This Italian powerhouse is famed for its classic yet versatile sofas, elegant neutral colour palette and use of refined materials
We investigate the baffling rise of celebrity homeware ranges and the history of the humble coffee pot. Plus, the story behind Italian superbrand Minotti and Cécile Roederer’s favourite things
When Alberto Minotti founded his modest furniture workshop in Meda, Italy, in 1948, he was in the right place at the right time. Postwar Italy was in the throes of widespread reconstruction, and along with an urgent demand for new housing came an equally pressing need for new furniture. The hard graft of industrious entrepreneurs such as Alberto was soon rewarded with success.
Initially producing handcrafted traditional furniture, by the 1960s Alberto had begun to espouse mass production and his firm’s popularity mushroomed. In the late 1970s, he handed over the reins to his sons Renato and Roberto, now the company’s joint CEOS. In 1997 they astutely hired architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni ( below) to raise Minotti’s profile: he was later appointed artistic director and remains so today. The fruitful partnership has seen him design many a Minotti icon and oversee the creation of other designers’ products, such as Gordon Guillaumier’s 2006 cantilevered ‘Cortina’ chair (right). He scored an early hit with his ‘Braque’ sofa (1998): sharply rectilinear yet comfortable, with plump upholstery and enormous cushions, it established a template for Minotti sofas. The ecru fabric that it was often covered in set the tone for the brand’s trademark neutral palette, too. Customers today can personalise any design by using the company’s ‘Materials Box’ – a toolkit kept in each showroom offering myriad options for finishes and colours.
Grown-up and elegant, Minotti furniture is also playful. It’s this winning mix of versatility, detail and polish that marks it out as unique (minotti.com).
Minotti’s partnership with Rodolfo Dordoni has seen him design many an icon for the brand
Main image, from left ‘Clyfford’ coffee table; ‘Portofino’ armchair; ‘Clyfford’ console; ‘Andersen’ sofa; ‘Kitaj’ table, all designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti