“We’d been thinking about opening a shop in Milan for years, but we weren’t quite ready. Then the collection grew and the right time came along. We opened in September 2020, one of the first places to hold an in-person event, to which lots of people came,” said Carola. Despite the lockdown and the economic contraction. As she says, “Never take a backward step. Better a leap in the dark, but in a forward direction. When things are tough, you have to send out a message of optimism to the market and to your clients.” Given the layout of the shop, Bestetti and Lissoni’s intend to stand out from other sectoral showrooms by focusing on a row of corner windows – making for a space/gallery, with installation displays. “We were trying to find a different way of interpreting the concept of design, with a cultural bias, and will hopefully host work by creatives from sectors aligned with our own in the future,” she continued. Within just a few months, Living Divani has also encroached on the basement of the building, multiplying its space and allowing it to become dual purpose. Communication on the ground floor and a commercial space for product presentation in the basement, in a more domestic setting, surrounded by plants.
Meanwhile, back in Anzano del Parco, the headquarters were extended with a meeting area and a space devoted to the exhibition The Uncollected Collection, one-off pieces signed by Lissoni to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. This year’s innovations include an evolution of Lissoni’s Sumo series, presented at “supersalone,” and the Kasbah sofa by David Lopez Quinconces, the small Lemni armchair by Marco Lavit and the Moon Coffee Tables by Mist-o. These are just some of the names Carola has recruited onto the team over the last few years, channelling her ongoing passion for scouting. “There are a lot of talented young people and I’m happy to give them space, I enjoy creating ongoing collaboration – it becomes a virtuous circle. Sometimes I also forge contacts with designers and other companies within the sector, because I believe pulling together to create a system is the right thing to do. Like Federlegno, which I note now fosters dialogue and participation, which is fundamental because the Salone del Mobile is a major promotional vehicle for Made in Italy design,” she continued.