Mid-Century Millennial: why vintage furniture has conquered social media

Why I Millennials love Mid-century modern? It is no use asking ourselves whether this was not a well-established trend and whether the reasons were obvious. Before embarking on a purposeful reasoning, it is interesting to note how the question can be easily reformulated with abbreviations and very specific letters that belong, even to do so intentionally, to digital writing. Mid-Century Modern is going to be like this MCMand Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – the Generation Y: the “middle man” who lived between analog and digital, who knew the Internet with the slow and noisy 56k connection, and who came of age in the new millennium.

A childhood without smartphones and social networks, which nevertheless pays a promise today, in a society increasingly based on likes and followers, on self-representation, and where a pathological need to perform often dominates. A calculated narrative, sometimes even toxic, driven by virtual stages such as Instagramwhich only shows the desirable, the beautiful side, The perfections – to quote the last book of Vincenzo Latronico – of a reality that almost never corresponds to reality, but which is most likely furnished in Mid-Century style.


Liquidating the problem by calling it a “generational trend” is an understatement, we are talking about a piece of design history that goes from 1945 to 1969 and whose results have existed for well over half a century, more than enough time to enter the imagination in home life, and to transform best selling in long seller. Vintage icons, therefore, but timeless; refined, re-edited and replicated designer furniture that, thanks to an optimistic, innovative and functional aesthetic developed in the post-war era, together with a more holistic approach to living, playing in front and never seeming to grow old. The simple and clean solutions introduced by the good Mid-Century design, characterized by the massive use of tree (which, however, never flows into the rustic) and metal, from raised or modular furniture, armchairs and sofas and more organically accompanied by soft colors or geometric patterns.

Features that add a touch glamour to fluid and bright environments, so universal that they have almost become neutral within interior design. Could it be because this style is ubiquitous? We think of Airbnb apartments, of TV series like Mad Men or even for music album covers like Harry’s home, the latest Harry Styles record. Or is it a millennial fantasy attached to the sole desire to relive them familiar domestic atmospheres from a not too distant past?

What is certain is that a piece of furniture in perfect Mid-Century style would look good in a minimal house as much as in an industrial context, inevitably being more sophisticated (and expensive) than one of its dupe taken at Ikea. These factors, combined with the exclusive recognition of a historic brand and the iconicity of the original piece signed by the great designer, constitute a genuine announcement in social times.

Here, then, is where the Mid-Century Millennial becomes one fashion phenomenon which cannot be labeled as either elitist or popular: it spreads digitally, goes from feed to feed and is no longer aimed at just one target group of expert collectors, but at a much more generalized one; not all Millennials are part of it, that’s clear, but most of them bear witness, even indirectly, to the saga ofInstagrammablethe one where the irresistible, aestheticized universe of objects – well told by Georges Perec in the novel The things – is the background for the worrying consumer logic of “trying to have in order to be”.

Thus, the armchair from the 1950s, bought at a high price, although irreparably uncomfortable, sometimes ends up being the perfect metaphor for the very high designer décolleté, which in the pictures looks good on everything, but in reality might be better on shelf of a shoe cabinet. by sight.


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