MASTERS OF MINOTTI

The Ital­ian fur­ni­ture house marks turn­ing 70 with a flag­ship store in Mel­bourne

VOGUE Living Australia - - CONTENTS - By Ver­ity Mag­dalino Pho­tographed by Nigel Lough Styled by Anna Del­prat Minotti Mel­bourne by Dedece, 2 Dale Street, Cre­morne; (03) 9650 9600; minotti.com dedece.com

Re­nato and Roberto Minotti are el­e­gant in crisp shirts and sharply cut blaz­ers.

The sons of the late, leg­endary Al­berto Minotti — founder of one of Italy’s lead­ing fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­tur­ers — the broth­ers are in Aus­tralia to cel­e­brate the 70th an­niver­sary of the Minotti brand with the open­ing of a flag­ship store in Mel­bourne. Join­ing them are Re­nato’s son, Alessan­dro, and the com­pany’s art di­rec­tor, ar­chi­tect Rodolfo Dor­doni, who has worked with the fam­ily-run busi­ness for 20 years.

The Minotti men are de­ci­sive and aes­thet­i­cally un­der­stated — a walk­ing per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of their made-in-Italy brand of sleek, so­phis­ti­cated de­sign. Dor­doni is a lit­tle more re­laxed, sport­ing a smile and de­signer sneak­ers. It’s his first time in Aus­tralia. “I had din­ner at the Syd­ney Opera House and was given a pri­vate tour,” he says. “It’s one of the icons of my life, so to see it was one of the best mo­ments for me. The light is beau­ti­ful here and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ar­chi­tec­ture and na­ture is im­pres­sive.” Re­nato, who, with his brother, opened the first Minotti store in Syd­ney in part­ner­ship with the En­ge­len fam­ily — the own­ers of Dedece — more than a decade ago, agrees. “We have a good friend­ship with Tim [En­ge­len, Dedece’s gen­eral man­ager] and his fam­ily,” he says. “Aus­tralia is an im­por­tant mar­ket for us.” Minotti’s dis­tinc­tive aes­thetic is a blend of in­no­va­tion and clean, contemporary styling with a re­spect for tra­di­tion, de­tail and hand­crafted fin­ishes. It’s a sub­tle ap­proach im­bued with a tran­scen­den­tal time­less­ness that spans gen­er­a­tions. “Our strength is our trans­la­tion of one de­sign lan­guage — the same mood, the same colours, the same ma­te­ri­als and set­ting of prod­ucts — to cre­ate an emo­tion that is very uni­ver­sal ev­ery­where from Ger­many to the United States,” says Roberto. This vi­sion was born in 1948, when Roberto’s fa­ther, Al­berto, opened a work­shop in Bri­anza, a re­gion north of Mi­lan, pro­duc­ing up­hol­stered fur­ni­ture. Com­bin­ing the tra­di­tional skills of crafts­men with the lat­est man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­nol­ogy, Minotti flour­ished in the eco­nomic boom of post­war Italy. Re­nato and Roberto joined the busi­ness in the 1970s and ’80s, tak­ing the helm and start­ing in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion af­ter their fa­ther passed away in 1991.

With a pres­ence in 63 coun­tries — in­clud­ing a third Aus­tralian lo­ca­tion in Perth — and 38 flag­ship stores, Minotti is fur­ther­ing its global ap­peal with two col­lec­tions in cel­e­bra­tion of its 70 years in busi­ness. The first, Albert & Ile — named af­ter founder Al­berto and his wife, Ileana — is an update on clas­sics from the com­pany’s archive. The sec­ond looks to the fu­ture in a col­lab­o­ra­tion led by Rodolfo Dor­doni with French de­signer Christophe Del­court, Ja­pan’s Nendo and Brazilian de­sign star Mar­cio Ko­gan. “We gave each de­signer the mis­sion of a pro­ject with their own iden­tity but to fol­low the Minotti DNA,” says Roberto. “For us, French de­sign is dec­o­ra­tion, Ja­pan is min­i­mal­ism and Brazil is warmth, so we asked each de­signer to in­clude these qual­i­ties in their de­signs. We de­vel­oped this idea to give Minotti a dif­fer­ent point of view.”

The Minotti vi­sion is be­ing handed to a new gen­er­a­tion — Re­nato’s sons, Alessan­dro and Alessio, and Roberto’s daugh­ter, Su­sanna. “The im­por­tant thing is that we don’t think about the num­bers,” says Roberto. “When you fol­low the turnover, you lose heart — and if you don’t work with your heart, you lose your pas­sion. We think with pas­sion first.”

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT Alessan­dro Minotti, Rodolfo Dor­doni and broth­ers Roberto and (seated) Re­nato Minotti.

Minotti Ring ta­ble, $9270, and Tape arm­chair (with­out arm­rest), $6060, both from Dedece.

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