PEOPLE – MICHELE GERVASONI
CEO OF ITALIAN FURNITURE BRAND GERVASONI
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.