Dezeen Magazine

Utrecht Armchair by Gerrit Rietveld

Cassina joins list of Made in Italy brands on heritage register

Cassina has become the latest Italian design brand to be added to a national heritage register "to safeguard and enhance the value of manufacturing companies of excellence historically rooted in Italy".

Furniture brand Cassina was officially added to the list, called the Special Register of Historic Trademarks of National Interest, on 17 January 2022.

"We are extremely proud to have received this prestigious recognition of excellence, a symbol of our bond with Italian heritage," said Luca Fuso, CEO of Cassina.

"Becoming part of the Special Register of Historic Trademarks of National Interest is an important achievement for Cassina, a company whose DNA is defined not only by a great history but, most of all, by innovation and culture."

Cassina was founded in 1927 in Meda, by brothers Cesare and Umberto Cassina.

The company manufactures some of the most iconic furniture designs of the 20th century, such as the Utrecht Armchair by Gerrit Rietveld and the LC4 Chaise Longue by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand.

It also produces contemporary designs by names such as Patricia Urquiola and Philippe Starck.

Poltrona Frau and Iris Ceramica also listed

Furniture brand Poltrona Frau and tile producer Iris Ceramica are also included on the register, which is managed by Italy's Ministry of Economic Development.

The register offers protection and endorsement to the country's historic manufacturing brands.

Featured companies are described as "historic brands of national interest" and can add a special logo onto their products, packaging and branding.

Other companies on the list include bottled water producer San Benedetto, olive oil brand Sasso and shoe manufacturer Sergio Rossi.

The register was established in 2020 amid fears that some of Italy's historic brands would relocate their production facilities to countries with cheaper labour and less bureaucracy.

While the label "Made in Italy" has long been used by Italian manufacturers as a mark of quality, economists had suggested that these companies needed a greater incentive to stay on home soil.

Companies must manufacture in Italy

Trade companies can only apply to be included on the heritage register if they are more than 50 years old and manufacture their products in Italy.

Companies with a trademark included in the register must formally notify the Ministry of Economic Development if they are to close or relocate their production facilities, or face a fine of between €5,000 and €50,000.

Iris Ceramica, which has been producing ceramic and porcelain tiles in the Sassuolo area since 1961, joined the list in June 2021. Poltrona Frau, which is based in Tolentino, was added in September 2021.

UPDATE: furniture brand Minotti has also been added to the heritage register. The company, which was founded in 1948 by Alberto Minotti, manufactures in the Brianza district.

Now led by the founder's sons, Renato and Roberto Minotti, the company has produced designs by the likes of Nendo, GamFratesi and Marcio Kogan of Studio MK27.

"We are proud to have achieved this important milestone, for our whole family and for our network; it proves our constant commitment in the world of contemporary design, in pursuit of excellence, creativity and authenticity," said Renato and Roberto Minotti.

"Our grateful thoughts go to our father, because without his vision the company would not exist today, to our mother, who has always supported us, and to our children, who have inherited our same passion for this company."

Main image is the Utrecht Armchair by Gerrit Rietveld.