The business of design: global design leaders weigh in on what's NEXT
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The business of design: global design leaders weigh in on what's NEXT

STIR offers a glimpse into the ingenious minds of 15 industry titans at Salone del Mobile.Milano through a series of quick-witted interviews.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jun 25, 2022

The 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile fair managed to congregate an array of creative minds along with their inventive offerings in the form of product launches, exhibitions, and experiential installations. Ascribing to this year’s theme of sustainability, several showcases served as either plausible examples of conscious living or as fruitful conversation starters both for the participants and visitors of the fair in Milan, Italy. Other themes that also commanded a formidable presence at the design fair included the metaverse, nature, and designs that aimed at fulfilling the demands of the post-covid lifestyle. But, even as these trends and design statements take a stronghold and manage to drive the creative decisions of designers and lifestyle choices of non-designers, one usually remains unacquainted with the people who drive these choices.

Amidst the creative hustle and bustle that trickled into every corner of the Salone fairground and the design districts during the design week, STIR, seated within their press booth, which debuted at Salone 2022, moved past presentations and showcases onto conversations that could prick the minds of these convenors of prevalent styles and trends. Inviting leaders and thinkers who spearhead creative institutions and ideas and are the harbingers of change in the design industry, a dialogue was initiated where the current state of the design industry and the world at large were examined. With the intention of collecting the voices of these thinkers, leaders, and dreamers, STIR hosted 15 interviews with influential personalities that have shaped some of the most famous and successful brands and companies across the globe.

STIR aimed to capture opinions and provoke discourse through this interview series with international leaders such as Gabriele Salvatori, CEO of Salvatori; Carola Bestetti, CEO of Living Divani; Andrea Gentilini, CEO of Luxury Living Group; Lorenza Luti, CEO of Kartell; and Giovanni Gervasoni, founder and CEO of Gervasoni, amongst others. These brand leaders are not only responsible for the inception of extant design trends and lifestyles, but also play a pivotal role in actualising the dreams of creatives.

During one such discussion at STIR’s booth, Gabriele Salvatori, when asked what he’d like to stop from happening next in the world, remarked, “Pace…It’s this anxiety of having to come up, no matter what, with tons of new products and change the old, go for the new, sometimes with no particular reason, that I’d like to change.” Carola Bestetti, CEO of Living Divani, on the other hand, when asked about her message to fellow industry colleagues and creatives in the face of the covid and climate crisis, had this to say: “I think that we need to be much more honest with each other and start collaborating more because if you can make a proper system in this industry, things will be much easier and better for everyone. After all, sharing is caring.”

Channeling such thoughts into cohesive and structured answers, we present conversations that offer a glimpse into what is NEXT for the design community and how these leaders intend to usher these changes in.

The Business of Design with Gabriele Salvatori
Gabriele Salvatori, CEO of SalvatoriVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Italian luxury brand Salvatori fuses old-fashioned craftsmanship with new techniques while bestowing Italian values to present the best in design. For CEO Gabriele Salvatori, innovation is a family heirloom. He works to make everyday as illustrious as possible, in the world of design, while establishing a design dialogue with sustainability and innovation.

The Business of Design with Carola Bestetti
Carola Bestetti, CEO of Living DivaniVideo: Courtesy of STIR

CEO of Living Divani, Carola Bestetti talks about the importance of keeping Italian heritage alive in the offerings of the brand, while also welcoming innovation that satisfies extant demands and desires. The Italian design company, Living Divani, founded in 1969, has consistently combined harmonious shapes and forms to give birth to a range of luxury furniture products over the decades. Bestetti, daughter of the founders, Renata Pozzoli and Luigi Bestetti, gracefully carries this legacy forward and add her own charm and femininity to the prestigious brand.

The Business of Design with Lorenza Luti
Lorenza Luti, Marketing and Retail Director at KartellVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Kartell, founded in 1949 by chemical engineer Giulio Castelli, has evolved from creating household items and car accessories to developing and presenting bespoke furniture items and fashion accessories in recent years. Lorenza Luti, Marketing and Retail Director at Kartell, talks about the importance of circular design, sustainability, and global connectivity for Kartell and for all creatives, manufacturers, and brands across the globe.

The Business of Design with Giovanni Gervasoni
Giovanni Gervasoni, President of GervasoniVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Gervasoni is an Italian furniture and furnishings brand that designs elegant and laidback objects and spaces for a range of public and private properties. Giovanni Gervasoni, President of Gervasoni, talks to STIR about the importance of acting today while highlighting the brand's new initiative to collaborate with contemporary designers to create modern furnishings.

The Business of Design with Carlotta de Bevilacqua
Carlotta de Bevilacqua, CEO of ArtemideVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Artemide is a Milanese company that specialises in lighting design. Carlotta de Bevilacqua, CEO of Artemide, talks to STIR about the importance of stopping war and violence and learning to listen to the people around us.

The Business of Design with Andrea Gentilini
Andrea Gentilini, CEO of Luxury Living GroupVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Trussardi, Bentley Motors, Bugatti, as well as its own brand, Luxence Luxury Living, are just a few of the top worldwide companies that Luxury Living Group designs, manufactures, and distributes luxury furniture for: a success tale characterised by skill, innovation, and high-quality materials. For CEO Andrea Gentilini, design is an emotion and an experience for which the luxury brand works to sustain and enhance.

