Living is a question of aesthetics. Interview with Matteo Galimberti

What role have designers played in shaping the Company’s identity?
The dialogue between customer and designer is decisive.  Our forty years’ collaboration with architect Antonio Citterio has enabled our products to evolve, while maintaining a unique design consistency.  To say it in his words, each design project has a father and a mother:  one is an entrepreneur and the other is a designer.

Has our use of living space changed in the course of the years?
Considerably. Nowadays, the sofa serves for all kind of activities: conversation, reading, sleeping, working on the computer, watching TV and eating.  In today’s home, social interactions have evolved in such a way that they require cosy reassuring furnishings. The seating of our sofas,  which is deconstructed and informal, is conducive to less “stiff” and more friendly relations,  whilst a greater seating depth facilitates a more relaxed posture.

How has the crisis impacted your work?
The crisis has induced us aim even higher.  Our way of producing quality and of producing it within Italy at all costs, despite the crisis, has paid back.  An up-market positioning is our chosen destiny and what we are known for worldwide: ours is a sober and reassuring product with an ever increasing emphasis on finishes and fabrics that are sumptuous, elegant and refined.

How does Flexform address the market?
By highlighting our image and extending our network of flagship stores – 14 in all – as well as quality distribution.  We believe that operating exclusively through mono brand stores is the best way to promote our brand in Italy and abroad.  We are also working on a project to extend our company showroom to give more space to our display and, in the future, also to our offices and production facilities, which we want to keep 100% Italian.

Which is your best overseas market? What are its specific requirements?
For a long time now, Flexform has consolidated its position on the European market, particularly Germany and Switzerland, which on the whole continues to be our main target market. The Asian markets are also growing exponentially.   Being able to dictate trends, without being tied to passing fads, means that we are able to count on stable turnovers in all 75 countries we operate in. The elegance and sobriety of our products satisfy the most diversified needs, but there are differences associated with local traditions, climate and ergonomic needs.  The Netherlands, Austria and Germania have a preference for rigid, high backed seating, while the UK and Russia like customized fabrics, and Spain and the South of France tend to choose fresh fabrics such as linen and cotton.

What lies behind the concept of the commercial you realized with Banca Intesa?
In its claim, this commercial draws attention to the dialogue between bank and enterprise by highlighting “a possible world” in which businesses, operating in an imperfect world, may find a trusted partner in Intesa Sanpaolo.  Intesa Sanpaolo has chosen Flexform to act as its testimonial thanks to our dynamic approach and entrepreneurial values, while our Company sees  Intesa Sanpaolo as a reliable partner because of the tangible support it provides, also on International markets. A powerful channel such as the TV represents a visible support to our Italian retailers in furthering brand promotion among end-users.