PEO­PLE – MICHELE GERVASONI

CEO OF ITAL­IAN FUR­NI­TURE BRAND GERVASONI

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Contents - FIND GERVASONI FUR­NI­TURE AT XTRA.

CEO of Ital­ian fur­ni­ture brand Gervasoni.

In the mid-1990s, the fur­ni­ture in­dus­try was mov­ing away from nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. This spelt trou­ble for broth­ers Gio­vanni and Michele Gervasoni, who had just taken over a fam­ily busi­ness rooted in sell­ing hand­wo­ven wicker pieces. Their next move not only pre­vented the end of a brand, but pro­pelled it to even greater heights – they brought on ar­chi­tect and de­signer Paola Navone, who in­jected her eclec­tic per­son­al­ity into Gervasoni’s ar­ti­sanal DNA.

To­day, the Ital­ian brand pro­duces un­con­ven­tional de­signs in wood, fab­ric, ce­ramic and, of course, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like rat­tan. We speak to Michele about the fu­ture of the fam­ily-run busi­ness.

De­scribe the home­owner that would ap­pre­ci­ate Gervasoni.

It’s some­one whose con­cept of lux­ury is free and in­for­mal liv­ing. He’ll ex­per­i­ment and mix dif­fer­ent pieces of fur­ni­ture and ma­te­ri­als, while ap­pre­ci­at­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and cul­ture of the coun­try he lives in.

Gervasoni is part of Ital­ian De­sign Brands Group. What is the most Ital­ian char­ac­ter­is­tic of Gervasoni?

First, Gervasoni’s his­tory is a fam­ily his­tory – and fam­ily is im­por­tant in Ital­ian cul­ture. The sec­ond dis­tinc­tive el­e­ment is the hand­craft phi­los­o­phy; even the sim­plest ob­jects must be cre­ated ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tion.

As third-gen­er­a­tion own­ers, what im­por­tant lessons have your father passed on?

He never pres­sured us into join­ing Gervasoni. He in­sisted that we learn for­eign lan­guages, work in and ex­pe­ri­ence other com­pa­nies, as well un­der­stand the value of in­de­pen­dence and re­spon­si­bil­ity. Th­ese cul­ti­vated our pas­sion, and we had a nat­u­ral de­sire to re­turn to the fam­ily busi­ness. Af­ter all, we grew up smelling the “per­fume” of the fac­tory!

How is Gervasoni grow­ing with the fur­ni­ture in­dus­try?

To­day, the con­cept of savoir faire is im­por­tant, and lux­ury is re­turn­ing to tra­di­tions and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. We trans­late hand­craft tech­niques – like weav­ing, or ways to work with bam­boo – into con­tem­po­rary and ver­sa­tile fur­ni­ture. Paola Navone’s art di­rec­tion is fun­da­men­tal in achiev­ing this. She in­te­grates cre­ative de­signs with tra­di­tion beau­ti­fully.

What’s to come in the next five years?

We will al­ways in­vest in prod­uct in­no­va­tion, and will fo­cus on us­ing the most di­verse ma­te­ri­als to pro­duce har­mo­nious, bal­anced de­signs. It’s how you stay ahead of trends.

BOT­TOM For the In Out col­lec­tion, Gervasoni sought to evoke a con­tem­po­rary, po­etic and in­for­mal mood.

BE­LOW This out­door din­ing chair has an aged teak frame and is wo­ven with grey PVC ma­te­rial. The cush­ions are wa­ter-re­pel­lent.

RIGHT This love seat in hand­wo­ven nat­u­ral kubu rat­tan sports a sil­hou­ette not com­monly seen in out­door fur­ni­ture.

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