But of course, Club Unseen wasn’t just about the drinks. For the most part. Each room was dressed in various products created by Studiopepe, beautifully contextualised in a multi-purpose environment which effortlessly crossed boundaries of residential, commercial and hospitality.

There were round mirrors and bathrooms accessories created for Agape; Empire totem floor lamp for Atelier de Troupe inspired by 70s conceptual art; a collection of white enamelled ceramic tiles for BN inspired by Carlo Scarpa (which sat at the entry); wall-hangings for cc-tapis; the arresting Wiemer table for Solid Nature made from a single piece of pink Onyx with inlays highlighting the supports made of travertine, Onyx and marble; Cloud Nine chandelier for Technolux; amongst many other beautiful things. I was also excited to see Daze Coffee Tables (previously) by Rotterdam-based Australian designers Studio Truly Truly which were this year put into production by Tacchini. Yay.

So many warm and fuzzy feels at Club Unseen, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the reason this installation reached next levels of cool is that Studiopepe never rests on their laurels, and absolutely always push themselves to create something new and never before ‘seen’.

I adore these clever, hardworking women whose conceptual approach and their process is as strong as their sophisticated, cutting-edge aesthetic. Respect.

 

Related:
The Visit by Studiopepe at Milan Design Week 2017.
MILANTRACE Moment with Studiopepe at Out Of The Blue.

 

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace and Studiopepe as noted. Video © Yellowtrace.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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