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October 27, 2014

Ikea will move into fashion next, predicts Swedish author Stefan Engeseth

Lucire staff/10.50

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Swedish author and business thinker Stefan Engeseth predicts that Ikea’s next move will be into the world of fashion.
   Engeseth says that Ikea‚Äôs expertise lends itself easily to the world of apparel. ‚ÄėFashion is an expression of how to package and sell design,‚Äô he says.
   He believes that fashion is in a repetitive cycle, stuck in history and needing renewal.
   Ikea could offer both complete apparel items and composite parts that customers could assemble themselves, says Mr Engeseth. The parts could be ‚Äútailored‚ÄĚ at home in inventive ways without the need for complex sewing.
   ‚ÄėEmotionally, this connects people to how life was in the beginning,‚Äô he says. ‚ÄėCustomers can personalize and ‚Äúhack‚ÄĚ the designs.‚Äô
   Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire, and a branding expert in his own right, says Engeseth‚Äôs ideas have a great deal of merit.
   ‚ÄėThis taps in to its existing fan base, and just as importantly, Ikea can make full use of its channels, outmanŇďuvring many existing fashion labels,‚Äô says Yan. ‚ÄėIkea has an international retail base and it has distribution down to a fine art.‚Äô
   For completed clothing, Engeseth says that Ikea could offer Unisex dressing, without the divisions of male and female, but as an ‚ÄėIkea member‚Äô.
   He sees Ikea clothing as being high-tech and low-cost, harder-wearing than the apparel found in mass-market retailers.
   ‚ÄėWe‚Äôre already seeing some shoppers go to outdoor and living stores to buy longer-lasting clothing. Ikea already sells reusable Kr 4 bags that are good and cheap; their clothes could be equally practical, as strong as work clothes,‚Äô he says.
   ‚ÄėYou could even extend this hard-wearing philosophy into wedding gowns‚ÄĒafter all, there are already some people opting to get married in Ikea stores.‚Äô
   Engeseth says Ikea could offer the clothing range to its fans first, so they have a ‚Äúuniform‚ÄĚ, much like football teams.
   ‚ÄėThere are 57 million Ikea ‚Äúfamily members‚ÄĚ already, so let them be the only ones who can buy the clothes first. This would be the longest catwalk ever.‚Äô
   He goes further, saying that those wearing Ikea clothing could qualify for greater discounts at the point of sale. ‚ÄėNot only will this build their tribe, it will ‚Äúdress it up‚ÄĚ to become a worldwide community.‚Äô
   Fans who have furnished their homes could host ‚ÄėIkea days‚Äô, where dressed-up fans could invite their friends to their homes, which become pop-up fan showrooms. ‚ÄėThat could give Ikea millions of stores, and greater exposure to how homes can be designed. That would bring in sales and the company could treble its profits,‚Äô he says.

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October 17, 2014

It’s Heidi Klum Intimates as the German model takes over from Elle Macpherson at Bendon

Lucire staff/4.33

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Model and businesswoman Heidi Klum will succeed Elle Macpherson with her own lingerie line at Bendon, the company announced today.
   Elle Macpherson Intimates, which first launched in New Zealand in 1990, has established itself as Bendon’s flagship range. As of January, the entire range will be renamed, and Klum will take over Macpherson’s role as the creative director and the face of the brand.
   Heidi Klum Intimates will appear in 1,800 retail locations worldwide.
   The other Macpherson lines will also be rebranded. The men’s line will be named HKMan, and the accessible line will be called Heidi by Heidi Klum.
   Bendon says there will be extensions into swimwear.
   In the last 25 years, Elle Macpherson Intimates had become the largest celebrity-endorsed intimate apparel collection the world, says Bendon.
   In a release, Bendon CEO Justin Davis-Rice called Macpherson ‘a great partner to Bendon’ as the association ended.
   ‚ÄėFrom the first meeting [with Klum] it was obvious that we were destined to collaborate and work together‚ÄĒher energy, work ethic and passion for lingerie is incredible. I am looking forward to working with her as we continue to build on the heritage of our Intimates brand,’ he added.
   Klum said, ‘I’ve always loved lingerie and can’t describe how incredibly exciting it is to globally launch my Intimates collection with Bendon, a true leader of the industry. In addition to spending a majority of my career modelling lingerie, I am also a woman whose body has changed over the years. I am a mother of four children so I genuinely understand the importance of finding the right lingerie. I want women everywhere to feel sexy, empowered and confident in my collection every time they wear it.’
   Both Davis-Rice and Eric Watson, who co-owns Bendon through his Cullen Investments, citing the globalization of the intimate apparel market, see Klum was being a recognizable face who the company can leverage. Sister brands include Stella McCartney Lingerie, Pleasure State, Fayreform and Lovable.

