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17 May 2018 By

Studiopepe Celebrated 1970s Glamour With Secret “Members’ Club” in Milan. The Pop-up is Gone Now, But Can Someone Please Recreate It? Please?

By Ali Morris, Dezeen

Studiopepe opened a private venue during Milan design week called Club Unseen, featuring retro furniture, intimate music performances and cocktails made by disembodied bartenders.


The Milan-based studio, led by designers Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara Di Pinto, took over the ground floor of a late 19th-century warehouse in the city’s Piazza Tricolore neighbourhood to create the immersive installation.

“The aim this year was to create a secret members club, a place where people could go, drink a cocktail and spend time with friends,” Mami told Dezeen. “Once you are here, you feel this sensation that you are in a haven, away from the hectic time of Salone.”


The club was arranged across seven distinct rooms – including three living rooms, a bar, dining room and beauty parlour – with interiors combining graphic shapes, grid patterns, pastels and metallic finishes.

The aim, according to Mami, was to capture the spirit of some of the nightclubs of the 1970s.

“Those years are fascinating to us – the colours and materials were very glamorous,” she said. “We wanted to create that here but with a twist.”


Design products crafted by Studiopepe, in collaboration with a selection of design brands, were used to furnish the rooms. They were displayed alongside vintage furniture, artworks and limited-edition classics from brands such as Cassina and Tacchini.

The bespoke products designed by Studiopepe included a round wall mirror produced by Italian bathroom brand Agape, wall hangings by CC Tapis, a collection of tiles by Botteganove, and a travertine and marble table by Solid Nature.


At the centre of the club’s linear layout was a bar run by mixologists from Drink & Taste Milano, who served cocktails from behind a horizontal screen. Donning white gloves, the mixologists lowered the drinks onto the bar so that only their gloved hands were visible to members.

“In this way, the bar becomes a stage,” explained the designers.


In a space called Informal Living, a huge wall-to-wall sofa bed provided a place for guests to relax and listen to live music performances by independent Italian and international musicians.

“For us it’s a modern vision of a club,” Lelli Mami told Dezeen.

“We wanted to explore this idea of the club as a place where you have the freedom to enjoy things – especially in the last room, where there is a huge sofa bed for people to jump on and listen to the music. Guests can kick off their shoes and enjoy the concert.”


Shortly before the opening, select guests were given the address of the club and a transfer tattoo of the club’s logo in order to gain entry.

Continuing the air of mystery, the entrance to the club was subtly signposted. Upon arrival, a butler welcomed members, inviting them to discover the rooms and serving them a drink.

Guests were also encouraged to download an augmented-reality app called Aria, which provided additional information about the design pieces on show. When users framed illustrated targets around the space with their smart devices, special animated content was loaded onto the screen that could then be shared on social media.

“For this Salone we saw many similar ideas with designers and brands creating clubs or secret venues,” added Mami. “It’s a trend I think.”

Read it at Dezeen

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