The Ital­ian fur­ni­ture com­pany’s pared-down style stems from a pas­sion for Nordic de­sign and Scan­di­na­vian Modernism

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Front Page -

How De Padova brought Scan­di­na­vian style to mid-cen­tury Italy; the ris­ing suc­cess of Bri­tish brand Bert & May

Post-war Italy had so many home-grown de­sign heroes that it could be for­given for not look­ing be­yond its borders for more in­spi­ra­tion.

But that’s ex­actly what Mad­dalena and Fer­nando De Padova ( be­low) did when they de­cided to visit Copen­hagen. They dis­cov­ered not just a new city but a dif­fer­ent kind of de­sign: Scan­di­na­vian Modernism, which was more pared­back than what they were used to at home in Mi­lan. A pas­sion was sparked. They set up their com­pany De Padova in 1956 and be­came the first peo­ple to im­port Scan­di­na­vian fur­ni­ture to Italy. By the mid 1960s, De Padova had also ac­quired the li­cence to pro­duce de­signs by Charles Eames and Ge­orge Nel­son in Italy, and opened a show­room ( be­low) that Nel­son dubbed ‘the most beau­ti­ful store in the world’.

The com­pany col­lab­o­rated with big names, in­clud­ing Di­eter Rams and Achille Castiglioni, and had a long re­la­tion­ship with Vico Mag­istretti, who was re­spon­si­ble for many of the clas­sic pieces in its cur­rent col­lec­tion. It has com­mis­sioned de­sign­ers from all over the world, in­clud­ing Brit Jasper Mor­ri­son, Ja­panese stu­dio Nendo and Spain’s Pa­tri­cia Urquiola. Last year, the com­pany was ac­quired by kitchen and bath­room spe­cial­ist Boffi and moved its show­room to a new lo­ca­tion in Mi­lan (above): a for­mer lab­o­ra­tory that for 30 years was the head­quar­ters of Dolce & Gab­bana. The huge loft-like space was de­signed by Piero Lis­soni, art di­rec­tor at both Boffi and De Padova. It boasts ex­ten­sive dis­plays of the brand’s fur­ni­ture and ma­te­ri­als, and an on-site team of ar­chi­tects to help with home projects. You can also see De Padova’s main col­lec­tion at the Boffi show­room in London’s Chelsea (de­; bof­

De Padova was the first com­pany to im­port Scan­di­na­vian fur­ni­ture to Italy

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