Interview with Giuliano Mosconi, President of the Zanotta and Tecno group
Dynamism, energy and a constant drive to reinvent oneself; these are just some of the qualities that it is possible to deduce from the different experiences and activities of your life. A path that starts from business support and consultancy activities to the increasingly important positions of CEO and president of large companies in the furniture sector.
- Tell us a little about this path and the increasingly predominant choice to shift your interest towards the design furniture sector.
I have always been involved in business, I have always interspersed my experiences from saying how to do things to doing them directly. In reality they are similar jobs, what changes is the responsibility. Being on different companies has sometimes helped to get out of the rituality typical of each sector and has allowed us to face problems from different perspectives.
- What can you tell us about your experience at the helm of Poltrona Frau? In those years the company was the protagonist of important acquisitions with the creation of the first large integrated group of some historic Italian design brands, such as Cassina, Cappellini and many others. What do you remember of that period?
I arrived at Poltrona Frau in the early 90’s, a complicated period for the furniture sector; it was necessary to leave traditional markets to discover the potential that design could express in the world. I had a precise idea, there were companies with a strong identity that with the crisis had lost the ability to grow, each could continue to work in their own lives with a different credibility. The “pole of beauty” was born, which brought to the market a different way of acting where it was evident how different souls could satisfy, in different ways, the needs of international consumers, a challenging, new period of great growth.
- We know that in 2009 you left the group to start your business through the acquisition of Tecno Spa, a leading company in the office furniture sector. What led you to choose that specific design sector? Why Tecno, and not other similar companies?
Then you get sick. The charm of a great brand like Tecno, which has always made research and innovation the distinctive element of being on the market, struck me. So initially I was guided more by passion than awareness. Entering the office sector was something else, especially in 2010 in the midst of the financial crisis, a new challenge, a new opportunity: groped to change what was being done. We tried to imagine what was happening in the world of work, new technologies, we imposed new products. Hence the focus on configurable products suitable to be modified in installations, hence the investments in digital always with an eye to the world that was changing rapidly.
- Since 2017, the presidency of Tecno has been joined by that of the Zanotta company, a symbol of Made in Italy design and a successful example of total style. What can you tell us about this last, further stage of your journey? How is it to manage these two very different realities at the same time and how do they interface with each other?
It was a direct consequence, the world is becoming more and more dual, on the one hand the technology that has dramatically changed the way we work. You can work in different times and places (the pandemic has made this totally evident) and on the other the house that was becoming more and more personal, more and more designed for us.
As I said before, they are not irreconcilable worlds. In reality, life is made up of workplaces that gradually acquire elements of greater domesticity and lightness, and the house where we have also learned to work. It is a period of great changes and Zanotta, which has kept the product culture intact, could have given the most appropriate answers. It didn’t happen, we looked for it because it was strategic in our path.
- Last year Zanotta was the protagonist of the relaunch of the great Carlo Mollino collection. Can you tell us how this operation was born?
The discovery of Mollino as a designer was an intuition of Aurelio Zanotta in the 1980s, bringing these extraordinary products into our homes. We wanted to focus on this work also through a broader knowledge of Carlo Mollino as a designer, as an architect, as a man; a book was born that allows all of us to be closer to his creativity.
- What do you see in Zanotta’s future? What projects do you have in mind and what are you focusing on right now?
It is a bit in our DNA to be respectful of these incredible stories or, if we want, to keep them contemporary. We are aware that the market of the future will be more plural, less dominated by predefined styles. We are doing it in Milan in our space where we continue to tell our idea of home more involved in the single person; we are planning it in the coming months in New York but we will talk about this later.