5 furniture and lighting brands with famous stories

After a two-year hiatus, the Salone del Mobile opens this week as part of Milan Design Week 2022. In its 60th edition, it’s certainly a milestone in the furniture industry. The largest show in the world will offer 2,175 exhibitors where some 600 young designers under the age of 35 will be present to show their talents to the whole world. Along the same lines, this week we take a look at five furniture and lighting brands that are also celebrating their decades of experience in this industry. They have come a long way and proven they are still going strong and continue to gain a global reputation and win new converts with their latest creations.

Moroso — Platinum Jubilee Celebration

The Udine-based furniture brand was established in 1952. Moroso is the brainchild of Agostino Moroso who, together with his wife Diana, founded the company with the aim of manufacturing sofas, armchairs and furniture accessories. furnishing. The brand is renowned for its wild yet functional designs. The owners have also drawn on research and the artisanal approach to create extraordinary designs through which Moroso has been able to stand out in the market.

Moroso “Victoria & Albert” sofa and armchair. Image: Moroso.

Some might say that Moroso is recognized as an international designer haute couture and a leading company in the manufacture of upholstered furniture. The brand works with some of the most in-demand designers including Patricia Urquiola, Konstantin Grcic, Ross Lovegrove, Ron Arad, Doshi & Levien, Nendo, Front and Marcel Wanders, to name a few.


Moroso “My Beautiful Backside” by Doshi & Levien. Image: Moroso.

They are designers who have worked alongside the brand for many years and who understand the brand’s DNA and design philosophy; everyone who has created products with the unmistakable “Moroso style”. In fact, some of Moroso’s creations have become permanent pieces at MoMA in New York, the Palais de Tokyo and Grand Palais in Paris, the Venice Biennale, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.


Moroso “Fjord” lounge chair by Patricia Urquiola. Image: Moroso.

All of these successes have set Moroso on a growth trajectory. It is currently run and managed by founder and owner Patrizia Moroso, who is detail oriented and is looking for new upcoming designers to join Moroso’s design stable. Some of Moroso’s signature pieces include Patricia Urquiola’s ‘Fjord’ lounge chair and ‘Redondo’ sofa; Victoria & Albert sofa by Ron Arad; “My beautiful behind” by Doshi & Levien; Sofa “Pipe” by Sebastian Herkner, to name but a few.


Fontana Arte — celebrates 90 years of activity

As one of the masters of Italian lighting brands, Fontana Arte celebrates 90 years of activity. Founded in 1932 as the artistic division of the company of Luigi Fontana, known for its cutting-edge glassmaking, it was its founder – the eminent architect Gio Ponti – who saw the potential use of glass for the interior furnishings such as glass lamps to make it a distinctive feature of the brand.

Fontana Arte

Fontana Arte Lamp “Fontana” by Max Ingrand. Picture: Fontana Arte.

His first batch of designs drew on the talents of leading Italian architects and lighting designers. He then slowly progressed to asking international designers to join his design stable. While focusing on glass, the brand has also incorporated technology and aesthetic appeal to create some of the most timeless lighting objects.

Fontana Arte

Fontana Arte “0024” hanging lamp by Gio Ponti. Picture: Fontana Arte.

These have become design classics and are currently on display in many leading museums around the world. Fontana Arte’s “Made In Italy” philosophy ensures that it focuses on design and production by local artisans, engineers and designers.

Fontana Arte

Fontana Arte “Giova” table lamp by Gae Aluenti. Picture: Fontana Arte.

So what are some of Fontana Arte’s iconic lighting instruments? The “0024” pendant lamp and the “Bilia” table lamp designed by Gio Ponti, always sought after by design managers and professionals in the trade; the “Fontana” table lamp designed by French master glassmaker Max Ingrand; and the “Giova” table lamp by Gae Aulenti.


Lodes — 72 years of innovation and design

Founded in 1950, Lodes was previously known as Studio Italia Design. In 2020, on its 70th anniversary, it unveiled its new logo and brand identity. The Venice-based lighting brand produces and designs lighting solutions for many interiors and exteriors.

Lodes Flar table/floor lamp

Lodes “Flar” table/floor lamp. Image: Come on.

Its founder Angelo Tosetto’s passion for glass and his in-depth knowledge of technological research have led the company to establish itself in 90 markets around the world. Today, under the guidance of its third generation owners, it still creates some of the most stunning fixtures that incorporate the best processing techniques and innovative technologies, and are made with the finest materials.

