An iconic brand of Italian design culture founded by Maddalena and Fernando De Padova in 1956 with a small showroom in Milan where Scandinavian furnishings were imported: the De Padova company – manufacturer under license of the American line of home furniture and Herman Miller office – became over time a legend thanks to collaborations with masters of design including Vico Magistretti and Achille Castiglioni. Acquired by the Boffi Group in 2015, the brand arrives in New York with its first North American flagship reflecting its contemporary soul and its timeless aesthetics. Between craftsmanship Made in Italy and an innovative vision of living, as told by CEO Boffi USA, Davide Cremese.
A symbol of Made in Italy for several generations, De Padova has inaugurated its home in Soho. Tell us about this new flagship in New York designed by Piero Lissoni?
“Inaugurated in Greene St. on May 18th, the De Padova flagship – designed by Piero Lissoni, art director Boffi Group – is dedicated to customers, architects and designers who can thus touch and observe the creative exclusivity of the brand’s collection. Furniture for the home that narrates the lifestyle seen at the time by Maddalena De Padova and today carried on by the Boffi Group with the same idea of sophistication and beauty. And only in such a setting could the De Padova philosophy be expressed: a 500sqm loft on the third floor of an elegant building is undoubtedly a perfect treasure chest to narrate our idea of design”.
Which icons of Italian design produced by De Padova are must-haves?
“The US customer is less interested in the history of Italian, Scandinavian or American mid-century design, except for enthusiasts, collectors, architects who are still looking for design icons. And we at De Padova want to present a product not only from an aesthetic or historical point of view, but also in its functionality and comfort, focusing on the skillful manufacturing still entrenched in Italy today. The collection includes masterpieces by Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, Naoto Fukasawa and Piero Lissoni, as well as re-editions of icons from the Fifties to the Eighties. Exemplary with a vintage flavor but always extremely contemporary”.
This year De Padova has put back into production two of the symbolic sessions of the Archivio Storico Bonacina 1889: Silvia by Paolo Tilche from 1960 and T54 dating back to 1954. Can you tell us about this particular partnership?
“The collaboration, presented during the Milan Design Week, stems from an idea by Roberto Gavazzi – CEO Boffi Group – and the Bonacina family to re-edit two iconic Fifties and Sixties sessions. Wicker handmade seats, which are sold exclusively in the De Padova stores. A collaboration that defines even more the vision of the Boffi Group and its passionate research into timeless design, and which will continue over the years with other innovations that I cannot yet reveal”.
What new products have you proposed this year in De Padova?
“We focused on the creation of innovative sofa-rooms with the collaboration of three important designers coming from extremely different cultures – GamFratesi with the Étiquette sofa, Elisa Ossino with Rei, Omi Tahara with Blendy – guided by the supervision of our art director Piero Lissoni. And among the new features, the entrance of De Padova in lighting design with a line of lamps designed by Elisa Ossino and realized by Boffi lighting engineers”.
Do you also follow custom projects?
“Generally, we can achieve all that is required of us thanks to our artisan-industrial approach. What the customer appreciates most is our ability to transform ourselves into co-designers of their architect or interior decorator to design the space and correctly insert the furnishing elements, offering options of colors and finishes, warranty and maintenance services. We continue to follow our client even after the purchase, a vision that is part of our DNA and cultural heritage”.
“Creating emotion and striking the senses” is among the claims of Boffi that with Project Code has given way to a new idea of uniqueness…
“Project Code, a division of the Boffi brand, is the result of a collaboration with any architect who wants to create a custom kitchen for their client, following their own personal design, using Boffi’s engineering, materials and know-how. A sartorial atelier transliterated into the interior that gives life to a one-off kitchen. One example is the Cove Kitchen by Zaha Hadid project, created exclusively for the residential building 520 W 28th Street in New York, later added to the collection”.
What are the most important projects you have in the pipeline with Boffi in the United States?
“The most important we are following in New York is the residential building 520 W 28 th st by Zaha Hadid Architects on the High Line, the new promenade of the architects, while among the Miami projects the boutique condo-hotel The Surf Club by Richard Meier and the Beach House 8 designed by Arquitectonica with the Italian developer Valerio Morabito. We have just completed The Park in San Diego and we are starting installations at the luxury building in Manhattan 45 Park Place. In addition to other projects in Tribeca, Nolita, Soho…”.
Among the Boffi news presented during the Design Week?
“A new concept of Combine kitchen by Piero Lissoni, an island where you can prepare, wash, sit in a contemporary idea of conviviality. A versatile island that can be combined according to your needs. Among the novelties also the K5 and K6 series by Norbert Wangen with vertically translated countertop to which it is possible to add different modules, in an idea of extreme personalization”.
Plans for the future?
“We are focusing more and more, in addition to the kitchen and the bathroom sector, also to all the other areas of the house – from the bedroom to the living and dining areas, from outdoor to lighting – to offering our customer a complete service in the art of living. Under the sign Boffi and De Padova”.
56 Greene St
31 1/2 Greene St