Modern Maestros: From iconic to avant-garde, these are our favorite Italian brands and designers
Our ideas of home and public spaces are undergoing some radical changes right now. Flexible working environments, advanced technology, and a greater emphasis on outdoor living are just a few of the trends making this the ideal time to give your lifestyle the upgrade it deserves. Luckily for you, we’ve handpicked our favorite Italian furniture makers, so you can find the look that perfectly expresses your unique taste — while indulging in all the latest innovations and comforts.
“A shared passion for glass” brought Pierangelo Gallotti and Luigi Radice together in 1955, with their first pieces including handmade lighting, furnishings, and mirrors. An intensive course of study at the School of Industrial Art at Milan’s Sforza Castle resulted in the birth of Gallotti&Radice, and in 1971 the firm created its first iconic table for the architect Luigi Massoni: Adam was the first table created completely from light, transparent, elegant glass. From there, Gallotti&Radice has expanded their vision of the home to include lamps, beds, chairs and sofas, coffee tables, mirrors, and furnishing accessories, all featuring exquisite detailing and their signature lightness and elegance.
For more than a century, “the Giorgetti style” has been characterized by its unique and original vision, one that dismisses the ordinary to create “a refined and unmistakable character than seduces by the beauty of its contrasts.” Giorgetti’s functional, contemporary furnishings integrate the highest artisanship in woodworking with the use of sophisticated tooling machinery and the most modern technologies, allowing the wood to be shaped while respecting its nature. The final products possess the allure of unique, handmade works of art that perfectly embody the Made in Italy aesthetic.
In 1955, just over twenty years since opening his workshop, Angelo Molteni introduced the first prototype of a modern piece of furniture and an instant classic with Swiss architect Werner Blaser’s simple, stunning chest of drawers. In the ensuing decades, a number of iconic designs, including the Carteggio desk, the Milano chair, and the groundbreaking Less series, made Molteni&C one of the world’s most coveted brands. Today, with the Gio Ponti Collection, named for and inspired by the legend himself — who is joined by a veritable who’s who of international and Italian design, including Vincent Van Duysen, Patricia Urquiola, Rodolfo Dordoni, Tobia Scarpa, Ron Gilad, Jasper Morrison, and more — Molteni&C continues to redefine our standards of home life with environments and spaces that intersect one another and blend together in perfect harmony.
From its first official collection in 2000, Meridiani has offered “a recognizable lifestyle, timeless yet always up to date, able to keep an eye open for trends but with deep roots in the past.” Famous for their rich textile range, the collections feature natural fibers such as linen, cotton, velvet, and chenille, and full grain leathers boasting seams inspired by the art of saddlery. For 2020, Meridiani delivers “a perfect dialogue between inside and outside,” with furnishings for the living room, bedroom, dining area, library, and outdoors recalling each other in the fine details, precious materials, and exquisite craftsmanship.
The best Italian craftsmen use their trained hands to set the inner beauty of surfaces free — that is the aesthetic behind Henge, a furniture maker with “a personal feeling for the objects that live in our homes.” For Henge and its award-winning designers like Massimo Castagna and Yabu Pushelberg, each material is carefully chosen for its innate beauty: each kind of metal, each tree trunk is valued and treated with care, using an innovative approach that takes advantage of their flaws and imperfections to create unique and arresting works of art.
Perfect, harmonious proportions and a feeling of understated luxury are the hallmarks of Living Divani, a family-owned firm that has been helping define modern Italian style since the early 1970s. Together with the architect and designer Piero Lissoni, the company has partnered with numerous international designers as well as emerging new talents to stay on the cutting edge of contemporary design.
Known for the richness and range of their textiles, Living Divani’s outdoor living concepts include weather-resistant fabrics adapted on forms already used for the interior, creating design solutions that allow a greater fusion between indoors and out.
Technical innovation, stylistic research, ecological awareness — these are the components of RImadesio’s vision of furnishings and living environments. Their modular systems for the living area, bookcases, sliding doors, doors, walk-in closets, and rich collection of accessories have transformed the concept of interior spaces as fixed and unmoving. With maximum lightness and simplicity, their designs blend form and functionality to create an ambience of uncluttered sophistication and style.
From hotels, restaurants, and cafés to museums, libraries, exhibition centers, and corporate headquarters, Marelli’s designs can be found in sophisticated spaces around the world. The company’s home living and luxury designs also grace the residences of those with an eye with for sleek, multifunctional furnishings that combine contemporary good looks with the highest quality materials and craftsmanship.
From its founding in 1956 as a manufacturer of home furniture, Ceccotti has established itself as a contemporary design powerhouse whose collaborations can be found in some of the world’s most prestigious locales. The training of the company’s skilled workers arose from the local artisan culture of furniture and woodworking, with contributions by the likes of well-known Italian architect and theorist of the “post modern” project, Paolo Portoghesi, and the Pisan designer Roberto Lazzeroni leading to an increasingly modern and unique vision, culminating in the first “Dedos Tenidos” collection, inspired by Gaudì, Mollino and the Scandinavian design of the 50s. In spite of its growth, Ceccotti Collezioni has never renounced its intimate vocation for luxury craftsmanship, translating it into new contemporary interpretations through products that, in the age of the virtual, demand a tactile, fully sensual relationship.
According to Riva 1920, “nobody loves wood as much as we do. Nobody works wood like we do.” Founder Maurizio Riva defines luxury today as “living in a sustainable and ecological space,” and his firm delivers with styles that raise the humble table to an art form. Riva 1920’s designs are meant to enhance spaces and connect people — without harming the environment. The furniture is entirely made in Italy by artisans who are proud to preserve traditional craftsmanship in the age of technology. Collaborating with the best internationally renowned designers, the company’s collections are a testament to the glorious beauty of real wood.