OVER 70 YEARS OF HISTORY, FULL OF SUCCESS STORIES: EMU TELLS ITS STORY THROUGH THE WORDS OF STEFANO ZAJOTTI, DESIGN & COMMUNICATION MANAGER, WHO SPOKE OF THE PAST – PRECISELY 50 YEARS AGO, WHEN THE RIO CHAIR WAS FIRST CREATED – AND THE REISSUE IN 2020 TO CELEBRATE THE CHAIR’S 50TH BIRTHDAY. REGARDING THE PRESENT, HE PUTS THE ACCENT ON SUSTAINABILITY (ONE OF THE MAIN THEMES OF IMM COLOGNE, WHERE THE COMPANY IS TAKING PART), AND ON STRATEGIES FOR THE FUTURE.
Which factors set EMU apart?
EMU is a company with over 70 years of experience, based on a true culture of metalworking across three generations that has created a high level of brand loyalty for this family business. The firm stands out for its commitment to the concept of Made in Italy, which has led to constant investment to maximize production and to keep it inside the national territory. This approach is in contrast to those who instead import their product to limit costs. EMU has a close bond with the tradition, aptly reinterpreted in an innovative way thanks to constant experimentation with multiple materials, the use of advanced technologies and collaborations with some of the most important and internationally acclaimed designers. The secret of EMU lies in constantly pursuing a precise character of products and their design, with precise quality and styling standards, in line with the needs of the market.
What does IMM Cologne mean for you?
imm cologne is one of the main international interior design events, an important opportunity to present new developments for 2020, solutions of young, functional design that come from a corporate approach increasingly oriented towards the future. Furthermore, this year the fair comes to terms with one of our company’s primary themes, that of sustainability, which EMU promotes through responsible, sustainable production with low environmental impact.
What is the value of the German market for EMU?
It is a very important market for us, constantly growing, represented by a demanding clientele with a focus on Made in Italy and high quality.
Plus4 table and Breeze chairs
In 2020 the historic Rio chair celebrates its 50th anniversary. For the occasion, you have created RioR50: how does it differ from the iconic model?
The iconic Rio chair was launched in the 1970s and immediately became a bestseller. Even today it represents one of the brand’s finest intuitions, a chair with timely design, simple and elegant at the same time, the result of Italian “savoir faire.” Rio is also a symbol of a particular moment in history, that of the passage from entirely crafted production to industrial and technologically advanced production. Rio has led to a commemorative reissue, the new RioR50, entrusted to the creativity of Anton Cristell and Emanuel Gargano. The name comes from an idea developed by the company in collaboration with the designers, adding the final “R50” to the original name: the letter R, besides linking back to the historic product, reflects the R-shaped form of the structural tubing, a distinctive feature that sets the sinuous character of the piece. The added “50” indicates the celebration of the 50th anniversary of a legendary icon.
Nef lounge chair
Last year you opened a Design & Simulation Centre – what are its activities?The Design & Simulation Centre of EMU is the design and research unit whose aim is to conduct studies on products and their use in various contexts, permitting simulation of different indoor and outdoor settings. The Design & Simulation Centre has the objective of bringing out product quality, inserting it in its natural contexts, while also offering a tool of welcome for the sales force, which thus has the possibility of offering clients a very realistic vision of the final results. Finally, the Centre brings new energy to the activities of research and development of the present design division, in a space where technicians and designers can find inspirations for the continuing evolution of processes and products. EMU also focuses on the discovery of emerging talents and relationships of collaboration with Universities and Design Centres, in a fertile exchange between young minds and a company that has always exported the Italian culture of outdoor living around the world. For this reason, the facility includes areas for interns and research workshops.
The company has contributed to furnish the pier of the Costa Smeralda, the new flagship of Costa Crociere: how does one approach such a particular world?
This project comes from a shared desire to narrate Italian Design, and EMU has been involved as one of the protagonists of furniture Made in Italy. The entire ship has been designed with Italy in mind, a true tour of our country that shows the best of Italy on board, with pieces by the finest manufacturers. EMU’s approach to the project was also the result of the search for productive solutions that pay attention to the environment and its protection. This is a value shared with EMU, whose know-how is updated day after day through the application of production techniques with a focus on responsible innovation.
What contract projects do you now have under way?Besides the Costa Smeralda, we are presently working on a project for its twin, and other important collaborations for the creation of 4 and 5-star hotels around the world.
What will be the future of the company in terms of growth and expansion? Which geographical areas will be involved?
The future of the firm is based on consolidation of its already existing strong points: a constant focus on product quality, research, development and multi-material experimentation. EMU has been able to foster solid growth on foreign markets, representing nearly 70% of sales, operating in over 80 countries, from northern Europe to Australia, the Mediterranean to North America, South America and the Orient. The company works with a capillary network of agents and distributors, and has over 1000 dealers as clients, in both the professional and the private sector. The countries offering the most interesting opportunities are France, Germany, the UK and the United States, but we are also focusing on growth in all geographical areas.