These 12 companies are the beating hearts of Italian design

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Whether entering their third decade or celebrating their centennial birthday, these companies have shown that good design is commonplace.
Above, clockwise from left: founders Giuseppina and Angelo Molteni; (from left) Andrea, Giulia, Carlo and Giovanni Molteni; Gio Ponti’s reissued Round D.154.5 chair, 1954; Foster + Partners’ curved table, 20​​10 years.

Founder Angelo and Giuseppina Molteni family tree Carlo Molteni, the founder’s son and current president, paved the way for the third generation of Molteni leadership including Giulia, Giovanni and Andrea. The brand began to copy classic furniture; now, it is known for its modern works, while continuing to provide reprints of design icons like Gio Ponti, who have an exclusive partnership with their archives.

Products The Molteni Group has four brands: UniFor and Citterio office systems, stylish Molteni & C furniture, and the cool Dada kitchen; the latter two are supervised by the creative director Vincent Van Duysen. The Round D.154.5 chair designed by Ponti in 1954 is being reissued.
The founder, Paola Lenti, Family Tree Lenti, worked in fashion art direction and graphic design before founding his own brand. Her sister Anna, who was an engineer in the aerospace industry, joined the company in 2000 as the managing director and chief executive officer. Signature Style’s passion for color, textiles and recycled materials. The result is modular sofas, recliners, rugs and chairs in organic forms that can be multitasked from the living room to the terrace. (For example, actress Salma Hayek is a fan of deep purple Float and Frame chairs.) The brand also uses proprietary and patented materials such as rope, a 100% recyclable and elastic High-tech yarn; it has been used in outdoor parts of W Dubai-The Palm hotel, as well as yachts and MV Esmeralda cruise ships. News In the past year, Lenti began to collaborate with American architects David Rockwell and Rene Gonzalez; the third effort in collaboration with architect Bryan Young is coming. In early 2021, she opened her first flagship store in Los Angeles.

Founder Luigi Bestetti and his nephew PaoloSignature Style small batches of Italian tanned leather, pleated, folded, printed and polished in a wide palette to express modernity. Baxter worked with a select team of designers, including Paola Navone, Piero Lissoni, Studio Pepe, Vincenzo De Cotiis and Draga & Aurel, to reinterpret natural materials and reapply them to current furniture forms. Complementary products include tables, bookshelves and trolleys made of marble, concrete, wood, metal and stone. The company continues to expand its global profile, including providing luxury furnishings for hotel projects from Tel Aviv to Dubai; its past efforts include Lissoni’s Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami, for which Baxter provided a stylish unit, and Miko The Wild Hotel on North Island features Navone’s cane, copper and leather outdoor products. The brand will launch a new furniture collection in September. Concept “The beauty of Baxter leather comes from the hands of craftsmen,” Paolo Bestetti said.

The founders Valter and Elvino Scavolini; Valter’s daughter Fabiana Scavolini now runs the company. History The Scavolini brothers started making wooden furniture, then opened a small workshop in Pesaro and launched their brand. Since the 1960s, they have become an international design authority and are known for their ultra-stylish kitchens that emphasize innovation and technology. Iconic style The company’s lifestyle collection now includes living rooms, closets, bathrooms, and even a health/fitness concept called Gym Space. They recently collaborated with the famous Milanese chef Carlo Cracco, who designed the chic but adaptable MIA kitchen; it has a wall-mounted herb garden and multiple warming drawers. News Scavolini’s latest launches include Dandy Plus, a “talking” kitchen designed by architect Fabio Novembre that combines Amazon’s Alexa technology, and Formalia, an experimental kitchen-living room system designed by Vittore Niolu. In case of a pandemic Yes, the brand hopes to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a series of special events this year.

Pietro, Andrea and Matteo Gullo, sons of the founder Carmelo Gullo Family Tree, are all managing directors. Iconic stoves, range hoods and refrigerators made of modern metals by Tuscan craftsmen for home chefs and Michelin-starred chefs (including Antonino Cannavacciuolo from Il Ristorante Villa Crespi). News This year, the newly cast Contemporanea series debuted, is made of powder-coated steel, and has a variety of metal finishes and colors, which can be used for customized orders. And plans to open an experiential showroom in Florence this spring, which will eventually have a chef to prepare Tuscan cuisine for tourists. Philosophy “Our range of cooking is the same as the way that Florentine craftsmen have forged metal for centuries,” explained Camello.

The founder was originally called Flexform di Galimberti. It was founded by brothers Romeo, Pietro and Agostino Galimberti and now has a third-generation family leader. The iconic style is low-key, elegant, comfortable and timeless furniture. It is also suitable for the seaside resort of Miami Beach in a Milan villa or a Milan villa. The iconic piece Joe Colombo’s innovative tube chair from 1969-70. This is a coveted collection consisting of four connected plastic tubes wrapped in vinyl; from the brand and architects and industrial designers Antonio Citterio has been working together for nearly five years. News In 2020, Flexform launched the Tessa recliner with wooden and woven paper straw ropes; leather-wrapped metal frame sofas; and outdoor sofas and sofa beds, all designed by Citterio. The company temporarily plans to launch more products for Salone del Mobile in September 2021. Philosophy “In the era of marketing strategy and brand aggregation, it is of great significance to become an independent family business,” said Matteo Galimberti, the principal. Director of domestic market sales. “As Uncle Pietro said,’Family comes first; it is an invaluable legacy of resources, inspiration and expertise.”

