Ital­ian Mas­ter­pieces

ART & DE­SIGN Flex­form’s new flag­ship store in Sin­ga­pore is a cel­e­bra­tion of fine Ital­ian de­sign.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Con­tents - By JEN­NIFER CHOO

Flex­form’s lat­est flag­ship store hints at a grow­ing de­mand for the brand’s ex­cep­tional pieces.

Food. Fash­ion. Fast cars. Fur­ni­ture. The Ital­ians are the undis­puted masters of those cat­e­gories. And when it comes to the fur­ni­ture, one of the greats in the Ital­ian canon of mod­ern de­sign is Flex­form. Founded by the Gal­im­berti broth­ers in 1959, Flex­form is still run by the sec­on­dand third- gen­er­a­tion mem­bers of the fam­ily who con­tinue the pas­sion their fore­fa­thers had for fur­ni­ture. Bal­anc­ing tra­di­tion and mod­ern in­no­va­tion, Flex­form has evolved from a busi­ness based on ar­ti­sanal skills to an in­dus­trial model, with 27 flag­ship stores across the world.

In the last quar­ter of 2017, Flex­form in con­junc­tion with Malaysia-based re­tailer of de­signer fur­ni­ture, Stu­dio 216, of­fi­cially launched its first mono- brand store in Sin­ga­pore. Spread across two lev­els, this 279sqm space with a gen­er­ous frontage along the up­scale New­ton area show­cases the vi­sion of renowned de­signer and long-time Flex­form col­lab­o­ra­tor, An­to­nio Cit­te­rio.

The store es­pouses the brand’s trade­mark re­fined and con­tem­po­rary el­e­gance. “A flag­ship is the best way to ap­proach the Flex­form col­lec­tion be­cause when you en­ter a mono-brand store, you en­ter the Flex­form world where our pieces are shown in the con­text of our iden­tity,” ex­plains Gi­u­liano Gal­im­berti, third-gen­er­a­tion owner and global man­ager of Flex­form. “We have our own iden­tity and are very proud of it, so we speak this lan­guage through our flag­ship stores. When you are ap­pre­ci­ated by so many coun­tries that all have dif­fer­ent ways of liv­ing, I be­lieve it means that they re­ally like Flex­form.”

In­deed, hav­ing an­other f lag­ship so soon af­ter the Flex­form flag­ship in Kuala Lumpur opened in 2015, also spear­headed by Stu­dio 216, re­flects a bur­geon­ing mar­ket for fine Ital­ian de­sign. “We be­lieve it’s not just about the eco­nomic ef­fect but a mat­u­ra­tion of taste. There is now a kind of client here who is look­ing for more than

Flex­form is still run by the sec­ond- and third- gen­er­a­tion mem­bers of the fam­ily.

just func­tional fur­ni­ture pieces, they want prod­ucts which please their needs in terms of qual­ity and de­sign and they know how to recog­nise a brand which cov­ers these fac­tors,” en­thuses Gi­u­lano.

Pi­etro Gal­im­berti, the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion owner and ar­chi­tect of Flex­form’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with Cit­te­rio, sums it up best.

“There is a cul­ture of beauty in our DNA even in the small things. For ex­am­ple, we don’t say a de­li­cious plate of spaghetti but say a beau­ti­ful plate of spaghetti.

“The Ital­ians have al­ways had a sense of beauty and style of liv­ing which now is en­vied and recog­nised by the world,” he says. www.flex­ ≠

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