HIS­TORY OF A BRAND VI­SION­NAIRE

This pur­veyor of Ital­ian lux­ury is more than a fur­ni­ture brand, ex­tend­ing its reach to in­te­rior de­sign, ho­tels and even pri­vate jets

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Des Ign -

It seems ap­pro­pri­ate that some of Ital­ian de­sign brand Vi­sion­naire’s most high-pro­file projects should be in the world of travel, styling the in­te­ri­ors of yachts and pri­vate planes, for its ori­gins also lie in this sphere. The com­pany was founded in 1959 in Zola Pre­dosa, on the out­skirts of Bologna, by brothers Pom­peo and Vit­to­rio Cavalli, and spe­cialised in mak­ing padded seat­ing for Lan­cia cars. They chris­tened their firm IPE, an acro­nym for im­bot­ti­ture prodotti es­pansi (ex­panded padded prod­ucts). Its tech­nol­ogy for mould­ing polyurethane, a new-gen­er­a­tion plas­tic, was re­garded as groundbreaking.

Re­al­is­ing that their method could rev­o­lu­tionise fur­ni­ture con­struc­tion, the brothers launched their first in­te­ri­ors col­lec­tion in 1961. How­ever, it was Vit­to­rio Cavalli’s son Luigi and Luigi’s chil­dren, Leopold and Eleonore, who cre­ated the brand as we know it now. The com­pany, re­named in 2004, now in­cludes more than 2,000 items in its fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion. In­flu­ences dif­fer, from the boxy, 1970s-style of the ‘Baby­lon’ sofa (above), whose padded form pays trib­ute to the brand’s her­itage, to the Art Deco look of the ‘Bradley’ bed. Op­u­lence, how­ever, is a con­stant. Per­son­al­is­ing spa­ces is also key – Vi­sion­naire has de­signed a num­ber of pri­vate homes from top to toe, as well as the in­te­ri­ors of ho­tels and restau­rants around the world. ‘Our clients love to col­lect unique, hand­crafted pieces,’ says Leopold Cavalli, ex­plain­ing why the brand has its own art col­lec­tion to com­ple­ment its fur­ni­ture, car­pets and light­ing. You can ex­pe­ri­ence the art at its show­room in Mi­lan’s Pi­azza Cavour, which also boasts a cof­fee bar and a gallery, aptly named the Wun­derkam­mer (cabi­net of cu­riosi­ties). Can’t make it to Mi­lan? Visit the new Vi­sion­naire store at Har­rods, Lon­don to ex­pe­ri­ence its art, fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories. vi­sion­naire-home.com; har­rods.com

In­flu­ences and styles may dif­fer, but op­u­lence is a con­stant across Vi­sion­naire’s col­lec­tion

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