Impeccably suited, charming, enthusiastic, and imbued with an unrivalled reputation in design canon, it is hard to imagine a better brand representative than Giulio Cappellini – indeed it is hard to imagine Haworth were unaware of Cappelini’s magnetism when the American office furniture giant bought a majority stake in PFG two years ago.
The union of the two brands is not simply a takeover or an expansion, but rather a meaningful integration of disparate but complementary design, industrial and commercial cultures. All of which is evident in the launch of Haworth Collection, which combines the design legacies of Poltrona Frau, Cappellini, Cassina and Haworth to present a curated selection of heritage and modern designs tailored to local markets.
“The concept for the Haworth Collection is constantly evolving,” comments Cappellini, seated at Haworth’s The Porter space on the occasion of the Haworth Collection’s Sydney launch, “the starting point was always the North American market, but it is steadily expanding to include the Middle East and Far East.” “[It] reflects the international best-sellers of the catalogue, and is tailored to local markets,” Cappellini explains.
It is no accident that Haworth brought Cappellini in person to launch their Collection at events in Shanghai and Sydney, as the brand has a strategic focus on Asia-Pacific, and Cappellini himself is confident that a new generation of talent is budding in the region. “In this moment I’m very interested in discovering new young talents here in the Far East,” he recounts, “because I find less contamination, and a series of fresh ideas.” With regards to the Australian market specifically, Cappellini observes that “I notice a great attention to design and contemporary art, and so this is fertile territory for us.”
This is backed up by the unfolding professional design competition, which offers one winning designer from the region a career-defining first prize of working with none other than Patricia Urquiola to finesse their design, and then have the product prototyped in Italy and possibly even taken to market.
Cappellini is thrilled that the union with Haworth gives him a powerful new tool with which to promote design and connect with people; “the fact that we can promote design products in public spaces is a good way to promote design,” he enthuses, “as I always say, I am happy when a Cappellini piece is added to a museum, but I’m even more happy when it enters somebody’s home.”