Marc Sadler

Marc Sadler, born in Austria, is a French citizen currently living in Milan. He graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, in 1968, after completing the very first course in “esthétique industrielle” (industrial design), a discipline that evolved as a branch of architecture.

Experimenting with plastic materials has always intrigued him, and still is his number one focus as a designer. Sadler is a citizen of the world; he has lived and worked in France, Italy, United States, and Asia. He continuously collaborates with important companies in the home furniture, small and large appliances, lighting, and more strictly industrial sectors. He is also still very involved in the field of sporting goods, where he has contributed for almost thirty years. After completing his studies, he and a group of friends cofounded the Design Centre Premier, the first group of associate designers in France. His partners include Xavier Mérigot (graphic designer), Jean Foin (urban architect), Jacques Verger (screenplay writer) and Dominique Prevot (industrial designer). During this time he collaborated with Pierre Cardin, Ted Lapidus, and Torrente, all very renowned brands in the fashion industry.

He designed logos for Ted Lapidus and Torrente and perfume packaging for Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Pierre Cardin. In the early 70’s, the long recovery following the fracture of his right foot and ankle due to a skiing accident, along with his passion for skiing, pushed Marc to find a solution to reduce the risk of accidents by immobilizing the ankle. After quite a few attempts, the first completely recyclable thermoplastic rubber ski boot was manufactured. It was this invention that started a long-term and very productive partnership with the Italian firm Caber (later known as Lotto).

Sadler quickly became the head of all product lines and later patented the symmetrical shell design, which for years was the number one ski boot in the market world-wide. Between 1973 and 1974 Sadler’s partnership with Italian sports companies in the North –East grew stronger. He mainly worked for Lotto, being responsible for designing all products and logos. Lotto at the time was manufacturing shoes in Italy and was considered one of the most innovative brands, both aesthetically and technically, along with Nike, Puma, and Adidas. During those years, Dainese, Nordica, Dolomite, Axo, Bailo, Simon, Gipron, Think Pink, Ellesse, Alpine Stars, Nava, Trezeta, San Marco, Selle Royal, Reebok, Nike, and Foot Joy were other very important partners, both in Italy and abroad.

In 1978 Marc started his own business in New York City, creating a new line of shoes for Dainese, leader in the market for motorcycle apparel and accessories. Due to its uniqueness (special sole, reflecting material and polyurethane toe) the shoe became very trendy and was worn by thousands of customers throughout the United States. In 1983 Marc designed a collection of shoes for Ellesse, also very successful in the United States. These shoes had a futuristic look, techno polymer rubber tips, and featured the company logo imprint on the outside (later copied by several other brands). The Ellesse shoes were not only worn by trend setters in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, but by very renowned athletes as well, such as the American tennis player Aaron Krickstein (semi-finalist at U.S. Open in 1989) and basket ball player Maurice Cheeks (team member and later coach for the Philadelphia 76ers). Thanks to the success of the Dainese and Ellesse collections, Marc became known as the most innovative sport shoe designer. Sadler also designed a shoe for Nike, the first water-repellent thermo plastic rubber slipper, very light and comfortable, that could be worn when taking a shower, still one of the mostly sold Nike products worldwide. As a “sport design” expert, Marc worked with the most important multinational sport companies in the United States, Asia, and Europe, specializing in several different fields (shoes, ski, tennis, racquets, golf clubs, etc).

Marc retuned to Italy in the mid 90’s, after having lived in the United States for several years. Although he maintained his partnerships with the sports industry, in particular with Dainese, a company he has been collaborating with for thirty years, lighting and furnishing became his primary focus. In 1998, Marc designed a scooter, which was half scooter and half motorcycle, for Aprilia. This model was never released on the market and its prototype is exhibited in the Aprilia Museum. In 2001, he designed for Everest a snow board boot lever that works backwards (with a forward flex mechanism), which is the standard system used nowadays.

Marc Sadler
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