There’s also the fact that the mirror sticks out like a sore thumb—and we mean that in the best way. Its wavy, light-up frame seems more in line with an A-ha music video than the neutral-walled, matte-black-accented, fiddle-leaf-fig-speckled interiors HGTV popularized over the past half decade, and it stands out from the sea of carbon-copy interiors we’ve been seeing since Pinterest became our primary source of design inspo. (I love Pinterest, but like anything that’s algorithm-based, it can often become an echo chamber.) And in that landscape of sameness, the Ultrafragola mirror is a refreshing pop of color, personality and design in our social feed.
But when we ask ourselves “why?”—why is the mirror such a welcome departure?—you realize that the mirror, and its magnetic pull on us, might be an equal and opposite reaction to industrial farmhouse (hi, Joanna), mid-century modern (just think about the popularity of Mad Men–inspired pieces over the past ten years) and millennial minimalism (#terrazzo).
After all, the Ultrafragola mirror was designed specifically to push back against the norm.
Ettore Sottsass, the mirror’s creator, is known for leading the Memphis movement in the 1980s, which emerged as a way to push back against the rigidity of mid-century modern furniture with new wiggly shapes and bold, contrasting colors. The philosophy behind the Memphis aesthetic was to disregard what society deemed “good taste” in favor of the outrageous, according to The Strategist. The idea was to embrace the unexpected, which seems all the more fitting today, since the primary criticism of millennial design is that it’s safe. Fun, but not too fun, to paraphrase The Cut—the look of a generation that’s always been told to strive for more, to be ambitious, but absolutely don’t do anything that would upset other people. Maybe a generation that’s been playing it safe since they struggled to find a job post-recession is ready to let loose…just a little?