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Comfort, su­pe­rior de­sign and Mod­ernist style – An­to­nio Cit­te­rio’s A.B.C. arm­chair has it all

De­signer An­to­nio Cit­te­rio, 1996. De­tails Me­tal and fabric arm­chair with leather-wrapped arms, £4,472, Flex­form. Back­ground Surf­ing the trend for su­pe­rior de­sign with a rad­i­cal edge, Cit­te­rio’s A.B.C. arm­chair is a sig­na­ture piece of Mod­ernist style, up­dat­ing the tubu­lar me­tal con­struc­tions of pi­o­neers such as Mar­cel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe. Like his pre­de­ces­sors, An­to­nio Cit­te­rio is an ar­chi­tect by pro­fes­sion and product de­signer by in­cli­na­tion, team­ing the two dis­ci­plines to cre­ate aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing fur­ni­ture that is as swoon-in­duc­ing as it is sleekly struc­tural. The A.B.C. is a prime ex­am­ple, in­tro­duc­ing patented tech­nol­ogy that al­lows the back­rest and seat cush­ion to ex­tend back­wards and for­wards, so max­imis­ing comfort, while keep­ing the me­chan­ics hid­den from view. Be­ing Ital­ian, of course, the fin­ishes are to die for, with the me­tal frame avail­able stained, in chrome or bur­nished (as pic­tured here), and up­hol­stery rang­ing from tac­tile cash­mere and nubock leather to cool cot­ton, linen and velvet. But the se­cret of the A.B.C.’S suc­cess isn’t just down to its Latin good looks – Cit­te­rio’s prod­ucts have an ide­al­is­tic ethos, too. ‘I make things for my­self,’ he says. ‘If I can’t sur­round my­self with pieces that please me, I don’t make them – it’s that sim­ple.’ De­signed for easy liv­ing, the A.B.C. fol­lows its cre­ator’s max­ims to the let­ter.

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