Interview with owner Annibale Colombo
Passing the gallery
Interview prepared: Lilia Gelman
A photo: Kirill Ovchinnikov
Magazine: Click (right) Sometimes the aristocracy is ordinary, and sometimes it is furniture. Furniture - this is when great-great-grandfather organized a furniture company about 200 years ago. When the family nest, it is the factory, is located in the famous Italian furniture district of Brianza, and all the men in the family finished the Milan Polytechnic. Luciano Colombo - designer and company owner ANNIBALE COLOMBO - for all the above articles can be called an aristocrat with an ideal pedigreeSALON: When and by whom was your company founded? - My great-great-great-grandfather. I don’t know the exact date, but the very oldest documents that I have are from the beginning of the twentieth century. Then this company was called Giuseppe Colombo e figli ("Giuseppe Colombo and Sons"). Giuseppe Colombo was called my grandfather. He supplied furniture to rich families from Milan and Como. Maybe even from Turin, but I'm not sure: at that time it took three days to get there.S: Do you keep the furniture that was made by your great-great-grandfather? - Only one dresser. As a child, when we played in the attic, he stood there, piled high with chairs. This year we decided to make a replica of it for the new collection. It was impossible to fully reproduce the décor and coverings - we simplified them slightly, but on the whole it is very similar. This is the oldest thing that was in our house.S: How old is he? - I think 100-150. S: The furniture that your father made was very different from the great-grandfather's? - When I was a child, furniture was more luxurious, with a complex decor. Furniture in the style of the era of the Reformation, Louis XV and XVI, of the Regency period was valued. And now we are choosing simpler things that can be combined with modern furniture, even with minimal things. For example, you can take a chair from our collection and combine it with a table of the same FIAM Italia - glass and modern.S: Do you prefer to accurately copy the classics or develop ideas? - Both. If we make exact copies, we conduct special studies in order to find out from what and how the thing was made. For example, I have a client from New Jersey, an antiquary. One day he brought me a small picture of a buffet. I conducted research on the original proportions, period, wood species. And we all repeated. But it happens in a different way: some kind of detail: a pattern, a leg of a chair, and an entire collection “grows” out of this leg.S: But you also have a modern line ... - Not that we deliberately decided to do it. At the beginning, five years ago, in our classic collection there were separate items that looked more modern. Customers asked to add something, change, and as a result of modern things became more. At the next exhibition in Milan, I found that modern furniture made by our company is on sale no worse than classical one. Then we divided the classic and modern furniture and began to exhibit them separately: they are not very well combined with each other. Now one of my sons is responsible for the modern line. Two years ago he graduated from the Milan Polytechnic Institute and invented his first collection. As for the invited designers, we cooperate with Bruno Rainaldi. His furniture is a success.S: And who makes the design of the classic line? - Basically me. The fact is that finding a good designer - not from our company and not from our family - is extremely difficult. I have made several attempts in the past, but, unfortunately, without much success.S: Have you ever thought about changing jobs? - Such an idea has never crossed my mind, and I am already 55 years old.