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October 14, 2014

Baz Luhrmann explains Gis√®le B√ľndchen’s Chanel No. 5 casting as more images released

Lucire staff/9.58

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Hugh Stewart

Chanel has teased with more imagery for its upcoming No. 5 campaign with Gis√®le B√ľndchen, written and directed by The Great Gatsby (2013) director Baz Luhrmann, with production design by Academy Award winner Catherine Martin.
   The new images show the supermodel in two more outfits in addition to her surfing one shown yesterday.
   In one, again shot by Hugh Stewart, B√ľndchen is wearing a silver lam√© fringed organza dress from the Chanel haute couture spring‚Äďsummer 2014 collection, with mauve suede sneakers, Plume de Chanel earrings in 18 ct white gold and diamonds, and a Plume de Chanel ring in 18 ct white gold and diamonds. Make-up uses a similar palette, with le Blanc de Chanel, Perfection Lumi√®re Velvet and Les Beiges foundation; Cr√®me de Chanel in R√©v√©lation for the blush; les 4 Ombres eyeshadow in Tiss√© Rivoli; Ecriture de Chanel eyeliner in black; Stylo Yeux Waterproof pencil in Noir Intense and the Kh√īl pencil in Clair; Rouge Allure lipstick in Ind√©cise; le Crayon L√®vres in Mordor√© Nude to define the lips; le Vernis for the nails, in Ballerina.
   B√ľndchen’s second outfit sees her wear a black double silk‚Äďcr√™pe dress with silver embroidery from the cruise 2014‚Äď15 collection, with black satin sandals from the spring‚Äďsummer 2014 collection. She wears a Chanel necklace in 18 ct white gold and diamonds, and earrings in 18 ct white gold and diamonds.
   B√ľndchen’s choice, according to Luhrmann in the latest behind-the-scenes video, can be summed up with her multi-faceted nature. ‘She can be on the beach one moment and incredibly athletic. She has children. She has a very, very significant relationship. And yet, she has a career where she can create aspirational, sensual, incredibly glamorous imagery, and somehow, what’s most important to her, ‚Ķ is love, to really be fulfilled. And I think that’s what we try to convey in this little film.’
   He says that she has ‘a new world sensibility. I think that’s both fresh but very true to Coco Chanel. Coco brought the new era to the old world. She was the one who smashed the convention. She was the one who just hung out and was friends with the avant-garde. She was 100 per cent behind the new, 100 per cent behind possibility, and 100 per cent, in her DNA, a self-empowered woman. Gis√®le felt honoured, I felt, to be identified as the No. 5 woman. She has continued to evolve as a woman.’
   B√ľndchen follows in the footsteps of Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tautou, and even Brad Pitt. Luhrmann, meanwhile joins Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet as Chanel No. 5 directors.
   Patrick Demarchelier shot the final stills of the campaign.
   Says Chanel, ‘In this new chapter, the story of No. 5 is told in a way that goes beyond the fragrance itself. Ten years ago, No. 5 was the fragrance of a woman who decided to break free from it all and then return to reality, renouncing her desire. Today, through Luhrmann‚Äôs eyes, we see the No. 5 woman deciding to listen to her heart. She is a woman who knows exactly who she is, and is free to make her own choices and listen to her desires. The film tells the story of the modern woman who struggles to make time for everything‚ÄĒherself, family, career, and love.’
   The accompanying music is Lo-Fang‚Äôs cover of ‘You‚Äôre the One That I Want’. The film itself, to be released on October 15, has no words or dialogue.


