Alessi has a way of dangling beautiful, shiny things in front of our eyes enticing us to outfit our homes with their exquisite wares. The family-owned Italian company was founded in 1921 and has had grandson Alberto Alessi at the helm since 1970. Since then, he’s steered the company with a growing network of about 400 designers, architects, and artists from around the world, and currently has over 3,000 pieces in production.
Alberto is a master at cultivating collaborative relationships with these designers through the design process, which takes a minimum of 18 months for each product. The results produced speak for themselves when you feast your eyes on their extensive catalog. Needless to say, the thriving brand continues to evolve with the times while also staying true to its beloved Italian roots with each design.
Michael Graves designed the new dragon-shaped whistle to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the popular 9093 kettle. The latest edition is known as Tea Rex. It’s the last design from Graves before he passed away earlier this year making it that much more special for Alessi.
From Alberto Alessi:
The existing kettle itself is a big success, but the whistle alone is the most stolen Alessi product in the shops everywhere in the world. You find so many kettles without it so we sell a lot of replacements. So, joking around about this story, my marketing manager had the idea to ask him to design a new whistle for the 30th anniversary. At the end of November/beginning of December of 2014, Michael sent us the proposal, mockup, and drawings of the new Tea Rex whistle.
I’ve had a very special relationship with this kettle and with Michael. He was the most important Alessi design hero in the late 80s/beginning 90s. He understood the normal customer and that they were looking for beautiful objects, also. He was in tune with them.
You can also buy a set of two limited edition whistles in either green & red or a brass metallic finish.
The Pulcina espresso maker marks the first project with longtime friend and designer Michele De Lucchi, who approached Alberto about two years ago with the idea. Pulcina is the result of a years-old collaboration with Italian coffee producer illycaffè. The finished product solved the so-called “Stromboli-volcano effect” that is common to all espresso makers on the market, making the espresso taste better.