Jan 12, 2019

Italian design and furniture

Italian design and furniture: the companies that have made history

In the furniture sector, Italy continues to be the world’s leading nation. The numbers speak for themselves: according to data from FederlegnoArredo, Italy is in the top three of the best manufacturers of furniture, with the top furniture companies growing above average.

The key to success is not only in the cult of innovative design. The leadership of the sector is consolidated in a long tradition that combines the Made in Italy taste, famous all over the world, with the elements imposed by technology. It is no coincidence that among the big brands in the furniture field there are those with a long history. The curiosity arises spontaneously: which are the main Italian brands that have made history in the field of furniture and design? Let’s find it out together.

Cassina is a Lombard company that has almost a century of history. Founded by the Cassina brothers in 1927, it began to furnish large cruise ships as early as in the 1950s. With its attractive design, it quickly gained international fame. It is no coincidence that the furnishings of the reading room, dining room and library of the transatlantic “Andrea Doria” are designed by Cassina. Not to mention its “I Maestri” collection, which includes some of the products that have made the history of design: the LC4 by Le Corbusier, the 601 Robie 1, the Cicognino. Cassina currently operates in the contemporary furnishing sector, counting three “Compasso d’oro”, the prestigious award that honours the quality of Italian design.

Zanotta can boast three “Compasso d’oro”, as well. The company dictated the law in the sector between the ’50s and ’60s, influencing the concept of design with its art of furnishing. Zanotta is famous for the use in its furnishing collections of materials of various kinds. Some of the brand’s historical pieces are on display at MoMA, at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, at the Pompidou centre in Paris, and at the prestigious Design Museum in London.

Divano Botero Zanotta

Then there is Poliform, with its international personality and a never-lost family soul. Founded in 1970 as an evolution of a 1942 artisan company, through the use of new production technologies it has immediately established itself in the market of modular systems. Strongly linked to Brianza, an area located north of Milan in which it has its headquarters (its production units are delicately inserted in spaces where nature is considered both heritage and wealth), the company has one main goal: to associate, in each of its collections, artisan knowledge and the genius of famous icons. From Rodolfo Dordoni to Jean-Marie Massaud, there are many international designers and architects who have worked with the company.

Even longer is the history of MisuraEmme, as the first factory was opened in 1902 by Giovanni Mascheroni. Its know-how has been passed down from generation to generation, up to the present day, and to an extraordinary connection between tradition and avant-garde. MisuraEmme’s products stand out for their high degree of customization, for their one-on-one encounters with the customer. And because they take shape in a relatively small reality, and therefore are characterized by a high degree of elasticity and experimentation.


Four different companies, four symbols of Made in Italy. And each one of them, decades later, is still among the top brands on an international scale when it comes to furniture.

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