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80!Molteni - Eighty years of experience in our hands

"A long ride, with a few obstacles and many challenges, from 1934 to the present. And the feeling that it is never enough... No, "knowledge" is not enough anymore, but we have a magnificent obsession for quality every day and in every detail."

The Thirties and Forties

Giuseppina and Angelo Molteni, Giussano Giuseppina and Angelo Molteni, Giussano

1934

Angelo Molteni, born 1912, set up his own business in Giussano, today in the province of Monza e Brianza, a furniture district. His artisan workshop soon became a byword for top-quality products.

1947

The workforce of the Giussano business already numbered over 60 people. “Arredamenti di Angelo Molteni” was developing fast, less of an artisan workshop and more of a factory.

Craftsmen and workers of Angelo Molteni furniture-making firm Craftsmen and workers of Angelo Molteni furniture-making firm

The Fifties

Werner Blaser, dresser, prototype Werner Blaser, dresser, prototype

1955

Molteni took part in the first “Mostra Selettiva – Concorso Internazionale del Mobile” in Cantù, with a design by Swiss architect Werner Blaser, which won the first prize. The chest of drawers, with a 3-fork geometric joint, was the first prototype of a modern piece of furniture.

1959

Double podium at the Cantù Mostra Selettiva, with designs by Yasuhiko Itoh and Donato D’Urbino and Carlo Volonterio, two avant-garde bookcases.

Yasuhiko Itoh, bookcase, prototype Yasuhiko Itoh, bookcase, prototype
Gli anni della Selettiva, catalogue Gli anni della Selettiva, catalogue

The Sixties

The first German machines arrive. The flat presses and the drier, to produce increasingly quality furniture on an industrial scale.

Angelo and Carlo Molteni in Burma buying wood.
Angelo and Carlo Molteni in Burma buying wood.

1961

Angelo Molteni joined a group of entrepreneurs to promote Milan’s first Salone del Mobile, the highly successful furniture fair that made its debut on 24 September 1961.

Poster of the 1st Salone del Mobile Poster of the 1st Salone del Mobile
Press conference in occasion of the 1st Salone del Mobile in Milan - Right foreground Angelo Molteni Press conference in occasion of the 1st Salone del Mobile in Milan - Right foreground Angelo Molteni

1968

1968. Tito Agnoli, Fiorenza, Advertising campaign 1972 1968. Tito Agnoli, Fiorenza, Advertising campaign 1972

A year of upheavals: in just a few months, manufacturing switched from classic to modern, well-designed furniture suitable for mass production. Luca Meda, an Ulm School graduate, was the man of the revolution, his Iride storage units were presented at the 1968 Salone del Mobile.

Luca Meda and Hans von Klier, Iride series Luca Meda and Hans von Klier, Iride series
Luca Meda and Hans von Klier, Iride series Luca Meda and Hans von Klier, Iride series

The Seventies

1973

Afra and Tobia Scarpa made their debut in Giussano and Turate. For thirty years they designed successful buildings and furniture, distinguished by highly refined details.

1974. MOP Afra and Tobia Scarpa 1974. MOP Afra and Tobia Scarpa

1975

Molteni&C enters the Contract world, with a furniture supply to Saudi Arabia, which will make it the undisputed leader of "turnkey" solutions

1979

In 1979 Dada joined the Molteni Group, quicky gaining a prominent place in the field of quality kitchens. The brand image is designed by Luca Meda

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"We outfitted two embassies in Saudi Arabia and a large hotel in Egypt. With those two experiences, the Molteni Contract began. [...] On one hand we customise, on the other we standardize, a double attitude and vision."
Carlo Molteni

Home Office at Taif in Saudi Arabia, furnished with Z2 sofas and armchairs, design Marco Zanuso Home Office at Taif in Saudi Arabia, furnished with Z2 sofas and armchairs, design Marco Zanuso

The Eighties

1980

Enter Aldo Rossi, a partnership that was to last almost 20 years, with highly acclaimed designs, such as the Teatro series with Luca Meda , the Carteggio desk, the Milano chair, the Cartesio furniture and the Parigi armchair.

1987 Aldo Rossi, drawing 1987 Aldo Rossi, drawing
1987 Advertisement Teatro bed 1987 Advertisement Teatro bed
1988 Luca Meda, Capotavola 1988 Luca Meda, Capotavola
1988 Teatro chair, 7volte7 wardrobe, 1080 series dresser and Marlo 2 bed. (Photo by Luigi Ghirri, 1991) 1988 Teatro chair, 7volte7 wardrobe, 1080 series dresser and Marlo 2 bed. (Photo by Luigi Ghirri, 1991)

The Nineties

Molteni&C communication evolved with the arrival of the Swiss graphic designer Felix Humm, who redrew the Molteni&C logo and created a new look for our institutional and commercial communication.

Advertising campaigns Advertising campaigns
Advertising campaigns Advertising campaigns
Poster for the Salone del Mobile, Molteni&C and Unifor Poster for the Salone del Mobile, Molteni&C and Unifor

1990

In the nineties Molteni&C proposed an idea of the home and based its communication around it.

1993

Pierluigi Cerri began working with Molteni&C and Unifor for visual communication and exhibitions stands.

