A tale of two cities – Acqua di Parma presents Colonia Limited Edition, designed by Dr Samuel Ross

Acqua di Parma presents Colonia Limited Edition, designed by Samuel Ross — a reimagining of its signature fragrance bottle by SR_A, Ross’ London-based, industrial design studio.

SR_A was debuted by Samuel Ross at the Hublot Design Prize exhibition in the Serpentine Gallery in 2019, SR_A (Samuel Ross and Associates) is a design-led studio operating within the fields of luxury industrial design, interior installation, architecture, furniture and sound design and visual communication

As the first iteration of a three-year partnership between Acqua di Parma and SR_A, the iconic Colonia — presented at Design Miami — is an artistic play on duality. A project of both conservation and renovation, Colonia Limited Edition by Samuel Ross reshuffles the design codes of each Maison to create an entirely new blueprint. It will drop globally in March 2023.

As regular readers will know, Acqua di Parma was founded in Italy in 1916, with Colonia its debut fragrance. Colonia Limited Edition, designed by Samuel Ross celebrates the timelessness of its signature scent, which has endured, unchanged, for more than 100 years. Samuel Ross’ dynamic interpretation of Colonia is an ode to the past, funnelled through his contemporary lens to create a vision of the future.

Exuberant and industrialist, multi-disciplinary artist and designer Samuel Ross looked to the architecture and attitudes of London and Milan as the foundation point for inspiration. Informed by the structures of Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, Ross imagined the sun — an eternal source of inspiration for Acqua di Parma — glazing across a European cityscape. The vantage points of light informed the vision.

London’s urban brutalism is represented in a hyper-flat, uber-pigmented yellow that absorbs the light: a reimagining of Acqua di Parma’s signature colour, which formed the starting point for this collaboration. It is a jolt to the senses: this optimistic hue synonymous with Acqua di Parma is imprinted with SR_A’s visual handwriting. Sun_Rise_Yellow will be juxtaposed with primary shades of Grass_Blade_Green and Ultra_Orange, an industrial nod to Samuel Ross’ own practice. This evolution of palette forms a new design language that pays homage to the heritage of Italian and British modernism.

The iconic Art Deco bottle remains: the juice itself, consistent as an Italian golden citrus- blend since its first unveiling in 1916, is a timeless masterpiece, and the bottle a scaffold for display. Prismic points of interest are discovered as light refracts off its angles: Colonia Limited Edition designed by Samuel Ross is a tangible sculpture created with a digital-first audience in mind. Hold the bottle up to the light and watch it transform. The object becomes interactive, creating thoughtful images to cherish throughout the day as one might recall a moment of sunlight — think midday sunlight refracting off The Centre Pompidou, or The Shard. Such beauty is in the eye of each beholder.

Crafted in Italy, Acqua di Parma Colonia Limited Edition, designed by Samuel Ross will be released globally on March 15. 300 numbered, special-edition collectors bottles, spanning the three colours in ascending order, will be released on March 1. Each will come with an exclusive art publication featuring behind-the-scenes stories and visuals.


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