Lorenza Luti is the daughter of the brand’s CEO, who wants to make sure that everyone knows that this year marks the 70th anniversary of Kartell. This incredible renowned design company is one of the biggest symbols of contemporary Italian design around the world. The magazine CovetED had the chance to interview Lorenza during Salone del Mobile 2019. In this exclusive interview that Design Build Ideas brings you today, you will be able to find out what’s in store for the future of Kartell.
Founded in 1949 by Giulio Castelli and is currently run by Claudio Luti, the brand tells its story through a series of timeless but contemporary design products. Lorenza Luti plays a significant role at Kartell, as its Marketing and Retail Director. Below is the exclusive interview.
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?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
How much of a role model is your dad (Claudio Luti) to you?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
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What Kartell projects make you look back with pride?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
How did the “A.I.” project come to be? Was creating a design piece with artificial intelligence always in Kartell’s plans?
Lorenza Luti – It was an experiment that we had the opportunity to invest in, and look at it. It was a great example, and favour 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 moulding. 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.
What new projects is Kartell working on at the moment? Could you give us a little scoop on it?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
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Did you ever feel tempted to design for Kartell? Is that something that you would consider doing in the future?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
How did the collaboration with Ferrari for Katell’s 70th anniversary come to be?
Lorenza Luti – We are friends with the ´Lunelli´ family, they are also a very nice family company and we worked together pushing the made in Italy to the world. For our anniversary, we thought we should put something different together, and this is a very chic black and gold bottle to bring it around for our anniversary. We like to work with premium luxury Italian brands, and we are putting our energies together pushing the Made in Italy no the world.
When it comes to craftsmanship; whom do you think is leading the way?
Lorenza Luti – 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.
Any pieces of advice to give to young designers?
Lorenza Luti – 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.