The founder Alberto Minotti family tree company is led by Alberto’s sons Renato and Roberto, and is supported by third-generation family members, including interior decoration head Susanna, general manager Alessandro, R&D managers Alessio and Leonardo, and has just entered the engineering department. The iconic understated modernism emphasizes tailoring elegance. Since 1998, the Italian designer and architect Rodolfo Dordoni has served as the art director and coordinator. He has recently collaborated with designers such as Christophe Delcourt, Nendo, GamFratesi and Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan of MK27 studio for its Boteco sideboards and coffee tables. It debuted in 2020. News In 2020, the company created a temporary space at its Lombardy headquarters to house the Minotti TV studio, which helped the brand quickly launch the 2020 series digitally. Minotti plans to open a flagship store in Boston in 2021, as well as a spacious 43,000-square-foot logistics center adjacent to the headquarters, which will enable the company to manage transportation more effectively. The same long-term vision, focused on achieving a series of common goals,” Roberto said. “As a family business, we follow intuition rather than profit logic.”

Giovanni Alessi Family Tree Carlo, Giovanni’s son, and Giovanni Alessi Family Tree, founder of Ettore, put the brand on the design map; Carlo’s son Alberto is now in power. Iconic Style This typical and interesting Italian homeware brand first introduced mixed-metal coffee and tea services in the 1920s and 1930s, such as silver-plated alpaca and nickel-plated brass. Soon, it expanded to stainless steel trays, wire baskets and fruit bowls. Today, its products include glassware, tableware, tableware and plastic tableware, and even electrical appliances. Defining the Moment Under Alberto’s leadership, Alessi began collaborating with the Who’s Who of International Designers (and Chefs), including Italians Aldo Rossi, Ettore Sottsass and Achille Castiglioni, French Philippe Starck, German Richard Sapper and American Michael Graves. The 9093 Kettle has sold more than 1.6 million units. News This year, the company celebrated its centenary with the Alessi 100 Values ​​Collection, which contains 12 product releases, a mix of classic reprints and new limited edition works.

The 90-year-old Francesco brothers and 80-year-old Mario, the founders of Francesco and Mario BallarinHistory, are still actively involved in the business, overseeing the new design with their descendants. Since 1997, Mario’s son Angelo has been running the company; his children Lisa and Cristian are now joining him. Signature Style is a combination of old-world respect and experimentation. The company continues to push the boundaries of Murano glass, for example, by manipulating borosilicate (Pyrex) to create contemporary forms, while using long-established Venetian glass blowing techniques such as moldura (grinding), engraving, and gold leaf. News During the pandemic, Ballarin kept the furnace running to produce glassware for online orders. The Avventura series of vases, lamps, glasses and bottles, which will be launched in July, will combine two methods: murrinas, or Millefiori, small cylindrical glass rods that are melted, cut and arranged into flower combinations; and glass rods are melted and blown on Cannes technology together.

The founder, Costanza Paravicini, Family Tree Paravicini, started this business as a hobby. It attracted followers of local Milanese and then accumulated global customers with the help of Instagram. Paravicini is the artist and creative force behind the brand; her daughters Benedetta and Margherita Medici helped with inspiration and production, colors and custom pieces, respectively. Iconic style ultra-thin tableware with old-fashioned patterns, including zodiac signs, hot air balloons, circus acrobats and stylized snakes, monkeys and Chinese style. Each piece is painted by hand, embossed or screened (or digitally printed), then glazed and fired for daily use. News The new Rocaille series specially designed for Moda Operandi will debut at the luggage exhibition on the retailer’s website in 2021. It is planned to cooperate with Milan designer Lisa Corti in June. Perhaps this is the best part of philosophy,” Benedetta said.

Founder Carolus de MartinoHistory According to the De Martino family, their melting pot was built between 932 and 1032 for a Roman noble named Rufus. Today, the company is run by six multi-generational family members, including general manager Daniele De Martino and production father Tommaso. Hand-painted terracotta and ceramic tiles in the iconic style, inheriting a century of technology and the high temperature from a medieval melting pot. Fornace De Martino produces ceramic tiles for the interiors, exteriors, gardens, walls and even swimming pools of many five-star hotels, including the beloved Le Sirenuse, Il Pellicano, Santa Caterina, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria and Il San Pietro di Positano. Technology Fornace The clay for the terracotta and tiles comes from an ancient quarry in Rufoli di Ogliara in Salerno. News In addition to tiles, e-commerce sites now also offer a series of design objects, such as a set of four espresso cups with coordinated saucers, lids and trays.

Founder Lorenzo Rubelli Family Tree’s fifth-generation CEO Nicolò Favaretto Rubelli is now in charge of the 132-year-old brand, while his father Alessandro is still president, and brothers Andrea and Lorenzo are also active on the board. Iconic handmade velvet, luxurious brocade, brocade, and luxurious silk; the company also owns a series of furniture and wallpaper, produces chic, low-key woven fabrics for Dominique Kieffer, and produces exclusive textiles for Armani/Casa. The brand’s Venetian charm is fully displayed in the curtains and fabrics that decorate the interiors of La Scala, La Fenice and the Ducal Palace in Venice, which are part of Rubelli’s continued sponsorship. Technically tailored and uncut velvet is still woven on four original hand looms in the late 18th century, and Rubelli’s Cucciago factory also has the most advanced electronic jacquard loom. News To commemorate the 1600 anniversary of the founding of Venice, the company recently launched San Polo, a new brocade in 16 colors, and a spring fabric collection. Concept “Rubelli fabrics are a clever combination of research, tradition, heritage and innovation,” Nicolò said.

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