Dezeen Magazine

Mezzadro, stool, design Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni 1957, credits Courtesy of Zanotta SpA

"Formidable" Italian furniture brand Zanotta acquired by Cassina

Italian furniture brand Zanotta has been sold by Italian company Tecno to furniture brand Cassina, which is part of the US-owned Haworth Lifestyle Design group. 

Cassina purchased Zanotta with the aim of utilising its international distribution network to expand its reach, but stated that the brand retain autonomy over its product range, which includes seminal designs such as the Mazzandro stool by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (above).

"We will guarantee ample operational autonomy to this formidable brand so that it can continue its creative journey through the search for new talent and the enhancement of its exceptional product portfolio," said Cassina CEO Luca Fuso.

"Like Cassina, Zanotta has such a rich history defined by iconic products," he told Dezeen. "I therefore believe that the brand has incredible potential and deserves to grow and be appreciated worldwide."

Cassina to help Zanotta "make the most of its potential"

Zanotta was created in 1954 by Aurelio Zanotta and was initially focused on producing soft furnishings such as sofas and armchairs, which at the time were largely made in upholstery workshops.

The brand made a name for itself in the early 1970s when it began to reproduce iconic pieces by Italian rationalist architect Giuseppe Terragni such as the Lariana and Follia chairs.

Over the following decades, Zanotta collaborated with the likes of architect Gae Aulenti, Memphis Group founder Ettore Sottsass and avant-garde architecture group Superstudio.

Quaderna, table, design Superstudio 1969-72, credits Courtesy of Zanotta SpA
Zanotta's seminal products include the Quaderna table by Superstudio

In 2017, fellow Italian furniture company Tecno became a majority stakeholder in the company, with the aim of giving both brands better access to international markets.

Today, Zanotta is available in 700 stores across 50 countries, with further international expansion in the works under Cassina's leadership.

"Following these years of intense work, which have brought Zanotta back into the spotlight, I am happy that this wonderful company can continue its journey side by side with an important player like Cassina, who will help it to make the most of its potential," said Giuliano Mosconi, the CEO of Tecno/Zanotta group.

Italian brands are continuing to consolidate to scale up

The move is the latest in a long line of consolidations in the Italian furniture industry.

US office furniture giant Haworth Lifestyle Design previously bought a majority stake in Cassina as well as a number of other heritage design brands including Cappellini and Alias when it acquired Italian furniture group Poltrona Frau in 2014.

Since then, the Haworth Lifestyle Design group has expanded to include Italian design brand Interni and the Luxury Living Group, which produces and distributes the furniture lines of major luxury brands including Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Bentley and Bugatti.

Cappellini creative director Giulio Cappellini previously told Dezeen that the consolidation had given his brand a much-needed advantage internationally.

"It's not enough to do nice products; we need the possibility to promote the products everywhere in the world," Cappellini said.

"The problem with a lot of Italian companies is that they may be very well known worldwide, with lots of products in different art museums, but really they are too small for the international market."