Patrick Demarchelier











Hugh Stewart

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October 12, 2014

David Trubridge shows off artwork at World of Wearable Art celebrating Brancott Estate’s firsts

Lucire staff/11.00

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Visitors to the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art award show on Sunday night got an extra treat, as furniture and lighting designer David Trubridge showed off a crowdsourced artwork constructed from bamboo plywood to commemorate the concept of “memorable firsts”.
   The theme ties in not only to the World of Wearable Art, but from Brancott Estate’s pioneering heritage as the first to establish a vineyard in New Zealand’s South Island in the 1970s.
   Trubridge and Brancott Estate asked the New Zealand public to submit photographs representing a memorable first. The 500-plus submissions‚ÄĒwhich the company says ranged from weddings and a first trip abroad to the first blossom of spring‚ÄĒwere printed using a red-and-white duotone effect on to lightweight bamboo plywood sheets, which formed the “feathers” in Trubridge’s giant winged creation.
   The artwork was revealed in a performance that resembled a bird taking off on its maiden flight, one of the inspirations Trubridge had. ‘The first thing that jumped into my mind was the image of a young gannet sitting on the edge of the cliff. The first time it flies is the start of its journey all the way to Australia. It takes off and it doesn‚Äôt stop,’ he says. The wearer gradually flexed before revealing the full form and all the images with arms outstretched.
   Trubridge had the help of his family in creating the performance, including his wife, Linda, who is an artist, and his son, Sam, who is a member of the performing arts’ faculty at Massey University.
   The wings were held together with twine, and move with the wearer. It presented a new challenge to Trubridge, as he was not accustomed to creating something that would be worn.
   ‚ÄėThe process of creating this artwork has taken my team and I on an amazing creative journey and exploration that has led us to many creative firsts. It‚Äôs a project I‚Äôm very proud to have taken part in,’ says Trubridge.
   ‚ÄėIt‚Äôs not a single pendant, fixed light or object, it requires a degree of flexibility. Creating something that can transform from a cloak to a wing was a challenge as my work is usually a closed form. We had to have the ability for it to go from one shape to another and flex and move with the figure and that‚Äôs a whole new, exciting, pioneering first for us.’
   ‚ÄėDavid has combined memorable firsts from the New Zealand public into a poetic, moving, kinetic piece of wearable art. The final creation truly embodies the pioneering spirit of Brancott Estate and WOW,’ says Brancott Estate’s chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.
   The artwork was shown at the Brancott Estate bar at the TSB Arena, and a filmed performance can be seen on the website at www.brancottestatewow.co.nz.

