Indesignlive talks Marc Newson, family tradition and global expansion with Smeg CEO Vittorio Bertazzoni.
April 21st, 2011
As of 1 January 2011, the company has a subsidiary – Smeg Australia – allowing it to become even more involved and closer to a market that has always been responsive to Smeg’s products.
Bertazzoni’s visit also accompanied the launch of Smeg’s new range, designed by Australian-born Paris-based designer Marc Newson.
Photo by Romeo Balancourt
“Smeg has always been very much involved with designers and architects,” Bertazzoni explains.
“Marc is the first non-Italian designer we’ve worked with, which is quite cool!”
Although Smeg weren’t specifically on the lookout for a new collaborator, Bertazzoni had the idea to get Newson involved after he came across an exhibition of the designer’s sculptures 3 years ago at London’s Gagosian Gallery.
Newson’s pieces resonated with art-lover Bertazzoni.
“I have to say that I consider Marc more an artist than a designer,” Bertazzoni explains. “I was very impressed; I love his art.”
Bertazzoni went to visit Newson at his studio in Paris. Amazingly, Newson was in the process of repainting a Smeg fridge he had bought for his newly renovated house in Paris.
“It was a very good starting point,” Bertazzoni says. “He knew the brand. He was already in love with the brand.”
The Newson range is proof that the family-owned Italian manufacturers continue to go from strength to strength in a world where the art of cooking has never been more popular.
As for the company itself, Bertazzoni sees it sticking to the tradition and philosophy that has been the key to its success.
“We want to be an Italian company and remain a family business,” Bertazzoni explains. “We want to have this human touch. We want to continue to produce special appliances, to bring design, joy and passion to appliances.”
For even more on Smeg and the stories behind the brand and products, check out the international website for the Smeg Fab range.
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