How Italian Furniture Brand Giorgetti Continues Its Woodworking Heritage
In 1898, Luigi Giorgetti founded an artisan woodworking laboratory with eight workers in Meda, a small commune located in Italy’s Brianza province. Today, the Giorgetti brand is renowned globally for furniture that embodies the highest levels of elegance and craftsmanship. Iconic pieces such as the Progetti and Hug chairs comprise sculpted timber frames that demonstrate the brand’s carpentry expertise, sitting alongside new offerings such as Carlo Colombo’s Skyline modular sofa, as well as Ludovica and Roberto Palomba’s robust Break outdoor table, whose graphical supports echo Japanese sliding doors.
The Giorgetti family sold the business to independent private equity firm Progressio in 2015. Under the stewardship of CEO Giovanni del Vecchio, who had previously led other prominent Italian furniture and fashion brands, Giorgetti is revolutionising the way it is conducting business while retaining its legacy. Here, he shares how Giorgetti is successfully adapting to new market demands through thoughtful initiatives and products.
How has the change in ownership benefitted the brand?
Giovanni del Vecchio (GDV) The Giorgetti family is no longer involved in the company but our work is based on its roots. In these first few years under the aegis of Progressio, in addition to improving the company’s production processes based entirely in three factories in Meda, Lentate sul Seveso and Misinto, the new management carried out the important job of expanding the offerings in a targeted way.
In 2016, we launched the GK Kitchen line which architecturally defines a living space, followed by the Atmosphere accessories range comprising carpets, vases and lamps to create a complete setting. Finally, the new Open-Air outdoor collection arrived in 2017 for decorating the gardens and exteriors of houses and villas.
How does the GK Kitchen line reflect Giorgetti’s understanding of contemporary living?
GDV The GK Kitchen line responds to the demand for elegance and prestige that Giorgetti is known for, without compromising the real functionality of the kitchen or the ability to satisfy even the fussiest culinary experts. For example, a variety of quality materials is combined with project versatility in the GK1.0 (the first version) through cupboards and counters that completely conceal work areas via sliding countertops on the central island and doors that ‘disappear’ once opened. This makes it ideal as a separate kitchen but also for open floor plans and living areas.
(Related: How Fatherhood Changed Italian Architect Roberto Palomba's Design Approach)
One of the most challenging aspects in good interior design is the wide range of cultural variation the company and the designer has to face, from general space planning and material selection to culturally varied perceptions of aesthetics and what is considered beautiful. No other area in the domestic environment illustrates these cultural differences more strongly than the kitchen.
Western cultures use the kitchen as a central living space, and generally express it by opening it up and connecting it to other living spaces and to the outside. Eastern cultures, on the other hand, due to privacy issues or smell contamination, prefer to exclude the main cooking areas and hide them in the back of the house. The design needs to be extremely flexible, and the technical solutions endless, that’s why more than 120 years of experience make it possible for us to please both European and Asian families.
(Related: How To Design Rooms Made For Your Family)
Why is the Giorgetti Atelier so important for the brand?
GDV The success of entire areas and projects (dressed in Giorgetti) encouraged the company to plan a series of Giorgetti Ateliers in the most influential cities of the international furniture market. After the opening in Milan in 2011, the Ateliers in Antwerp, Singapore, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Rome and Chicago were inaugurated. [Ed’s note: In Singapore, the Giorgetti Atelier is located within the Space Furniture showroom.]
The Atelier is a perfect tool in helping customers to immediately imagine how a real residential environment designed by Giorgetti could look like. These spaces are housed in buildings set in trendy urban environments or on the most prestigious shopping streets and are conceived as original and bespoke projects.
What is the Giorgetti DNA and how does the company select new designs for its collections?
GDV The Giorgetti style is characterised by exclusivity and uniqueness. Each piece contributes toward defining a space, becoming part of a complex and harmonious whole. A new product fits into our family when it is timeless, comfortable and functional.
Could you tell us more about the Progetti chair, one of the brand’s most iconic pieces?
GDV Created in 1987, the Progetti collection recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with an initiative that demonstrated the potential and versatility of this iconic piece. A tour with several stops in Miami, Cologne and Milan in 2017 displayed the reinterpretations of this classic chair. The shape of the chair remained clearly recognisable, thanks to the unusual armrest in Pau Ferro, a precious Brazilian wood. Inspired by the elegant lines of a walking stick, its flair was interpreted in different ways, unconventional in a couple of versions, to show the ability of the brand to keep true to its roots while looking forward to its future.
(Related: Italian Brand Florim’s Inspiring Showroom Displays New Ways Of Using Porcelain Tiles In Your Home)
Giorgetti is available in Singapore at Space Furniture