Buster + Punch has a lot to celebrate! This year the brand celebrates its momentous 10th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, founder and creative director Massimo Buster Minale has unveiled his first ever chair, the Chopper. This design holds tremendous sentimental value, as the original version belongs to Massimo’s late father, Marcello Minale.
An influential designer in the 70s, Marcello crafted the brand identities for iconic fashion houses like Valentino, Armani, and Fendi, but his off-hours were spent working on custom motorbikes, a passion shared with his son that would eventually lead to the inception of Buster + Punch. The new edition of the Chopper pays homage to the initial design with updates that give it the Buster + Punch signature.
In the video below, Massimo sits down to talk to his brother, Marcello Minale, who continues to successfully operate global branding agency Minale Tattersfield, founded by their father in 1964. The brothers discuss their father’s original 1973 design and his legacy, as well as the updated Buster + Punch version of the Chopper Chair, and more.
Recognizing the Chopper’s significance as one of the first stackable lounge chairs available back then, Massimo retained that quality in the new version but upgraded the materials. The Chopper now features a wider gauge steel frame with a modern black chrome finish, giving the chair extra durability and a monochromatic appearance. The seat and backrest, originally made of rattan, have been swapped out with thick, full-grain leather in black. In the way that the leather seat of a motorcycle contours the shape of the engine block, the Chopper gently supports the user in their relaxed, lounging position. Leaving no detail – however small – behind, Massimo punctuated the chair’s overall black appearance with solid brass logo caps, solidifying the mark of a Buster + Punch production.
Comfort and efficiency have also improved in the new Chopper Chair. Accounting for different preferences of comfort, Massimo added straps on the seat to allow the user to adjust as needed. The chair, shipped as a flat-packed item, now saves over 75% of the packaging and airspace.
For Massimo, the introduction of the Chopper lounge chair marks a full circle moment for Buster + Punch, one that we felt needed additional context to fully honor the chair’s origin. Below, we chat with Massimo who takes us on a trip down memory lane and also shares what’s next for the brand:
What are your earliest memories of your father as a designer and creator?
Hanging out after school at his offices in Putney, as my eldest brother and mum were also designers.
Are there any traits or patterns that your father has passed down to you?
Simplicity in design. Before my Dad came along, graphic design was very descriptive but he reinvented the genre by stripping it back to the single most important message and, as a result, was responsible for bringing logos into fashion houses rather than full brand names. We try to emulate that at B+P to avoid confusing people with too many messages.
Why did you select the Chopper as Buster + Punch’s inaugural chair?
It’s sitting in my family house since I was born. Every twist and turn of my life has spent in this chair and for some time we’ve wanted to bring it back. It felt this was the time, coinciding with our anniversary and the 70s silhouette being so strong. What makes chairs like this special is how they place an emphasis on the construction and the frame rather than big puffy cushions that cover up a multitude of sins.
Where do you see the newly updated Chopper existing?
This is the lounge chair that gives that contrast to your puffy upholstered sofa. But also the one you’d have in your lobby. It’s one that looks as good as it feels – it’s the one you have next to the sofa that draws all the attention.
Are there any plans to update the Chopper in the future?
We’re looking into releasing new covers, as the charm of this new design is that you can remove and switch out the covers. But we always wanted this limited run first edition to be the black-on-black, which felt like the perfect colorway.
Congratulations on the decade anniversary! What do you hope to do with Buster + Punch for the next ten years?
Remain original, meaningful, and innovative. We’ll try to stay analogue and tactile but continue to explore ways to meld technology with tradition to shape new chapters and ideas.
To shop the Chopper Chair, visit busterandpunch.com.