Is there still room for new proposals, in the panorama of light design in which Made in Italy has made and has made history for at least sixty years? We talked about it with Valeria Giacomozzi and Valerio Tidei, founders in 2015 of TOOY, a brand with a strong artisan matrix for which they designed Corrado Dotti, Studiopepe and Federica Biasi, pushing it into a refined and contemporary dimension.
Where did the idea of a lighting brand come from in 2015?
"We were born with light, the TOOY brand was born as a spin off of my family's company (Giacomozzi, ed), Gibas, a company from the Marche region that has been producing custom lighting since 1959. Ours is a really strong bond with the world of light and the know-how accumulated over the years has been the link between tradition and the ability to accept current challenges. Our initial idea was to create a very youthful brand but, while we were developing the first projects, we realized that it wasn't enough and we didn't feel comfortable with this strategy. With the beginning of the collaboration together with Corrado Dotti we decided to make other choices and therefore developed a very different strategic plan. It was a fundamental period for us to grow and establish ourselves on the high-end market. We have made our own a concept that is very important to us, namely that designing a lamp means designing space: it is the light that defines and creates it, and therefore we have turned to young, fresh, modular products capable of defining the environment well. to live in. Here, wanting to exaggerate, we can say that we consider the lamp as a living being, in perfect harmony, osmotic, with the space where it is placed ".
What value do you think you bring to the world of lighting design where since the last century Italy has made the difference with historical brands and iconic lamps?
"With its products, TOOY wants to go beyond the boundaries of décor, through a strong and well-defined identity that is expressed with eloquence in both domestic and contract contexts. In fact, especially in Italy, we have companies that have made the history of design but, as mentioned before, light is magic, there are no limits in creating new products, the possibilities are endless as well as product research and development and of technology. What we would like to be able to create is a brand that is never repetitive in its proposals and that always has something interesting and new to offer. We know the market and our customers well, we know they want to be amazed by the product but also by the choice of the designer we work with, especially in a context like the current one where everything changes very quickly. Let's say we want to give an original point of view. We would like to always be able to surprise, making it clear that our path is constantly changing and proposing something you would not expect. And if our products become icons, even better, but this is not the main goal ".
Do you consider yourself an Italian or an international brand?
“Surely the first answer that comes to our mind is international, the name also says so, which has been a statement and an important choice from the very beginning. However, we must underline the fact that we are very proud to produce in Italy, we are right in the heart of the country, in the Marche region. Our product is 100% Made in Italy and we are aware that this is a very important added value for the international market ".
The designers you hired have profoundly different stories in terms of language and style: what prompted you to turn to them, specifically?
“It is precisely their diversity that has prompted us to collaborate. We do not want to tie ourselves to a closed style, rather we are always looking for new trends and therefore for new designers with whom we can work in open harmony and who push us more and more in new directions. Corrado Dotti initially led us towards his delicate and luxurious style, positioning us in a very clear context. Corrado worked for Armani Casa and brought with him the taste for simplicity and unscathed luxury. He has a great knowledge of materials and combinations and it is he who gave us the initial push. With Studiopepe and Federica Biasi we wanted to enter a different world, characterized by a contemporary and more experimental style and language. Studiopepe has given us a refined and more researched image, it has also made us enter the world of galleries with a limited series and, as art director of the new catalog, has been able to interpret our products and our image in a wonderful way. Federica Biasi was a breath of energy, her product is contemporary, it plays on transformation and the combination of materials, very intelligent and with great potential ".
What does a light design brand have to produce: iconic objects or a style for the home?
"For us, the goal makes sense when it is consistent with the brand image and its vision. It is essential to study the smallest details and understand the needs of your target audience in a dynamic context such as the one we are experiencing today. The secret lies in the harmonious union of many factors and the ability to quickly adapt to change and develop a clear vision for the future. Experimentation, innovation, research and also modularity, adaptability, functionality, let's not forget that a lamp, in any case, must make a beautiful light. Light always has a magical aspect, and this is the fundamental element we never want to get away from. If we manage to surprise… even better! ”.
All photos are by Silvia Rivoltella