Lorenza Luti, daughter of the brand’s CEO plays a significant role at Kartell, as its Marketing and Retail Director. Founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli but and now run by Claudio Luti, Kartell is celebrating their incredible 70th anniversary as one of the biggest symbols of Italian design in the world! The renowned furniture brand tells its story through a series of timeless but contemporary design products.
Besides their incredible home furnishings, they also have a luxury bathroom segment with the distinguished bathroom design brand, Laufen. Kartell by Laufen Created in 2003 for the ISH Frankfurt tradeshow, quickly became popular in the design lovers community and started to be presented in the most important design events in the world. This bathroom brand is a complete and integrated bath project, inspired by the brand’s iconic design, along with Laufen’s quality.
During Milan Design Week, the inspiring luxury design magazine also is known as CovetED talked with the incredible Lorenza Luti about her journey so far and what comes next for Kartell in the future, after the big success of Philippe Starck‘s impressive artificial intelligence chair design. The brand’s marketing and retail director started to say the brand CEO was a worldwide inspiration for the product design industry. “We are very proud to have a dad has him, he is always by our side and teaching us. He is very tough because he always expects the best of us. But it’s a great teacher”, explained Lorenza Luti.
CE: Previously to becoming an active member of Kartell, you actually worked in the fashion industry for the renowned brand Ermenegildo Zegna. Could you tell us more about that experience? Did you at any moment in your life have the vision of making a career outside of Kartell?
LL: It was my first experience and it was a great one because Ermenegildo Zegna is a company like Kartell, a very big family company, very developed in retail and fashion design, and it was a little bit the same of what I do now in Kartell. It was a great example. I wanted to have the first experience outside Kartell, so before coming to the headquarters, I’ve worked in Kartell but in Paris and in Milano, to better understand the company before arriving at the office.
CE: What Kartell projects make you look back with pride?
LL: A lot, I think we try to always innovate in every project. I really love the ‘Componibili’ which has been on sale for over than 50 years. It was designed by my grandmother and it’s still one of the best sellers of the brand, and very actual in the design of today. This year we presented it with a bioplastic material so we gave a new life to it, and is for sure one of the projects I am most proud of.
CE: How did the “A.I.” project come to be? Was creating a design piece with artificial intelligence always in Kartell’s plans?
LL: It was an experiment that we had the opportunity to invest in, and look at it. It was a great example, and favor us, it’s important because it shortens up timings needed to make and deliver the projects. The “A.I.” uses the inputs from the company in terms of technology and know-how in materials and ejection molding. And from the designers, the inputs of creativity that he would like, and it totally boosts the process, so it makes tests very quick on performances and technological questions and it helps to shorten the time.
CE: What new projects is Kartell working on at the moment? Could you give us a little scoop on it?
LL: We are always working on a lot of projects. But for sure the wood collection, that Smart Wood collection by Philippe Starck is the project in which we have invested a lot, we are presenting four pieces now, but we have many more coming next year. The Bio Plastic is another innovation on which we are working on a lot, only on one product for now, but for sure it will be a collection and every day we look at new designs and new collections with our team of designers.
CE: When it comes to craftsmanship; whom do you think is leading the way?
LL: In the history of Kartell, all the prototypes were made by hand and we have fantastic people working on them, adjusting in 3D the projects that were made during the production at the time. We actually have a project in our collection called “La Bohéme”, it’s a base but also a stool by Philippe Starck, he used the injection of Murano glass and blowing in the object. Each project is different and in this case, it was the idea of my father, because his father worked with glass and so it was his idea to bring the project to life.
CE: Did you ever feel tempted to design for Kartell? Is that something that you would consider doing in the future?
LL: No, I studied economics and I don’t think I am creative. I prefer to work mostly on exposing our products on retail and to our end costumers. When it comes to designers, we don’t like to tell them what to do in order to not disturb the creative process, we try to adjust our know-how and our innovations around their ideas and around their design
CE: Any pieces of advice to give to young designers?
LL: I would advise the young designers to put their creativity in shape and in their drawings, but actually to understand what is behind in the process. Because for us, it’s important that the designer and the industrial production have the same thoughts. In the case of working with some companies, it’s important to know before how they work in the prototyping and in the process to arrive in the market.
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