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August 26, 2014

Volvo releases details of second-generation XC90

Jack Yan/15.03

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Volvo has released official information on the second-generation XC90, replacing the original SUV that first caught the public’s attention in 2002.
   The new XC90 is aimed at a more affluent audience while preserving traditional Volvo values, as the Swedish brand aims to increase its international sales as a prestige marque, especially in China.
   The XC90 is the first car from the Swedish brand, now a subsidiary of China’s Geely, developed after its sale by the Ford Motor Company.
   The engine line-up features D4 and D5 diesels, producing 190 and 225 PS respectively, and T5 and T6 petrol units, developing 225 and 320 PS. A Twin Engine T8 is the flagship of the range, with 400 PS and a hybrid driveline (petrol engine driving the front wheels, an electric motor driving the rear), in line with Volvo’s loftier ambitions for its big SUV, while showing its social commitment. Volvo says a three-cylinder unit is in the XC90‚Äôs future.
   Size has increased, too: length is up to 4,950 mm (compared with 4,807 mm), with a wheelbase up from 2,857 mm to 2,984 mm, ensuring the new car is more commodious. Width is 2,008 mm, an increase from the current model’s 1,936 mm, helping distance it from the mid-sized XC60. Height is now 1,775 mm, the only measure which has decreased from its predecessor, by a mere 9 mm. The tracks are also wider, front and rear, by 3‚Äď4 inches.
   Volvo’s new design language, already previewed on the Concept Coup√©, Concept XC Coup√© and Concept Estate, is a sportier, simpler expression of many of its traditional cues, but shakes off Swedish restraint for a more expressive, aspirational feel. The iron logo has been reinterpreted to appear more solid, with the ribbon at a lower angle. The sides are straighter, with the waistline more parallel with the ground.
   The SUV is on Volvo’s new SPA scalable architecture, which will form the basis of future Volvo models.
   The interior has also been rethought with a new design language, with a large Sensus screen in the middle of the dashboard, divided into GPS at the top, media and phone in the middle, and climate control settings at the bottom. Cloud-based services can also be accessed through the Sensus system, with compatibility with Android and Apple, including Google Maps and Spotify through those OSs. A head-up display is also available. The interior is also more luxurious, with more sumptuous, redesigned seats. Volvo claims the third row of seats provides class-leading room. The Bowers & Wilkins sound system is unique to the XC90, and features an air-vented subwoofer.
   In safety terms, Volvo d√©buts two features. The first is automatic braking when turning left (turning right for RHD models) into oncoming vehicles. Secondly, Volvo launches an active safety feature in cases where, should the car begin to depart from the road, it will tighten the front seat belts to hold the passengers in place. Meanwhile, its engineers have developed an energy-absorbing function between the chair and chair frame to dampen the vertical forces, helping to prevent back injuries.
   Volvo Car Group CEO Hakan Samuelsson says, ‘This is one of the most important days in our history. We are launching not only a car, but we are also relaunching our brand. Today begins a new era in our company.’
   The first-generation model continues in China as the XC90 Classic.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher

















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July 23, 2014

News round-up: Dilmah hosts high teas in New Zealand; Trish Peng searches for new face

Lucire staff/22.50

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Dilmah Tea New Zealand

Dilmah Tea hosted a series of high teas around New Zealand, promoting its socially responsible message along with the rising interest in tea mixology.
   Its Wellington stop on Tuesday, hosted by Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando and his son, Dilhan C. Fernando, the company’s chief marketing officer, and in the presence of Her Excellency Zodwa Lallie, South African High Commissioner, was a particular treat, with a menu designed by Dilmah Real High Tea Gold Medallist Laurent Loudeac, executive chef of the Museum Art Hotel.
   Held at the hotel’s famed Hippopotamus restaurant, guests were treated to everything from ora king salmon sashimi‚ÄĒwhich we would label as our favourite of the afternoon‚ÄĒto lap sang souchong yoghurt panna cotta and a lychee-infused jasmine tea and rosewater caviar, complemented by various Dilmah teas.
   The selection included Dilmah’s Ran Watte Single Region Ceylon tea, its green tea with jasmine flowers, and its rose tea with French vanilla.
   The highlight was the address given my Merrill J. Fernando, after a video looking back through the history of Dilmah and how his famed catchphrase, ‘Do try it,’ was created by a New Zealand agency.
   He spoke of how Dilmah goes beyond the requirements of Fair Trade with its ethically made tea, because those who grow the tea share in the equity. The value-added components of Dilmah are not done by international traders, but by Sri Lankans, and the company constantly puts money back into the community, funding education, health care, cultural and even business activities.
   Some rivals force down the prices that tea farmers can sell at, keeping them poor, while profiting from the value-added components in the marketing and production chain.
   Mr Fernando also stressed that Ceylon tea is the finest, and that Dilmah, to preserve that integrity, does not mix its teas with those from other countries.
   Through a Trade Me auction, the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation is also raising money for a culinary centre in Sri Lanka which will train people living with disabilities or have been disadvantaged, so that they can find employment to support themselves.
   They can be found on Trade Me, with the auctions closing on July 27. Items include Parawa Estate Ingalalla Grand Reserve 2007 wine, valued at over NZ$1,250; an individually numbered caddy of a very rare tea, FBOP 1, from the Dilmah Opapa Estate in Sri Lanka; a night for two at the Langham Hotel in Auckland; and two nights for two at the Museum Art Hotel in Wellington.
   In other New Zealand news, new label Trish Peng is running a Fresh Face modelling competition as part of her New Zealand Fashion Week d√©but next month, with the help of L‚ÄôOr√©al Professionnel and Vanity Walk.
   New Zealand women are invited to enter via the Trish Peng Facebook page. Peng and Vanity Walk, a modelling agency, will judge from the uploaded photo and details.
   Entries close August 2. The winner becomes the face of the next Trish Peng campaign, opens Peng’s fashion week show, receives a modelling contract with Vanity Walk, and wins a year’s supply of L’Or√©al Professionnel products.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher, with Lucire staff


