The iconic Italian culture brand displays its art de vivre refinement in the design district of Manhattan. Back in 1956, a small store opened by Maddalena and Fernando De Padova in Milan presented Scandinavian design in Italy for the first time.
Since then the brand – and the licensed producer of furnishings by the American firm Herman Miller, with collections for the home and office – has become a synonym of refined, timeless decor, based on a sophisticated aesthetic and the mastery of designers like Vico Magistretti and Achille Castiglioni. This far-sighted vision taken forward by Maddalena De Padova has been pursued by the company, now part of Gruppo Boffi since 2015, in search of excellence on all fronts, from fine craftsmanship to the most modern design.
A spirit that has been conveyed with elegance to New Yorkers for one year now, in the appealing loft opened during ICFF 2018, a place of long-range charm where we met with Davide Cremese, CEO of Boffi Group USA. “The opening of the flagship store came about one year ago, but actually the De Padova home opened its doors in December.
This place is becoming a reference point in New York thanks to a program of business development that enables our counterparts in the sector – designers, interior decorators, architects, developers, influencers – to enjoy the space with events, aperitifs, art exhibitions, dinners and encounters in which we tell the story of the brand, the research and craftsmanship behind our creations made for an elite clientele.”
A brand that continues to represent the savoir faire of Made in Italy, now increasingly sought after, not just in the States: “Talking with our American clients about the history of De Padova is very important, so they can understand the passion that goes into every product: not just manufacturing, but years of investment, research and selection of leading and emerging designers, in a perfect balance with the ‘De Padova editions’ that bring to light designs and products dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.”
Icons of the modern spirit embodying an aesthetic free of ornament, of clean forms and exclusive finishes, envisioned by the likes of Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, Michele De Lucchi, Patricia Urquiola, Nendo, Naoto Fukasawa, Piero Lissoni… alongside items by new talents: “From Studiocharlie in Milan to the Japanese designer Omi Tahara and the Belgian Gunther Pelgrims, winner of the Interieur Award at Interieur Biennale 2018 in Kortrijk (Belgium), with the Mawari table, then put into production by De Padova.” The leitmotif is essential styling: “A piece by De Padova can span generations, passed down over the years.
The collections evolve in terms of finishes, hues, combinations of different materials, but the focus remains the same: to offer a special product, simple, of the highest quality.” Key concepts for Boffi Group, which in its incessant expansion in the States has gathered many honors, such as being selected by the architecture firm of Zaha Hadid as the sole supplier for the kitchens, bathrooms and mirrors of the luxury condo building on the High Line in New York. “A very important signal for the world of Made in Italy. After New York, the best results for Boffi Group are in Miami and Los Angeles – cities with a high concentration of outstanding works of architecture – but also rising locations in the USA like Washington DC, San Francisco and Chicago.”
The concept of luxury living shaped by Boffi involves all of the group’s companies: Boffi, De Padova, MA/U Studio and the recent acquisition, in February 2019, of the brand ADL of Massimo Luca, specialized in the production of high-end aluminium doors. “ADL is a small crafts firm that already worked with Boffi, so the acquisition was a natural development, to create a complete range of products for the home. The collections including leaf, pivot and sliding aluminium doors, with a technical background that guarantees perfection and functional quality, combined with minimalist design.”
With the idea of presenting the exclusive world of Boffi in every area of the home, the group has decided to transform its showrooms into “domestic settings” and inhabited dwellings: from the kitchen to the living room, bookcases to lighting, complements to dividers: “In the Boffi showrooms there will be more and more products of the four brands, as happens inside the Boffi Studios – our official dealers – that are moving in the same direction, illustrating our idea of living to the public. Between history and contemporary style.”
Photo by Marco Petrini ©Petrinistudio