When we think about our dining spaces, where long evenings are spent consuming delicious food and drinks (and with good company), few chairs are more suited for the task than Cassina’s Cab Chair. A sophisticated piece of furniture, the chair was designed by Mario Bellini for the renowned Italian brand in 1977.
And for this storied chair, its sublime fit is everything. At the time of the Cab Chair’s release, it was the first ever chair to feature a free-standing leather structure (constructed entirely out of cowhide), inspired by the way in which skin fits over a skeleton and the perfectly-fitted lines of a bespoke, tailored garment. Meticulously constructed, the chair’s upholstery consists of sixteen pieces of saddle leather, individually die-cut, before undergoing fourteen different procedures by hand. The pieces then have their outer edges trimmed to ensure a perfect fit, before being sewn together. Once assembled, the cover is attached to the chair’s steel frame and fastened with a zipper.
The Cab Chair proves that design can be as much about the tenets of upholstery as it is about structural form. (The only additional reinforcement to the chair is provided by a plastic plate that supports the seat). Its finish is sleek and beautifully resolved, bringing an understated but undeniably sophisticated presence to any kind of dining space.
In fact, Bellini’s indelible mark on contemporary design has long made him an industry icon. The epitome of Italian cool, his most famous creations emit an aura of effortless comfort and masterful restraint. Throughout his epic career, the designer has remained true to his personal vision — one that is globally appreciated, with 25 works found in the permanent design collection at MOMA in New York.
Now, some 50 years since its conception, the Cab Chair has undergone a subtle evolution to meet modern demands, with additional armrest options and a deeper seat pitch, should lounging be deemed necessary. While the classic 412 chair sits at the head of the Cassina Cab family, it has also inspired barstools and sofas that boast the same meticulous construction and elegant design approach. An undeniable icon, the Cab Chair will not only give your dining space a refined edge, but will be a piece you cherish for a lifetime.
Cab Chair by Mario Bellini for Cassina is available locally from Matisse.