Felicity Anderson/Trio Communications



Dilmah

Top Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando with Lucire publisher Jack Yan. Centre Dilmah chief marketing officer Dilhan C. Fernando and South African High Commissioner, HE Zodwa Lallie. Above Museum Art Hotel proprietor Chris Parkin with HE Zodwa Lallie.

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July 9, 2014

Ellen DeGeneres to launch E. D., a home ware and fashion brand, for holiday 2014

Lucire staff/7.57

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Above Ellen DeGeneres’s Twitter photo with Bradley Cooper in the foreground, which has been re-Tweeted over 3 million times.

Award-winning TV host Ellen DeGeneres will lend her name to a home ware, ready-to-wear fashion, accessories and pet care items range called E. D., to début as a capsule collection for the holidays this year, with a full collection launch in spring 2015.
   She is working with J. Christopher Burch, founder of C. Wonder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital.
   DeGeneres will provide creative direction while Burch provides brand development and manufacturing expertise. E. D. also has Michael Francis, chief global brand officer, Dreamworks Animation and former global CMO of Target; Marisa Gardini, managing partner of E. D. and former president and CEO of Isaac Mizrahi; and Janet Grove, former corporate vice-chairman of Macy’s Inc. and chairman and CEO of Macy’s Merchandising Group.
   DeGeneres said in a release, ‘I’m so excited to work with Chris and our incredibly talented team on this new venture. I’ve always wanted to launch a line of home goods, clothing and accessories. I already get to be inside people’s living rooms with my show. Now I get to be in their kitchens, in their beds, and in their pants. Wait. That’s not what I meant.’
   Ellen DeGeneres’s show is entering its 12th season and has won 51 Daytime Emmys. Her social media following comprises over 29 million Twitter followers and 15 million Facebook fans. Her Twitter selfie from the Academy Awards was the most re-Tweeted image in history (with three million re-Tweets). She has also received a Peabody Award and an Emmy Award, while her three books have all d√©buted at number one on The New York Times‚Äô Best Seller List.