Let's go

Lodes “Jefferson” pendant lamps. Image: Come on.

Its “Made In Italy” philosophy has catapulted Lodes as one of the most important lighting solutions companies in Italy and in the world. Among the brand’s most popular pieces are the “Jefferson” pendant lamp by Luca Nichetto and the “Flar” table/floor lamps by Patrick Norguet.


Cassina — A legacy of more than 90 years…

Since its foundation in 1927, Cassina has always sought out the elements that make up contemporary living and interiors. The founders of Cassina — Cesare and Umberto Cassina — did not limit themselves to creating and designing furniture.

Cassina sofa Maralunga

Cassina “Maralunga” sofa by Vico Magistretti. Image: Cassine.

The brand has focused more on how the cultural and social impact of interiors and architecture can affect the way we live. In 2017 Cassina celebrated 90 years in the business. He has worked with some of the most respected names in the industry such as Mario Bellini and Piero Lissoni to create contemporary designs. The brand’s quest for modernity through the search for new shapes and materials has always been part of the company’s design DNA. Today it is the maker of designs inherited from one of the godfathers of architecture – Le Corbusier. Cassina has worked on the reconstruction of avant-garde architectural projects such as Le Corbusier’s “Cabanon d’été” hiding place, or the Refuge Tonneau, a mountain shelter designed by Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret in 1938.

Cassina Superleggera chair

Cassina “Superleggera” chair (which means “super light” in Italian because you can carry them with one hand!) by Gio Ponti. Image: Cassine.

These projects are now part of traveling exhibitions around the world. Owned by Poltrona Frau, Cassina is still independent in the management of its business. Cassina is the benchmark brand for serious “Made in Italy” products created by some of the world’s greatest living designers such as Rodolfo Dordoni, Philippe Starck and Piero Lissoni. It has a series of posthumous designs by designers/architects such as Gaetano Pesce, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Gerrit Rietveld, Charlotte Perriand, Vico Magistretti, to name a few. These designs are part of the endearing range, part of the “Cassina I Maestri Collection (Masters Collection)”, which has been an integral part of Cassina’s furniture business for many years. Iconic pieces from Cassina’s extensive portfolio include Gio Ponti’s ‘Superleggera’ chair; “Utrecht” armchair by Gerrit T.

Cassina LC4 lounge chair

Cassina lounge chair “LC4”. Image: Cassine.

Rietveld, “Maralunga” sofa by Vico Magistretti; and Le Corbusier’s “LC4” lounge chair. Today, Cassina maintains close relationships with many leading architects and designers, ultimately creating designs that have made the brand stand out in its identity. This has resulted in an innovative fusion that closely links technological skills with traditional craftsmanship.


Minotti – Italian Excellence

Founded in 1948 by Alberto Minotti, Minotti was just a small artisan workshop that boomed in the 1960s. Alberto’s two sons, Renato and Roberto Minotti, took over the reins.

Hamilton Minotti sofa

Minotti “Hamilton” sofa by Rodolfo Dordoni – still the brand’s best-selling sofa. Photo: Minotti.

They began a slow but steady process of expanding the brand into international markets. But in 1998, the two brothers shared their creative vision with the architect Rodolfo Dordoni who has since become their artistic director. Dordoni coordinated all of the company’s collections and designs. At the heart of the Minotti identity is the focus on “Made In Italy” excellence.

Caesar Minotti stool

Minotti “Caesar” stools. Photo: Minotti.

Their third generation is leading the complexity of digitization and social media in our digital age. However, its deep belief that talented craftsmen create exceptional products has led Minotti to produce immaculately detailed furniture using top-notch materials sourced from around the world.

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Armchair Minotti Hopper

“Hopper” armchair by Minotti. Photo: Minotti.

Minotti pays great attention to sartorial details without losing contact with its customers. Today, Minotti works with some of the best talent in the business. These architects and designers include Christophe Delcourt, Nendo, GamFratesi, studio mk27 and Gordon Guillaumier, to name a few. Signature pieces from Minotti’s safes include the ‘Hopper’ armchair, ‘Cesar’ stool and their best-selling ‘Hamilton’ sofa, all designed by Rodolfo Dordoni.


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