Interview with Luigi Rugiano

The luxury world has a wealth of offers and is rather crowded. What are the distinctive features of Rugiano?
Rugiano has operated in the world of luxury for around 15 years, but we changed direction 5 years ago and chose a less flamboyant style, placing still more emphasis on quality materials and cleaner forms. Quality is paramount, so the control of quality is fundamental for us and that means having our own production sites. Our company has 15,000 square metres of production lines where we process all the materials: wood, leather, bronze, brass and even steel. Nothing leaves without being thoroughly checked and assessed.

How important are the retail trade and projects for your company?
Today, Rugiano’s turnover is divided equally between trade and projects but there is an increasing number of clients throughout the world seeking a philosophy of furniture rather than just products to buy. Unfortunately, many furniture retailers are not set up to respond to this kind of demand; a feature that is even more marked in Italy.

Which geographical areas have been consolidated and which are to be developed?
We have always favoured exports: Russia, Asia and the United States are strong, consolidated markets for us. Europe, including Italy, represents 25% of the turnover and is the area we intend to develop. In Europe, private capital has arrived from other countries, above all, Russia, India and China: this flow – a small percentage but significant in terms of financial capacity – is mostly being directed towards a richer, longer-lasting product. The Chinese market is very important for us, as Russia was in the past. Unlike the golden era in Russia, however, China has major local production that works. We have the good fortune of being Italian, so our brand is always in great demand. In China, we have opened 7 monobrand stores with local partners and expect to open another 6 in the coming years. We have great faith in the Chinese market, perhaps the only country in the world where retail works.
London deserves its own chapter: it is a very interesting market, practically every wealthy person in the world has a residence there; we have had an office in the British capital for 5 years with a person dedicated to relations with the world of interiors and we are considering opening a showroom.

Rugiano is not only residential, you have also met with success in the hospitality segment…
We have made furniture for many boutique hotels, small establishments with a maximum of 50 rooms for which we worked mainly on the common areas.
We are currently finalising supplies for the Hotel de Paris of Montecarlo.

What are the new developments for Salone 2017?
Three new collections, two for Salone and one for the showroom in Via della Moscova, all three focusing on the quality and sophisticated luxury that are our calling cards.