The Business of Design with Gianmaria Frigerio
Gianmaria Frigerio, Export Head of FrigerioVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Frigerio is an Italian luxury furniture brand that has been working in the perfect synergy of innovation, perfection and tradition. The brand was established by Federico Frigerio in 1938 and has been passed on as a design legacy. Gianmaria Frigerio, export head of Frigerio, talks to STIR about curiosity in design and a strong belief system.

The Business of Design with Eleonore Cavalli
Eleonore Cavalli, Art Director and Co-Founder of VisionnaireVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Visionnaire, the meta-luxury brand of reference in the sector of interior design Made in Italy, was founded by the company IPE. Based in Bologna since 1959, the Italian brand has devised a unique style, based on vivid experimentation on materials, volumes of unexpected poise and inimitable motifs that reveal the totally Italian background of the company. Eleonore Cavalli, Art Director and Co-Founder of Visionnaire shares with STIR the importance of interaction between design and people through emotions and empathy beyond ergonomy and comfort while emphasising the need for peace, both on a global and individual level.

The Business of Design with Federica Cameli
Federica Cameli, Marketing and Communication Manager of TalentiVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Marketing and Communication Manager of Talenti, Federica Cameli shares her thoughts about the significance of maintaining a commitment to the environment and thinking about the world while creating quality products that stand the test of time. Founded in 2004 by Fabrizio Cameli, the italian company is globally renowned for its expertise in design and manufacture of outdoor furniture. Since its inception, the company has built a strong reputation through their outdoor furniture and accessories that know how to interpret contemporary trends and respond with great dynamism to market developments.

The Business of Design with Angelo Meroni
Angelo Meroni, President, Lema GroupVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Taking its place among the pioneers of Italian style around the world, Lema was founded in 1970 by the Meroni family – who still run the company to this day – its great ability to develop custom-made solutions, together with the greatest architects, for the realisation of prestigious contract projects that it carries out throughout the world setting it apart in the global design scene. Angelo Meroni, President of the Lema Group, sits down with STIR, discussing the difficulties faced amidst the pandemic and war, sustainability and evolution of designs that last in the world of changing trends.

The Business of Design with David Kohler
David Kohler, President and CEO of Kohler Co. and Daniel ArshamVideo: Courtesy of STIR

During Milan Design Week 2022, David Kohler, President and CEO of Kohler Co., and contemporary American visual artist Daniel Arsham took a moment to engage in a conversation with STIR about the installation, and its inspiration. 'Divided Layers', a large-scale installation put together by Kohler in collaboration with Daniel Arsham. It is an immersive art experience and a part of the FuoriSalone exhibit during Milan Design Week 2022. The site-specific installation is a manifestation of the previous release of Rock.01, a 3D printed sink that Arsham designed in collaboration with Kohler in 2021. Located within the courtyard of a Milanese Palazzo, the installation is a stark presence that draws the eye toward every curve and detail of Arsham’s work.

The Business of Design with Alberto Caliri
Alberto Caliri, Design Director of MissoniVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Since its inception in 1953, the Italian luxury fashion house Missoni has been associated with expertise in producing lightweight and elegant knitwear. The company quickly built a reputation by blending innovative and fractured stripes, plaids, patchworks, mosaics, and zigzag patterns in dramatic colour combinations. Alberto Caliri, Design Director of Missoni joins STIR in an enlightening conversation delving into the approach, energy and emotions taking the brand forward and how the pandemic altered the same.

The Business of Design with Robin Bevers
Robin Bevers, CEO of MoooiVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Moooi is a Dutch furniture, interior, and lighting modern design company that was founded by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers in the Netherlands in 2001. Robin Bevers, CEO of Moooi, sits down with STIR to talk about the brand's journey and what's next for it.

The Business of Design with Nicola Coropulis
Nicola Coropulis, CEO of Poltrona FrauVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Poltrona Frau is a furniture brand based in Italy. It specialises in leather seatings for both interiors and automobiles. The brand was founded in 1912 by Sardinian-born Renzo Frau in Turin. CEO of Poltrona Frau, Nicola Coropulis, narrates this long and eventful journey in a conversation held during the Salone fair.

The Business of Design with Andrea Turri
Andrea Turri, CEO of TurriVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Italy-based furniture brand, Turri, founded in 1925, is driven by love and respect for tradition, uncompromising quality, and consistent innovation. Now a prominent name in the luxury interior decoration sector, their products are built with the intention of bringing the art of modern luxury lifestyle to every room. Andrea Turri, the CEO of Turri, in an exclusive interview with STIR, delineates the importance of focusing on our present instead of our future, while enunciating the impact of Covid in all spectrums of our lives.

The Business of Design with Andrea Bazzichetto
Andrea Bazzichetto, CEO of Henry GlassVideo: Courtesy of STIR

Established in 1988, Italian glass door production company Henry Glass was founded with the intention of reintroducing the charm of Murano glass in the spheres of contemporary design and architecture. With an authentic and distinctive style, the company’s offerings are an amalgamation of art and design, aesthetics and quality. Andrea Bazzichetto, Chairman and CEO of the Henry Glass Group, joins STIR in a gripping dialogue emphasising the value of community and relationships for the company and the role of thinking outside the box in innovation.

STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.

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