Written by Bea Taylor
Thanks to the cult-rising of interior pieces to the same status level as statement fashion scores on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a few key items making their way into your feed. In New Zealand, it might be the Simon James ‘Isabella’ chair or Martino Gamper ‘Arnold Circus’ stool. If you follow more international accounts, B&B Italia’s ‘Tufty Time’ sofa or Pierre Jeanneret’s rattan chairs have probably made an appearance more than once.
Well, now there’s another to add to that list and you undoubtedly already know it — Ettore Sottsass’ Ultrafragola mirror. Curvaceous, pink, 6-foot tall with a neon-illuminated frame — it’s hard to miss.
Ultrafragola means ‘ultimate strawberry’ in Italian. It was designed in 1970 by Sottsass, one of Italy’s great furniture designers and founder of the Memphis group (the collective of designers that started the Memphis movement in 1981). It explains the mirror’s obvious 80s Memphis appeal and despite it being designed a decade earlier, Sottsass was, by all accounts, ahead of his time. He favoured shocking designs in unexpected and often ‘crass’ materials like plastic.
For years, many homes have been very heavily inspired by Scandinavian design; modern, minimal and a little vanilla. Sottsass’ mirror is the antithesis of this minimalist aesthetic; arched, curved, neon and coloured pink, it’s precisely why it’s become so popular. Maximalism is on its way back, people are craving a bit of colour and flair, and Sottsass’ radical design fits right in. However, its prompt rise to fame could also be put down the particularly flattering light the pink neon frame emits — the perfect selfie mirror, we are, after all, talking about Instagram.
In fact, the likes of Bella Hadid, Sophia Amoruso, Laurel Pantin and Frank Ocean have all added Sottsass’ Ultrafragola mirror to their home decor and Instagram selfie line-up. Lena Dunham was even photographed with her mirror for the fall issue cover of Domino magazine.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking to add one to your own home, it comes with a steep price tag. Currently on 1stdibs, you can purchase one of these beauties for over US$10,000.