In Review: Moroso’s Ruff

Iconic Italian brand Moroso launched a wonderfully unique, hybrid lounge chair that truly sits in a class of its own. Designers Indu Varanasi from IRD and Marco Maximus from Kristina Zanic Consultants had the pleasure of experiencing its compact yet cosy form at the Mirage showroom in d3, and these are our combined thoughts from this product review. 

For the past 70 years, iconic Italian manufacturer Moroso has been producing artisanal and unique furniture pieces that easily distinguish themselves from the competition. The brand founded by Agostino Moroso has been able to combine its exceptionally high standard of craftsmanship, tailoring, and industrial production with a combination of design, contemporary art and fashion, to offer products of the highest quality. Today, Moroso is well placed among the haute couture of industrial design on the international stage, and has cemented its name as a leading brand in upholstered furniture manufacturing.

Their unique designs are a result of well established partnerships with some of the most notable names in furniture design. So it comes as no surprise that their latest lounge chair, Ruff, also finds its place in Moroso’s roster of phenomenal design pieces. Designed by Patricia Urquiola for the contract and hospitality sectors, and indeed any living space, it is an ideal and inviting soft seating product to be used for a conversation, relaxation and any number of lounging activities.

The Review Crew

From left to right: Marco Maximus, Senior Interior Designer, Kristina Zanic Consultants; Indu Varanasi, Design Director, IRD Design; Michela Rizzo, ​​Export Area Manager, Moroso

An Armchair That Wants To Hug You

“Ruff is a beautiful and versatile lounge chair that’s a true Moroso product,” says Michela Rizzo, ​​Export Area Manager at Moroso. “The style is bold and strong, and has a unique structural shape as well. The more you use it, the more you’ll realise why it is such a great piece of furniture to have in your space.”

Urquiola further found inspiration for Ruff in the art of Eduardo Chillida, the renowned sculptor who lived in San Sebastián. “I can operate in many different fields, but the affinity with art, and the thing that all different forms of art have in common, is that they are forced to offer two components that can’t both be missing at the same time –  poetry (you have to have poetry) and construction. Otherwise, you don’t get art,” wrote Chillida.

“What we’re seeing with Ruff is that it is doing well as a crossover product”, says Michela.

Indeed, Ruff has a unique style that seems to fit well not only in hospitality and resimmercial projects, but also in a more formal environment, such as commercial lobbies or hospital lounges. It comes in a fixed and swivel version, adding a bit of versatility. The luxurious aspects exude from the exceptionally high grade leather that Moroso is known for. And if leather isn’t your choice of material, then you have a massive range of superior textiles, finishes, and colours to choose from. 

However, we honestly believe that Ruff’s true uniqueness comes from its shape. Just as Moroso stated, the lounge chair is the result of experiments with binary geometry to combine seat parts and backrest in a way that has never been tried or assembled before. The shape and curve of the backrest is carefully sculpted in a manner that ensures it does not lose its special Moroso aesthetic and visual identity, yet does not sacrifice comfort. Infact, it increases it. Essentially, you’re getting a product that is enhancing the design style of the space while keeping it inviting and cosy. This applies to any type of space it inhabits.

Indu: I really like the product. It’s simple, luxurious, but unique. That is what makes it different and appealing. I like the flexibility in material usage, and I also appreciate the way they’ve separated the top and bottom panelling, allowing each to have its own finishing. What’s nice is you can even use the bottom as it is like you would a pouf. You don’t even feel the low rise because of the sizing of the bottom, the armrests and the height of the backrest. It further encourages a type of sitting posture where you are relaxed but not slouched. I think it would fit well in lounges, even more so if it had a small table attached to it. 

Marco: It’s a unique, strong, and such a statement piece! I love the backrest element. There’s this interesting component to the curve at the back and how it actually evolves from the armrest into the backrest. So it’s a very homogenous shape. There is an actual balance between it being bulky and small bulky. It’s got just the right size. The swivel base is a nice touch and I love the overall ergonomics of the product. You don’t get this level of comfort from most products. It’s sturdy yet very comfortable. 

Getting Technical

“There is a nice connection between the shapes and the overall structure of Ruff,” says Michela. “This is an armchair that is very versatile. Our intention was that Ruff should be able to integrate into the design but also remain unique and not give up its identity.” 

If you look closely at the curved backrest, you’ll see it rests on a single joint. This design is intentional and keeps the overall aesthetic simple and minimal. “The result is a combination between curved and straight lines,” says Michela. “It’s a neat and simple geometry which allows it to blend in with its surroundings.” 

The swivel base has had interesting applications. “The Ruff armchair has been selected for a fair few airport lounges because of its unique designs and finishes,” says Michela proudly. It has a smaller footprint, but just the right amount that keeps it comfortable and not too compact. It’s luxurious, but practical. 

Final Thoughts

As with all other Moroso products, Ruff does not disappoint. While the price may be higher than the competition, the Moroso brand isn’t like the competition either. It’s years of history and craftsmanship taking tangible forms, and those that appreciate this level of design are bound to see no reason not to invest in it. 

Indu: I do believe this product is for the more design savvy and discerning client. While objectively it is a great work of design and a furniture piece, the price could be construed as inflated for those who don’t really appreciate it. The fact that this lounge chair can last 10 to 12 years is a huge win in terms of sustainable design. I’d even make that argument to the person writing the cheques. Besides that, as designers, there are some superior fabrics and finishes that we only see in Moroso, which make this a great product. 

Marco: With Ruff, you’re not investing in just an armchair. It’s a subtle statement piece that’s not too loud, and it’s the quality and longevity of the product. Sustainability is a very important ethos for us, and Ruff does that in a more practical way than just ticking off boxes. It has such a long lifespan, and the design certainly won’t get outdated anytime soon. So I do think it’s worth investing in. 


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21 February, 2022

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