FASHION

Bobby Trolley is an unusually achievable part of legendary design


Due to their continuous production, the difference between new cars and old ones is thin. Older bifeplast models are different, for sure- those who come in contact with the material may develop patina and some colors become more intense. But buying a newly picked canonical furniture from the Bi-Rite store seems to be the most non-abrasive way.

Surprisingly, the new models seem to be as collectible as the old ones. Old and new cars alike come in dozens of weird repetitions, ranging from insane multicolored flex to intimidating tall boys to straight, small models that seem hard to find. (It’s almost impossible to find a vintage mini cart — you’ll have to buy a new one.) Nominally, these are storage carts, with drawers designed for A4 paper. But they are also art pieces, full of front, visible shelves, performed at Guggenheim-type angles.

That new retro is so popular with the aesthetics of the 70’s – think about how much more plastic, shiny or cartoon furniture there is now than it was a few years ago – it’s almost as if cars have been so cheap for so long. But at least in the United States, the bifeplast masterpieces in Colombo, which were mass-produced, have been largely misunderstood. For decades Americans have spent running behind the Nordic teak car and the canon recognized by Emes, non-organic substances seemed cheap, and so Bobby became cheaper. Which was the key to Colombo’s design as much as its suffocating lamps and challenging chairs weren’t too important. Plastics and visible storage were hard to perceive as an industry.

Snowgrass says the new interest in bobbies is not far from people’s interest in other design giants of the era. For Herman Miller, the new reproduction of pieces such as Ray Wilkes’ Chiclette sofa, Hayes Bruno’s Ray chair, and the 1928 Mallet-Stevens chair that Bi-Rite created itself all feel like examples of marketplace change. He thinks the cart survives because of Colombo’s high-tech, space age, and pop-all serving functionality. “It’s rare,” he says, “you can nail both things.”

The fabrication of this design explains why a 50-year-old plastic cart has been so resurrected. But Bobby is riding the wave of larger vintage-furniture that started rolling before the epidemic এবং and they could have been crested when unlikely furniture hunters saw Toshiyuki Kita googling “wink” chairs while decorating their new suburban homes. That’s the decent thing to do, and it should end there. The forgotten designer is recovered by archive account; Items once limited to Europe can now be delivered to states without third party shippers. Of course, there is no such thing as true vintage – but never really. What’s more, in a new world, we can judge whether we like things outside of their context, or how they fit into markets or trends. Plastic is now a feature less than a glare. Color seems like a must. As more glamorous things go through the door, it’s clear that we all want a Bobby.

And with so many logistics snags related to furniture – old lamps need to be rewired, couches need extra hands to get inside, all the good old things are rare and fought by the same vintage vendors and shops – not with Bobby, the event seems open and closed. Tradeoff, privacy is out now, the cart will probably never turn around at 100 again. But a snatch was not easier than now. Then why wait?

Bobby Office Trolley by Joe Colombo





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