For some reason, the Arco lamp (above) has achieved so much popularity that local lighting supply stores (top picture) has begun stocking terribly unelegant copies of it. It is almost as if it's de rigueur to have an Arco displayed in a new condominium project's showroom (2nd picture) to denote taste and "sophisticated urban lifestyle living".
I have come across too many Arcos in certain B-grade restaurants, 'trendy' offices, or the aforementioned showrooms, and I can say that most of them are fake. I can tell at one glance: the curved stem on the FLOS-licensed version is flat brushed metal and tapers off very subtly in barely unnoticeable mechanical joints; the China-made versions have a stem which is cylindrical with very obvious joints.
I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad to see so many fake Arcos hanging around... as I do adore Mr. Castiglioni's work and have often thought about how satisfying it would be to own one of his lamp designs (my old time favourite is the Lampadina)... But I feel it is quite gila sikit to spend thousands of ringgit on such items, what more with unreasonable import taxes and a low currency value.
Maybe companies like G.D.O. or Timeless Designs can fill this 'need' for design by offering such iconic items at an affordable price. Because it really seems quite ridiculous for the average Malaysian to spend thousands on 'authentic things like that'.
Or should you say, buy within your means! And deprave yourself from these things, because they are unattainable, they are for rich people in Europe or Datuks here who have Eropah punya aspirasi? Shall we sacrifice iconic furniture lust so we can maintain our purist, non-pirated buying habits (so ethical gitu)?
Sometimes I say, TIU. WE ARE MALAYSIAN, WE BUY PIRATED DVDs FROM PASAR MALAM OR DODGY SHOPHOUSES THAT OPEN UNTIL 4am NEXT TO LOK-LOK CARTS. SO WHAT IF WE SPEND 1/50th ON A PIRATED ITEM OF LIGHTING OR FURNITURE WE REALLY REALLY LOVE, EVEN THOUGH IT MAY NOT LOOK SO PERFECTLY/SO STRICTLY GENUINE?
Rileks la brader....
Trivia: Boffi is an Italian company that makes posh Kitchen Systems and always advertise in Wallpaper* magazine; available in a showroom in The Gardens, Mid Valley —
...but because this is Malaysia, where salary is low but mimpi-Eropah never ceases, there is a local brand called Bofi jugak ya! The only thing they are ripping off this time, is the name... just like G.D.O. and G.O.D. lah... banyak lagi......