Molteni & C is one of the most renowned furniture companies in the world, with a design that never gets old, in spite of eighty years of long history and hard work on the company’s back. Eighty years for a company are an undeniably great achievement, Molteni made them in 2015 and the anniversary was celebrated during the Milan Furniture Fair with the event 80! Molteni, at the prestigious Gallery of Modern Art.
The tribute exhibition, set up by Jasper Morrison and concluded in June, marked the passage in two centuries by staging the iconic pieces of the group. It was indeed a show that quickly became a legend in the interior design world. Selected pieces of furniture were photographed and exhibited in chronological sequence, expressing with acute precision an important period in the history of the Italian design industry. That is why Molteni turned it into a permanent exhibition. Currently, the show has found a new location in the Molteni Museum, that just opened in the headquarters of Giussano last November 20, with a design project signed by the same English designer and the coordinated image of Studio Cerri & Associati.
Retracing your steps backwards can be interesting, stimulating and surprising. It was 1934 when Angelo Molteni opened his own carpentry workshop in Brianza: a debut as a small local reality, something in common with many other companies in the furniture industry, which over time has become a consolidated international brand, a point of reference in the world of designers and manufacturers. It is clear we are talking about a story of perseverance, hard work and passion. They say that in order to look towards the future, one must always keep in mind his own past, and Molteni made this his motto: Italian traditions and values are the most precious treasure, and also the key to international success. it as a springboard to establish, first in Italy and then abroad, his high-level profile. Starting from traditional craftsmanship techniques, soon the company got to identify its own personal road to success through technological progress and through the quality of its design and raw materials.
In the 50s Molteni was one of the main trendsetters for bedroom furniture style, perfectly adhering to the tastes and needs of society both in Italy and abroad. The economic boom of the 60s brought enthusiasm, creativity and a desire for change: just what Molteni needed to take a step forward towards the international market. The company transformed itself into a cutting-edge brand and adapted its strong values to the needs of the new generations. Molteni began to consider its main material, wood, in a completely new way, which abandoned the classic repertoire in favor of contemporaneity. For the company this was a point of no return, and a wonderful one. Molteni stated that design is not an anarchic and improvised effort, but an integrated project, the result of the joint work of technicians and great architects, which presupposes prototyping, studying and hard work.
This concept was a brilliant intuition, shared by Molteni with other entrepreneurs of the time, which today may seem obvious but is in fact at the base of the productive awareness of a former artisan company, that has become a point of reference for style and quality, traced as the most interesting of our time. The brand owes its success only to love and passion, but most importantly, to the astonishing abilities and taste of its designers. Today, after the acquisitions of companies specialized in office furniture and kitchens, which happened between 1969 and 1979, the Molteni group can boast a 360° presence in the field of interior design.
Today there are four branches of the company, each with its own specificity: Molteni & C deals with furniture for domestic interiors, Unifor for office furniture, Dada for kitchen furniture and accessories, Citterio specialized in partitions and office furniture. From the most intimate areas of everyday life, to large public spaces of representation, to functional and highly organized offices: this is the range of proposals offered by a brand for the new millennium, with its routes solidly anchored in traditions of the past. Homes, theaters, cruise ships, hotels and residences are part of a courageous program made possible by the complete control of the entire production cycle, starting from the choice of materials.
The collaboration between the four brands is full and thorough, with a clear goal: the exploration of new types of furniture, to provide comfort in every way new technologies make us capable of, in every room of the house and of the office, being fully aware of the changes happening in the contemporary era of design. Molteni non only made a commitment, but took a responsibility towards its long time clientele, that has always seen this brand as a synonym of elegance and high quality. Molteni is a true example of Italian excellence, that was able to use the great tradition of this country without being afraid of the dynamics of the technological era and the international market.