A mix of dream and concreteness, poetry, ingenuity and project: telling the quality of made in Italy furnishings is not easy. Monica Mazzei di Edra tells how her company does it, between author catalogs and showrooms where you can breathe an air of home

Each Edra project stems from a story, told through products that contain strong technological research combined with great aesthetic impact. The words of Monica Mazzei, vice president of Edra, will accompany us on this journey to discover, also, the new showroom in the heart of Milan.

Edra, a company with a unique history where products, recognizable all over the world, hide a great deal of research. Can you tell us your philosophy?

Our products are not made to be looked at: you have to try them, live them and love them. Today the house is the center of our life where everything happens in a single space and the furnishings must be more and more flexible: this reflects what we have always done. Our sofas, for example, offer many seating possibilities: they are made to relax but also to work or converse. They support the different positions we take during the day, without constraints: as faithful travel companions who support every moment of our daily life.

Innovation always starts from the heart of the project, or rather from its internal structure, which arises from deep research aimed at finding total comfort. An invitation to live freely the house that always comes from an idea, a story, which then takes shape as the project takes shape. To give an example, the Pack sofa was born from a reflection by Francesco Binfaré: it is a metaphor of the melting of the ice but also of the drift of society. In fact it represents a polar ice pack on which a bear rests: it contains the thaw, the loneliness but also the feeling of rebirth, the hope of a new season. The bear is soft and welcoming, almost a playmate. But it is also a symbol of strength and courage. It is not just a comfortable sofa: it is a world that is transmitted in a product, able to touch our emotional chords. Every detail has been designed to convey this: starting with the seat upholstery reminiscent of arctic ice and the bear / backrest covered in ecological fur. The feeling you get is that of sitting on a cloud.

What is sustainability for Edra?

We would like to think that our products do not have a life time: in each piece we make we try to convey values of research, comfort and aesthetics, linked to a story. We would like our pieces to be passed on from generation to generation. Every detail guarantees its durability over time: from the fabrics, designed ad hoc for each model, to the internal mechanisms, to the unique pieces that transmit the know-how of craftsmanship. This is the concept that best interprets the meaning we give to the word sustainability: overcoming time to become a classic to be handed down.

The new Edra showroom opens in Palazzo Durini Caproni di Taliedo, a historic building in the center of Milan, in via Durini 24. But it does not overlook the street. Can you explain this choice to us?

We didn't want to open a classic street space. When we learned about this place we immediately came to Milan and we fell in love with it. It is located on the first floor of the building and, right here, between 1976 and 1982, the first Armani fashion shows were held. We wanted an environment to welcome people and make them feel at home, free to try our products surrounded by all this beauty. And having the opportunity to tell about our pieces, not just to show them in a shop window. Upon entering, visitors will be able to perceive the value of Edra's collections, highlighted by the completely frescoed rooms and mirrored walls that surround them and multiply their effect.

Here we managed to make history dialogue with modernity, architecture with the object. The choice to open this showroom, in collaboration with Vago Forniture, aims to confirm Edra's role in promoting Made in Italy and our desire to never stop, always looking for new stimuli. A symbol of rebirth in the heart of this wounded city that must once again be the capital of design.


Cover photo and below, Rose Chair design Masanori Umeda for Edra.