_History, Identity and Mission
La Falegnami is the Italian leader in the design and manufacture of traditional furnishings that give precedence to the use of real wood. La Falegnami was founded in 1946 in Castelfiorentino in Florence, Tuscany, as a cooperative of carpenters that immediately became known for their high quality products and keen eye for decoration and detail. Following demand and market developments, the company grows with the industry and renews its collections, introducing continuously evolving contemporary design products, sensitive to trends and able to meet the most diversified demands and tastes of consumers. Today, along with other furnishing companies, La Falegnami is a member of the Stile d’Interni Group, which means that every type of environment can be furnished, whether personal or professional. Quality, design and safety have always been the distinguishing features of La Falegnami.
_Tradition becomes Design
MEET Giorgio Rossini
CEO GRUPPO ROSSINI
Where does this determination to invest in traditional Made in Italy Home brands stem from?
In 2014 I had the opportunity to begin working in the home furnishings sector, taking over a company that primarily handled project work, in Italy and abroad (FALMA ITALIA SRL). At this point, we looked around, trying to complete our mix of products for the market with a “Total Home” concept, and I considered it a good idea to take over two prestigious traditional brand companies that were wood processing specialists, producing medium-high quality kitchen and bedroom products. These were Zappalorto Srl and Falegnami Srl. The intention was then to create a single brand specialising in Total Home under the brand name LA FALEGNAMI.
To do that, you have to build a skilled and enthusiastic team. Roberto Felicetti is an amazing professional, with one eye on Italian production and the other on the international market.
Making him our artistic director and designer for our new home collection, that he is designing personally, seemed almost the natural choice. And to put him in charge of organising our new catalogue due out in the autumn.
A real Rossini Group is coming together, with companies that have specific and recognised production.
When do you think the picture will be complete?
Our group is evolving constantly, considering we are not only wood specialists, but also have different businesses in the metal, construction and other sectors.
In broad terms, what are the strategies? From new products to communications with new and old markets?
First of all, we are going to keep the existing distribution network and expand it. We will try to improve it by operating on international markets where we plan to open our monobrand company showrooms as quickly as possible.
Being based in an area that more or less covers the Marche and Tuscany regions means bringing important words into play: traditional, Italian identity, and so on. Shall we add a few contemporary keywords?
Of course, even if Marche and Tuscany already represent true Italian to us. Tradition becomes design...
How much time have you given yourselves? And who would you like to reach out to?
The first new products will already start to reach the market by the end of autumn, so the timing at present has to be fast. We want to talk with architects and design studios. With customers that appreciate product quality and our made-to-measure service, that we provide to the end customer, through direct dialogue or through their chosen architect.
_Interview with Roberto Felicetti
The key players in the new path of the Rossini Group include Roberto Felicetti, an immensely experienced and skilled designer who accepted the challenge from Giorgio Rossini to modernise and update the catalogues of invaluable and historic companies such as La Falegnami and Zappalorto. Giorgio Tartaro takes a quick dip into Felicetti’s design panorama to explore the rationale and approach behind this new engagement.
Roberto never stops. If we did a quick time-lapse from our first Modo publication up to now, we would see numerous freeze frames, endless projects and designs. From a single piece of furniture to entire home systems. Tell us briefly about this long and lucrative path.
More than thirty years of business, as you reminded me, are not easily summarised into just a few words. At the end of the 1980s, I designed interiors for villas, apartments, etc. I often designed exclusive furniture for my clients, more out of passion than specific demands, until one day, thanks to the extraordinary Cristina Morozzi, two pieces ended up published in her “MODO”, and everything else came from that one beginning. The enthusiasm and awareness that, in the interiors business, I could do something too.
Why put yourself out there again? With what energy, drive, willingness and especially with which “new words” for the project?
When a major company that I define as traditional, such as La Falegnami, which for obvious reasons has lost its leading role on the interiors stage, asks you to bring it back to fame, putting yourself out there and finding new energy and drive to achieve the task is a natural reaction. New words? To bring contemporary and elegance to real wood, but this time throughout the entire home.
Without being too biased, how important is it to work with Italian companies, associated with our tradition and know-how, and the use of real, authentic materials? Wood above all?
Only someone who, like me, has been lucky enough to work in other countries knows how important and increasingly appreciated our Made in Italy actually is.
If, to all this, we add that our products are in real wood we can fast track our way into any market.
How much do your international experience and long partnership with Lube help give you the input codes for interpreting this new mission?
The collaboration with non-Italian companies and the 20-year partnership with the Lube Group, that ended only recently, both significantly increased my professional growth, giving me a wealth of experience that will without doubt be useful in my new venture.
The design always has a mother and a father. How important is the relationship with Giorgio Rossini in redefining contemporary collections?
Let’s say in this particular situation that the project has two fathers: myself and Giorgio Rossini, who in my opinion is the entrepreneur that everyone would love to collaborate with, knows exactly the role he plays and has absolutely faith in his travel companions.
Working in a company, in a corporate system, not only means gratifying and making best use of in-house resources, but also seeking external expertise when needed. How does the balance work in this case?
In companies where I have collaborated in the past and in those where I still do, I have always made use of external expertise, necessary to the growth of in-house resources, and strived to maintain the right balance.
In my opinion, this is the only way to grow a company efficiently, effectively and quickly.
What kind of markets and which distribution model would you like to adopt for the new collections?
For this new La Falegnami project, we will first of all try to increase our positioning on the Italian market, and make a full entry to the international market, especially with our Contracts Division, then one day - quite soon, I hope - also take our showrooms into the main European and other capitals.
In the life of those involved in the project there is always one word that can be scary, but can also be gratifying. The word “surprise”. How much surprise do you still feel?
“The child in me, that has decided to never leave me,
is surprised every day and in every moment".So, despite years of experience, every design I create sticks in my mind and triggers that extraordinary effect of surprise, one I feel every time, before I see it materialise.
Production methods, from prototype to marketing and sales, have changed. They have to be short and accelerated steps. What stratagems have you put into place?
I have sought to re-establish relations with the chain that already existed in part, involving all the specialist small businesses in the area - that I knew and appreciated for their skill - in this new project.
The design’s story has to be told. We are doing that, and will continue, also using other media - from video to systematic meetings. As Art Director, what would you like to put in place? And what surprises do you have for us?
Involving my architect and interior designer colleagues will be crucial, as they more than anyway are abreast of the market and its trend. Moreover, I would like to involve them in the design of new products, as La Falegnami will be a company that, in compliance with its guidelines, will also have to express itself with other languages.
For some time now, La Falegnami has pursued a technological evolution with automated, flexible systems, but also with enormous respect for traditional craftsmanship. The production process with low environmental impact and the use of water-based paints make La Falegnami unique, the only company in Italy able to manufacture traditionally and manually, but with a high level of technology, guaranteeing strong design reliability and strict testing and inspection of materials.
THE STRENGTH OF THE STILE D’INTERNI GROUP
Solutions for every environment
La Falegnami is a member of the Stile D’Interni Group: a large manufacturer who can take care of every aspect of personal and professional life. All types of environments can be furnished with full respect for customer satisfaction and maximum compliance with the principles of functionality and ergonomics. Commercial businesses, restaurants, offices, private homes: wherever you plan to furnish, the companies in the Group can satisfy your every need.