Gabriella Crespi is definitely one of the most creative and prestigious designers of the 70s. She created furniture for less than 10 years, making her pieces extremely rare.
Her creations graced some of the most elegant homes in the world: Elizabeth Arden, Princess Grace, Gunther Sachs and the Shah of Iran were aficionados. And today they are reaching very high prices at auctions for her most iconic pieces like the Cubo Magico tables, or the Z desk.
While the furniture looks like sculpture, it moves with the precision of a fine watch, and her mechanisms are patented. This is due, no doubt, to her architectural studies at the Politecnico Institute in Milan.
Crespi did not have a factory, or even a separate studio. She would make detailed drawings at home and bring them to various artisans around Milan, where, in those days, a designer could dream up a sensational piece and quickly have a prototype made, sometimes overnight, by a fine woodworker or metalsmith. At the height of her success, Crespi maintained a showroom and warehouse in Milan and a showroom and glamorous apartment in the historic Palazzo Cenci in Rome, where her pieces looked right at home set against Umbrian frescoes.