New pieces, re-editions that enhance projects by the masters of Italian design, a broad revision of the color range. Zanotta celebrates its seventieth anniversary and inaugurates the new flagship store in via Durini 25/27. And he puts everything in order

Founded in 1954 byAurelio Zanotta, it is one of the symbolic companies in the history of Italian design. Its historic products, the result of collaboration with masters of design, remain emblematic for formal innovation, technological and material research, artistic sensitivity.

Led by Luca Fuso, CEO, since April 2023 Zanotta was acquired by Cassina, becoming part of the Haworth Lifestyle Design group.

A balance sheet one year after the acquisition of Zanotta by Cassina

Luca Fuso: "The reason why we took the opportunity to welcome Zanotta within the group is because we are convinced that it should go into hands capable of relocating it to its original position: that of radical design.

First we examined the list of Zanotta products from '64 onwards, the year in which Aurelio began producing design objects. Understanding its past trajectory provides the tools to define future strategy.

When purchasing a brand, the story is the first thing to look into and, in the case of companies with a tradition and great content like Zanotta, it is necessary to tell it as best as possible.

What emerged from the research was the desire to enhance that pioneering radical that characterized Zanotta in its golden years, turning it towards the future".

In what terms do you intend to express this new future that you are starting?

Luca Fuso: "The summary served to determine what was most representative of the production and ensure that the pieces formed a collection made up of elements that went well together.

A conceptual work aimed at the harmonious combination of the components.

The last year has served to think about the entire system, from how to structure the collection to how to position Zanotta as the brand that inspired radical design in Italy and then return to that root, maintaining all the its characteristics such as quality, heritage, and the important reference to the history of design.

For this important occasion, Zanotta opens the doors of the new flagship store in via Durini

Luca Fuso: "I hope that the work done over the course of this year will be seen well at the Salone del Mobile: starting with the new home ofZanotta in via Durini 25/27, the statement to demonstrate the seriousness of our intentions.

The second thing is to make the product protagonist again, looking at Zanotta's way which is not classic but highly studied, evaluated and thought out.

Zanotta has within its collections some much-loved pieces by important authors which we present in the new flagship inaugurated on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the brand.

Among the various considerations, we also studied the color range of the collection products that we updated.

The new store has the task of being an ambassador of this new chromatic declination which sees very strong colours which recall the historical ones of Zanotta, such as orange and green, on this occasion combined with other newer colours. and modern, to return to its original soul that has distinguished it over the years.

Does this mean retracing Aurelio Zanotta's methods philologically?

Luca Fuso: "The times are different as is the demand: if in the 70s it was possible to put different products on the market, today it is no longer possible to ignore a common thread: either there is a very specific collection idea or they remain iconic and beautiful pieces that however don't work.

A vicious circle to escape from, times have changed and things must be done differently (which is precisely what we promise to do).

Zanotta is a very lively brand because it greatly stimulates the creativity of the designers, who we invited to delve deeper into the radical history."

So is the solution the study of a conjugation of pieces?

Luca Fuso: "It's about putting things together keeping in mind that each piece has its own personality. We will continue to do what Zanotta has always done: enhancing the identity of each piece strong> based on the relationship with others. Designers must express their creativity through ideas that are representative of the brand."

Which designers did you involve for the new collections?

Luca Fuso: "The innovations were developed in collaboration with international designers such as the Belgian duo Muller Van Severen who for the first time measure themselves with an industrial product (they come from self-production, from galleries and unique pieces) and the Anglo-Canadian designer Philippe Malouin (Philippe has always had a very artistic approach despite being a designer by training).

They will be exhibited in via Durini - in a setting dominated by the color orange - together with pieces created by designers already known to the brand, such as Zaven and Calvi Brambilla.

The big difference between the dawn of industrial design and the present is that if everything was new then, now the pieces - where everything has already been invented - must be part of a system.

On the other hand, Zanotta has so many inventions (from Sciangai to Mezzadro, from Sella to Allunaggio, from Quaderna to Sacco...) that to continue to flourish they must be included in a system to be valorised".

A piece that you are fond of, even before joining Zanotta

Luca Fuso: "I entered the sector precisely because I had been a customer long before. It's the reason why I do this job now, because I like it. At home I have 8 Lia chairs by Roberto Barbieri, from 1998, purchased over 20 years ago. I am very attached to them, they are not iconic but very successful because as a family of chairs they are still the most comfortable and longest-lasting; in fact they are still in production".

Have you also found any prototypes or projects that were never made?

Luca Fuso: "We will launch a re-edition not from our archive: the Gomma armchair (1970s) by De Pas d'Urbino Lomazzi , which was not originally designed for Zanotta but is essentially one and is represented through color and roundness".

It has great personality, it works very well with the other products and in fact we are presenting it in the showroom with a new sofa and a new bed.

Luca Fuso: "Do you think that this operation can be defined as a sort of closing of the circle between the 1970s and our 1920s?
What is certain is that the 60s/70s were the most creative years of design, as well as fashion, cinema and music.

They were years of creative freedom, the rediscovery of which must pass through coherence. It is up to us to create the conditions to reach a peak that is coherent and not the result of random attempts: a system, in fact."