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May 29, 2014

A tribute to Massimo Vignelli, a design legend

Jack Yan/10.14

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Massimo Vignelli, who passed away on May 27, was a hero of mine. When receiving the news shortly before it hit the media in a big way, from our mutual friend Stanley Moss, this title‚Äôs travel editor and CEO of the Medinge Group, I posted immediately on Facebook: ‚ÄėIt is a sad duty to note the passing of Massimo Vignelli, one of my heroes in graphic design. When I was starting out in the business, Massimo was one of the greats: a proponent of modernism and simple, sharp typography. His influence is apparent in a lot of the work done by our brand consultancy and in our magazines, even in my 2013 mayoral campaign graphics. A lot of his work from half a century ago has stood the test of time. There was only one degree of separation between us, and I regret that we never connected during his lifetime. The passing of a legend.‚Äô
   This Facebook status only scratches the surface of my admiration for Vignelli. There have been more comprehensive obits already (Fast Company Design rightly called him ‘one of the greatest 20th century designers’), detailing his work notably for the New York subway map, and‚ÄĒcuriously to me‚ÄĒglossing over the effect he had on corporate design, especially in the US.
   Vignelli, and his wife Lella, a designer in her own right and a qualified architect, set up the Vignelli Office of Design and Architecture in Milano in 1960, which had clients including Pirelli and Olivetti. In 1965, they moved to New York and Vignelli co-founded Unimark International (with Ralph Eckerstrom, James Fogelman, Wally Gutches, Larry Klein, and Bob Noorda), where he was design director. It was the world‚Äôs largest design and marketing firm till its closure in 1977.
   The 1960s were a great time for Vignelli and his corporate identities. He worked on American Airlines, Ford, Knoll, and J. C. Penney, and the work was strictly modernist, often employing Helvetica as the typeface family. Vignelli was known to have stuck with six families for most his work‚ÄĒBodoni was another, a type family based around geometry that, on the surface, tied in to his modernist, logical approach. However, there were underlying reasons, including his belief that Helvetica had an ideal ratio between upper- and lowercase letters, with short ascenders and descenders, lending itself to what he considered classic proportions. The 1989 WTC Our Bodoni, created under Vignelli‚Äôs direction by Tom Carnase and commissioned by Bert di Pamphilis, adheres to the same proportions.
   Although my own typeface design background means that I could not adhere to six, there is something to be said for employing a logical approach to design. American corporate design went through a ‚Äúcleaning up‚ÄĚ in the 1960s, with a brighter, bolder sensibility. Detractors might accuse it of being stark, the Helveticization of American design making things too standard. Yet through the 1970s the influence remained, and to my young eyes that decade, this was how professional design should look, contrary to the low-budget work plaguing newspapers and books that I saw as I arrived in the occident.
   When the Vignellis left Unimark to set up Vignelli Associates in 1971 (and later Vignelli Designs in 1978), their stamp remained. The MTA launched Vignelli‚Äôs subway map the following year, and like the London Underground map by Harry Beck in 1931, it ignored what was above ground in favour of a logical diagram with the stops. Beck was a technical draftsman and the approach must have found favour with Vignelli, just as it did with those creating maps for the Paris M√©tropolitain and the Berlin U-bahn.
   New Yorkers didn‚Äôt take to the Vignelli map as well as Londoners and Parisians, and it was replaced in 1979 with one that was more geographically accurate to what was above ground.
   In 1973, Vignelli worked on the identity for Bloomingdale‚Äôs, and his work endures: the Big Brown Bag is his work, and it continues to be used by the chain today. Cinzano, Lancia and others continue with Vignelli‚Äôs designs.
   Ironically, despite a rejection of fashion in favour of timelessness, some of the work is identified with the 1960s and 1970s, notably thanks to the original cut of Helvetica, which has only recently been revived (a more modern cut is commonplace), and which is slightly less popular today. Others, benefiting from more modern layout programs and photography, look current to 2010s eyes, such as Vignelli Associates‚Äô work for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
   The approach taken by Lucire in its print editions has a sense of modernism that has a direct Vignelli influence, including the use of related typeface families since we went to retail print editions in 2004. Our logotype itself, dating from 1997, has the sort of simplicity that I believe Vignelli would have approved of.
   Vignelli was, fortunately, f√™ted during his lifetime. He received the Compasso d‚ÄôOro from ADI twice (1964 and 1998), the AIGA Gold Medal (1983), the Presidential Design Award (1985), the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society of Arts (1996), the National Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cooper‚ÄďHewitt National Museum of Design (2003), among many. He holds honorary doctorates from seven institutions, including the Rochester Institute of Technology (2002). Rochester has a Vignelli Center for Design Studies, whose website adheres to his design principles and where educational programmes espouse his modernist approach. It also houses the Vignellis‚Äô professional archive.
   He is survived by his wife, Lella, who continues to work as CEO of Vignelli Associates and president of Vignelli Designs; their son, Luca, their daughter, Valentina Vignelli Zimmer, and three grandchildren.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher

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