In the spring of 2006, Alessi, the Italian Design Factory, re-classified its large product range into three sub-brands. Quoting from the Alessi site:
Officina Alessi welcomes the most challenging and refined products with delicate elegance, often crowning projects by internationally renowned authors…
Alessi is the main and the most traditional brand, expressing quality, technology and design…
A di Alessi is comprised of magic forms, colours, and materials, products which are more accessible to a larger public at decisively lower prices, and always with the mark of excellence.
As a retailer or a consumer, I’m not sure the distinction helps me very much. I can see the A di Alessi branding – the fun and functional products like the Dozi hedgehog paperclip holder or Mr Cold, the drippy-nosed soap dispenser.
When it comes to the Alessi and Officina brands, however, I find it harder to make the distinction. Where do those design classics, such as the Juicy Salif or Michael Graves’ Bird-Whistle kettle belong?
Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. Alessi products across all the sub-brands share the same attention to detail and design aesthetic. With so many products there’s sure to be something for everyone to love!