The Mario Bellini Camaleonda sofa is having a moment. It makes background appearances in Chrissy Teigens’s Instagram, it was the centerpiece of a Marc Jacobs pop-up store in New York City, and its TikTok hashtag (#BelliniCouch) has over a million views. Given its popularity, the Camaleonda sofa didn’t need a makeover, but Stella McCartney found a clever way to innovate with the Instagram sensation.
Stella has long been fascinated by the Camaleonda, which Mario introduced via the legendary furniture company B&B Italia in 1970. The tufted sofa is low, wide, and curvaceous. The plush surface bobs up and down like a hilly meadow. Each piece of the freeform system is shaped like a square or a rectangle, and they tile together like dominos. The sturdy, oblong backrests easily detach from the cushion, so they can be leaned against a wall or float freely in the center of a Camaleonda tessellation.
Due to the enduring popularity of the Camaleonda, B&B Italia reissued the sofa in 2020, which has led to its omnipresence in influencer photoshoots. While its form remains timeless, Stella saw an opportunity to update its upholstery to match her brand’s commitment to sustainability. During Miami Beach’s busiest, glitziest week with Design Miami and Art Basel, Stella and B&B Italia debuted a new version of the Camaleonda sofa with a monogrammed print on a biodegradable, eco-conscious textile.
This is the second time Stella has worked with B&B Italia to coat Mario’s designs with a sustainable fabric. In 2022, just after Mario introduced a new version of his Le Bambole armchair that swapped polyurethane for modern, earth friendly materials, Stella put her French toile-inspired “Fungi Forest” print on his Le Bambole armchair.
“I have loved Mario Bellini’s designs for years, and I cannot put into words how thrilled I am to see my prints on his pieces once again,” Stella McCartney said.
Stella’s new print is called “S-Wave.” It’s a subtle monogram that twists like the strands of DNA that inspired it. The print’s small scale adds a new dimension to the sofa, accentuating its shape even more. With every dip, tuck, and fold, the pattern’s contrast illuminates another aspect of the Camaleonda’s design.
“The S-Wave is a symbol of our commitments to circularity and conscious luxury, which are so perfectly embodied by B&B Italia’s Camaleonda sofa, constructed from pioneering materials kinder to Mother Earth. This collaboration truly is a harmony of our shared passions for next-generation sustainability and timeless craftsmanship,” B&B Italia said.
The Camaleonda is most often seen in velvet, but Stella’s blush pink and ivory textiles are made from biodegradable OceanSafe naNea yarn. It is Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold and does not contain harmful substances. The durable fabric does not shed microplastics.
You can find Stella’s take on the Camaleonda at the new B&B Italia Design Studio in Miami. There, you’ll see how B&B Italia is turning seventies cult classics into contemporary obsessions.