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In late May, Natuzzi Italia held a pop-up event in New York entitled “Re-thinking Re-vive.” In SoHo, the Italian design company asked three street artists—Ed Granger, John Burgerman, and Hektad—to present their take on an iconic chair for the brand. The evening, which included a live painting session and DJ sets, felt vibrant and fresh.
“Re-thinking Re-vive” is part of a new approach, spearheaded by Pasquale Junior Natuzzi, for the design house, which was founded in 1959. In New York and in April during Salone del Mobile, Whitewall spoke with him about reaching a younger audience with a new membership campaign and the launch of 22 products this year.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us about what you presented at Salone del Mobile in April in Milan?
PASQUALE JUNIOR NATUZZI: We have 22 new developments in terms of products all made with external designers. We’re doing a lot of collaborations now in the way we develop products with external designers. That means it’s not always easy to find the right path and then give birth to a product or collection.
In terms of product, I like the interpretation of the values of Natuzzi, which are being timeless, elegant, sober, with great attention to details and materiality.
We also started the “United for Harmony” campaign with a huge event. It represents the pursuit of harmony through respecting people, diversity, sustainability, happiness, and the willingness to build bridges. The Harmony Club is a membership reward program, like American Express, where we create experiences around the concept of harmony and travel. We’ll offer benefits with partners and brands for people who share the values of our manifesto. It’s a project of which I’m really proud.
WW: Within the family business, what are you focused on in your current role?
PJN: We are going to target our 60th anniversary in 2019. We were founded in 1959. We still are the first generation. For that I have a lot of ideas.
In general, my goal is to bring a bit of sexiness to the brand. I want to keep the brand relevant and unique and bring it closer to a younger generation—by attitude, not by age. I’m taking inspiration from the fashion world, from French brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, to elevate the journey and experience of the brand.
WW: Tell us about the “Re-thinking Re-vive” event in New York, where you brought in street artists to leave their mark on a Natuzzi iconic chair.
PJN: “Re-thinking Re-vive” started in London last September 2016. We worked with five artists there, and it had been a very successful event. So I started to brainstorm and research which kind of artist we wanted to bring on board for New York. New York is the place where graffiti was born and street art was born. I thought it would be special to steal from the streets of New York and bring it onto the product. I wanted it to be game-changing, to be something new.
WW: Are you planning to do future collaborations with artists?
PN: In this case, it worked well for New York. If I were in San Francisco, I would have done something more tech-savvy, so it depends. Art is about beauty, and it comes in a variety of expressions that could really take every kind of shape, like working on a musical project.
I really want to do something without boundaries for the new generations to come to perceive the brand as open and close to them. I think these kind of activations are necessary for a brand like ours, which has its own history, and now needs to be recognized like in the lines of Hektad or Burgerman.
This article is published in Whitewall‘s 2017 Design Issue.