In September, Poliform opened a brand-new national flagship on Madison Avenue in New York. The store was especially designed to feel like a home, with different rooms offering the full array of home products and systems from the Italian luxury design firm. Just weeks before the opening, Whitewall spoke with Poliform’s U.S. Managing Director, Laura Anzani, a third-generation member of the Poliform family, to hear about the unique vision of the 112 Madison Avenue location.
WHITEWALL: What was it like growing up in a family devoted to fine Italian design?
LAURA ANZANI: I believe it’s something we have in our blood. As a teenager I always thought I would never join the family business, until the moment I joined the business and understood that my blood, my passion, was all there. I tried other jobs before joining the company, and it was not the same. When you wake up in the morning, you are very happy to go to work. You do it for your career, of course, as a young person, but also for your family, to keep creating something that I feel is beautiful and well known all over the world. It’s not just business for us. It’s our life.
WW: The new flagship in New York is designed to feel like a home. Why did you want to do that?
LA: We are building a house and to show every single project we can do in a home, telling a story. We want to explain to our clients that it’s not just buying a chair or a kitchen; we can build more for you, we can make everything happen.
It’s going to be like entering a home, as I said. When you enter, you have a desk where you can empty your pockets, and then you open the doors to this huge seating area with a beautiful sofa and a dining table with a whole system in the back. Then you enter the kitchen, plus a separate kitchen that is more technical. There is a private family room, where we show a TV system and sofa. Then the bedroom where you see the bed, nightstands, armchairs, all before entering the master walk-in closet.
We decided to be very modern and quiet, so we’re not using crazy colors or Pop art. But every single chair, for example, can come in leather or fabric, and we have a selection of more than a thousand different colors. We are going explain that what we show is just an example, and that the client can personalize everything in their way.
WW: Speaking of closets, Poliform is a leader in closets, and you’ve even said, it may sound strange but “for us, nothing is more important than a closet.” I think for a lot of homeowners that’s true, too.
LA: Thank God! Finally! I would say that even in small apartments in New York, we have started to understand that the closet can be something better. Our clientele is coming in with an Hermès bag that costs more than an entire table and chairs, and I’m thinking that they would like to store their this beautiful bag in something precious.
WW: Another key for Poliform is modularity. Can you talk a bit about working with fabrication technology, materials, and designers on creating modular pieces?
LA: We start from the modules. This means our factories were developed in the past few years on the modularity system. We deliver products that are customizable but always industrial. We study modules that can be smart and extremely customizable. We deliver in a small truck a closet that can be put together in less than an hour. It’s the same for our sofas; you can fit it in every kind of apartment, huge or small, with the same model of sofa.
WW: The brand has collaborated with designers like Marcel Wanders, Jean-Marie Massaud, Vincent Van Duysen, Paolo Piva, Soo Chan, and Daniel Libeskind. Do you have a recent favorite?
LA: I don’t know if I can say that, but I love all of them in a different way. I believe that the designers who we are working with right now are very professional, but also crazy, in a good way. If I think about Marcel, I mean. I meet him here in New York randomly. I don’t know he’s here. I see him at a restaurant and he’s super-fun. Who cares about business! Jean-Marie Massaud is the same way. I’m always fascinated by their mind, their creative mind. And I love spending time with them because they create masterpieces, pieces of art, to be honest.
This article appears in Whitewall’s winter 2017 Luxury Issue.