Bocca Sofa no. 97 (1970) by Studio 65 for Gufram Italia


Bocca Sofa no. 97 (1970) by Studio 65 for Gufram Italia


Iconic Bocca Sofa by Studio 65 for Gufram (1970), limited run of 1000, this is number 97. 

It was the spring of 1970 when Studio 65 architect Franco Audrito received an unexpected commission: to design a fitness center in Milan. Having just graduated from architecture school the year before, he accepted and, together with a few friends, dreamed up what they ironically deemed the Temple of Beauty. As the project neared completion, however—the juice bar built, the sauna installed, the swimming pool scooped out—something was missing: the Goddess of Beauty herself. "What could represent the temple's Goddess better than a sofa, ironic and sensual, dressed in red," Audrito writes in his book, Il Mercante di Nuvole. 

Using Salvador Dali's surrealistic portrait of Mae West's lips as a sofa (1936), Studio 65 designed their "Marilyn" which was soon after renamed "Bocca", an homage to Dali, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn Garosci, the lipstick-loving owner of the fitness center itself. 

The voluptuous Bocca Sofa has gone down as a design classic, the perfect blend of playfulness and serious design. Both Studio 65 and Gufram are known for being places where the art world and design world collided, and their kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design reached their zenith with this piece.

It will comfortably seat three, and despite its arty background it retains excellent functionality. A guaranteed conversation starter, this is a sofa that expresses a bold personality through its design.

I want to clarify the production history of the iconic and original "Bocca" sofa as there seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation online. 

The vast majority of vintage Bocca sofas that are available on the art and design market are forgeries / knock-offs. Only 1000 pieces were produced by Gufram. Each was assigned a number. This one is number 97. It was an extremely limited run (1970). 

At no point in time has Gufram (or any other manufacturer) produced more of the original "authentic" red Bocca. 

If you find a red one without it's Gufram number, it is a fake. If you find a red one with different dimensions, it's a fake. If you find a red one, in perfect condition, no matter what you are told, it has been reupholstered. The soft jersey fabric on the original design, so sweet to the touch, is susceptible to damage. You will not find an original with all original parts, including textile, that is in pristine condition. Originals almost always have a few marks, imperfects, piling in areas, as does this one. Some would suggest reupholstery, others would rather keep it in original form, protect it, and perhaps have a removable cover created for it. That I am leaving up to you but I am here to provide assistance and information, if you'd like. 

EDIT: Cover is technically removable according to Gufram, so you could simply replace it and keep the original under lock and key. :) 

To finish up the history of production:
Gufram produced a small run of anniversary Bocca "sister" sofas in 2008:
Dark Lady - is all black and with an (awesome) oversize piercing. Gufram describes Dark Lady as "Voluptuous and of great impact, Dark lady shows its rock spirit."
Pink Lady, comes with a "new lipstick of a more glamorous and fashionable colour - fuchsia - which makes it a settee that is even more the object of talk; the ideal setting for a spectacular glittery modernity." Yes, I agree, there is no way to improve upon Gufram's description here...

In 2016, Gufram introduced a special limited series of only fifty Boccas called BOCCADORO, "which is gold in color and emphasizes the brand’s important landmark (over 50 years), and enriches even further an object welcomed into the most beautiful homes and most important museums in the world." 

In 2004, Heller hired Studio 65 to design an outdoor version of the Bocca in polyurethane. This outdoor version is red and also referred to as the Bocca. It is currently in production but is made from a single piece of roto-molded Lipstick Red polymer. It has different dimensions as well. 

Today, the Bocca Sofa is considered an emblem of contemporary art and an icon of modern furniture design. It is included in the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA, Paris’ Louvre, Milan’s Permanent Design Collection and Denver’s Museum of Modern Art. 

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