History of a brand: Giorgetti

Now in its 120th year, this Italian furniture brand is still expanding and innovating in exciting ways

'Aton' modular sofa by Carlo Colombo
Carlo Colombo

In 1898, in the town of Meda, in Italy’s Brianza region, Luigi Giorgetti opened his modest carpentry workshop to create items to decorate the homes of the Milanese nobility. By the 1920s, the workshop had expanded and Giorgetti had set its sights on America, to which it exported traditional wooden chair frames. The demand from the US came as a happy surprise, forcing the workshop to nail its production system, turning out finely crafted furniture in mass quantities and at speed– lessons that have served Giorgetti well, since today, its products reach more than 85 countries.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the company debuted its first contemporary collections, the ‘Gallery’ and ‘Gazebo’ chairs. The latter featured a groundbreaking carving technique that created a bamboo-like effect on the chair’s back – that prompted the development of an unusual tooling process that’s still used today.

'Hug' armchair by Rossella Pugliatti
'Hug' armchair by Rossella Pugliatti

The turnkey moment, however, came in the 1980s when the then president of the company, Carlo Giorgetti (Luigi’s grandson), had the foresight to partner with some of the world’s leading architects – Massimo Scolari, Léon Krier and Chi Wing Lo, to name a few – on new products. None had designed furniture before, but the results were modern and boundary-breaking – a description of Giorgetti’s output that’s still accurate. It was also Carlo who had the novel idea to debut the ‘Atelier’ concept – showrooms presented as apartments, dressed exclusively in Giorgetti designs – in 2011.

'GK.01' kitchen, Giorgetti store, Milan
'GK.01' kitchen, Giorgetti store, Milan

Since the 2015 appointment of Giovanni del Vecchio (formerly of Poltrona Frau and Molteni &C) as CEO, the company has continued to innovate and expand. Not only do the ‘Ateliers’ span Milan to Mumbai and beyond, but the brand has also flexed its muscles for the first time in the kitchen arena, with the debut of the ‘GK.01’ system in 2016. So, what next? Excitingly, real estate. The Giorgetti Houston building project in Texas, US, is due for completion in 2019, featuring 32 fully furnished apartments, all decorated in Giorgetti’s signature modern-luxe style. giorgettimilano.it

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Design