Mario Bellini Brings New Life to a Classic Design

le bambole anniversary b&b italia 02

The Bambola armchair, originally designed in 1972, launched at Salone del Mobile with an advertising campaign featuring American actress and Warhol favorite Donna Jordan. The photos caused a scandal with the management of the fair.


December 22, 2022

“We’re bringing back an entire family, but one that, like today’s family, is a family that lives in many situations, many scenarios,” says designer Mario Bellini of his radical new take on Le Bambole. “It is enjoying a thriving and promising second life, a rebirth done in a big way, with enthusiasm, with breadth, with decorations, and with the original flourishes. We have recovered its charm, its sumptuous floridity, its softness.”

Today’s Le Bambole collection builds on the pieces you already loved—the Bambola armchair designed in 1972, the Bibambola two-seater sofa, and the Bamboletto double bed—and adds a deeper three-seater sofa—the Granbambola. To say B&B Italia has stayed relevant is an understatement—John Legend has a mix of the luxury brand’s seating and bedding in his home. Fifty years later the evolution builds on Le Bambole’s slight adaptations in shape and comfort over time as well as, now, sustainability.

“It’s with great pleasure that I resumed the work on this product, researching new fabrics, too, considering the padding with greater care, bearing in mind, as it should be today, all the recyclability and the ability to reuse, to recover all the materials, without polluting the planet,” Mario says.

Today’s design uses the least amount of polyurethane possible. Where the original construction was based on a metal structure embedded in polyurethane, today’s materials are modern and earth-friendly. Recycled polyethylene gives structure; elements in polyurethane foam and thermoplastic elastomers are added to shape the geometry and define comfort and breathability, all sheathed by an undercover derived from recycled PET. These design choices combine so that every piece of the new Le Bambole collection can be easily disassembled and, therefore, easily recyclable.