Livoni, an Italian company founded in 1895, is one of the featured designers in SINGULART’s September sale Where Art Meets Design.
Livoni was founded in 1895, near Udine, and has been producing collections of chairs, tables and other furniture ever since, paying particular attention to the quality of its products, which are made with full respect for the environment and designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable.
We sat down with Maurizio Zilio, the company’s current managing director and a descendant of a historical chair-making family families, to find out more about Livoni’s history and the high design and craftsmanship behind their collections.
Can you tell us about Livoni’s story?
Livoni was established in 1895, today we’re one of the oldest companies in the “chair district”. (The chair district is a territory that counts almost 600 small companies specialised in the production of chairs and chair components, located in Friuli Venezia Giulia in the province of Udine). In 1997, Mr. Luciano Livoni, grandson of the founder Edoardo, reached out to me and my brother Marco Zilio to continue the business. We were his choice because my father Zilio Alfieri and my mother Zucco Rosalia were both descendants of chairmaking families and both of our families have always been united by a strong professional relationship and friendship.
When you and your brother took over the company in 1997, what changed (stylistically speaking)? And why did you make this choice?
By 1997 the Livoni company had lost some of its appeal and notoriety. Marco and I committed ourselves to continuing the family tradition of making wooden chairs. We have since started a collaboration with the architect Massimo Iosa Ghini’s stufio to create innovative designs and we have also worked in partnership with Balutto associati studio and other young designers.
How would you describe the style of Livoni’s collections?
We want to realize a modern style, with pieces suitable for both home and professional settings. The chairs we produce, in addition to the design, are created whilst taking into account comfort and durability, whilst also respecting sustainability and prioritizing ethical choices of materials and manufacturers.
What’s your favorite chair?
The chair that I personally think best represents us is the Old Livoni chair. This chair, in production since the 60s, albeit with minor revisions, represents the craftsmanship and production of our company as well as the use of noble materials, such as our national walnut wood, Italian leather, and handmade screws.
How do you see your brand in the future? What are your most important values?
Livoni’s future is based on productive innovation. We want to maintain the values of local culture and craftsmanship whilst producing modern design-focused chairs and tables with a high production standard, capable of enriching the spaces in which they reside. In our future we are also certain to continue using innovative and environmentally friendly materials. We will also continue to have the utmost respect for our employees and strengthen our brand through investments in the communication sector (social networks, sales portals and trade magazines), thanks to our Art Director, Matteo Bianchi’s collaborative work with London based communications companies. The collaboration with Singulart is one of the first steps in preparing us for this future.