Matteo Alessi 'My favourite designs through the decades'

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1940s
The Bombe Tea and Coffee Set

The last thing designed by my grandfather, Carlo, and it still looks modern today. He made it as an engagement present for my grandmother because he didn't like the set she was using. Unfortunately she was from the Bialetti family – makers of espresso machines – so his prospective father-in-law wasn't too pleased.

1950s
Citrus Basket 370

This was produced by the Alessi factory rather than a named designer. It's in almost every bar in Italy filled with fruit and I just love its simplicity.

1960s
Milk jug

Another iconic product, which my wife Daniela and I had at our wedding filled with almonds for every guest.

1970s
P8 range

This range was Alberto's first project and way ahead of its time. You could mix and match what you wanted to buy and the pieces were designed to go from freezer to oven to table. But people didn't want it. They wanted to buy a complete set rather than pick and choose. We relaunched it in 2005 and it's a huge success.

1980s
Coffee maker

I love this coffee maker designed by Richard Sapper. It's one of the few that doesn't have a screw base. The handle has to be cooked in a particular way to oxidise it to reach that colour which will last for ever.

1990s
Lemon squeezer

If you like Alessi, you will probably recognise the Philippe Starck lemon squeezer. However, you might not know that Starck was initially commissioned to design a tray. But, lunching on squid one day and waiting for the lemon he wanted to squeeze over it, he started making doodles of what would become the iconic squeezer.

2000s
Ron Arad cooler

My choice for the noughties is this Ron Arad cooler. It's the latest collaboration between Alessi and Peroni beer. The collection includes this cooler, a bottle opener and a bowl for nibbles. Only 500 of each will be produced, as well as 100 chrome ice buckets. All will be available from late September.

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