Molteni&C booth entrance at the Salone del Mobile Molteni&C booth entrance at the Salone del Mobile

1994

Molteni&C was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for its career. “Among the key players of Italian furniture culture” according to the jury, “it has excelled in presenting a range of products designed with constant dignity, guaranteed quality and a broad vision of the cultural context”.

1994. ADI Compasso d'Oro Career Award
1994. ADI Compasso d'Oro Career Award

1994

Jean Nouvel designed the Fondation Cartier in Paris. Unifor made the furniture. This gave rise to the Less series, a world design icon.

Jean Nouvel, Less series, for the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris Jean Nouvel, Less series, for the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris

The New Millennium

2003

The Gran Teatro La Fenice is inaugurated in Venice, rebuilt according to Aldo Rossi’s design, with the wooden parts made by Molteni&C.

Aldo Rossi, Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venice, drawing Aldo Rossi, Gran Teatro La Fenice, Venice, drawing
Gran Teatro La Fenice Gran Teatro La Fenice

2004

To support its international expansion, Molteni&C created the Divisione Imbottiti [Padded Furniture] and, within the space of just a few years, it has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers with designs by Patricia Urquiola, Ferruccio Laviani, Rodolfo Dordoni, Hannes Wettstein and Ron Gilad, just to mention a few.

Advertisign campaign Advertisign campaign
Molteni&C plant, upholstery division Molteni&C plant, upholstery division
Flagship Store, Molteni&C | Dada, New York, 2008 Flagship Store, Molteni&C | Dada, New York, 2008

2008

Distribution has extended beyond the Italian borders and became international. New stores dedicated to the Molteni&C | Dada brand have opened: about 600 stores worldwide including 40 Flagship Stores, also present in the most important international design metropolis such as London and New York.

The 2010s

2012

Molteni&C presented the Ponti Collection at the Salone del Mobile, furniture never mass produced, designed by the great Milanese architect.

Gio Ponti Collection Molteni&C Gio Ponti Collection Molteni&C
Ron Gilad, Glass Cube, Giussano Ron Gilad, Glass Cube, Giussano

2014

In the Giussano industrial complex, Molteni inaugurated Glass Cube, the installation by Ron Gilad that reinterprets the distinctive themes of the Group’s corporate identity. Technology, art and design come together to create a pathway between present and future, further embellished with multimedia features.

2015

Gruppo Molteni celebrates 80 years in the business with an exhibition at Milan’s Galleria d’Arte Moderna, 80!Molteni. Curated by Jasper Morrison and with graphic design by Studio Cerri & Associati, for the first time prototypes and furniture made by all the Group’s companies narrate 80 years’ experience, quality and innovation. The exhibition has become the nucleus of the Molteni Museum in Giussano.

80!Molteni exhibition at Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano 80!Molteni exhibition at Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano
Vincent Van Duysen Vincent Van Duysen

2016

Starting from April 2016 the Belgian architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen is appointed Creative Director of the Molteni&C and Dada brands. After the success of the Gliss Master wardrobe system the new partnership will focus on coordinating the brands’ image and retail concept.

The 2020s

2021

Molteni Museum | The Molteni Group tale
A space devoted to the history of the Molteni Group - products, prototypes, stories and images - told with a glance at the present and at the future through a select programme of initiatives.

2022

60th Anniversary of Milan’s Salone del Mobile.
The 24th of September 1961 saw the inauguration of the first Milan Furniture Fair, the Salone del Mobile, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2022.
The union between Salone del Mobile and Molteni&C has been active, non-stop, for more than 60 years – Molteni&C is among the few founder companies to have taken part in every single edition. It’s an impressive record that testifies to the affection for the fair held by all the companies within the Molteni Group

2022

Molteni&C | Outdoor
For Molteni&C’s inaugural Outdoor Collection, Creative Director Vincent Van Duysen, guided by his trademark restrained elegance, has devised a collection that is both visually expressive and highly functional.

“Just as in the 2022 indoor collection for Molteni&C, the new outdoor proposal I again pursued an idea of softness and wellbeing, of organic playfulness in an architectural vision of the furniture. I was inspired by modernism to recall the idea of permeability and transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces, and that intimate connection with light and nature.”


Vincent Van Duysen

2023

Molteni&C Kitchens Dada Engineered

With the Group’s expansion worldwide and the Molteni&C brand’s establishment in the high-end home furnishing sector, the integration of kitchens under the Molteni&C brand has become strategic.

This has led to the creation of Dada Engineered, a seal of innovation, certifying the attention and care we apply to design. Harnessing the power of innovative technologies, the kitchen universe expresses itself through one common aspect: continuous research and development.

2024

Molteni&C turns 90. The milestone anniversary is celebrated with a series of events and activations, launching at Salone del Mobile.Milano and continuing throughout the year.

During the fair, a unique ‘experience room’ hosts attendees for an immersive encounter with Molteni&C history.

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2024 | An Italian Design Story event at Hangar Bicocca 2024 | An Italian Design Story event at Hangar Bicocca
2024 | An Italian Design Story event at Hangar Bicocca 2024 | An Italian Design Story event at Hangar Bicocca

An Italian Design Story, the first book on the Molteni Group, is published in March 2024 in Italy and globally in September 2024, offering a cinematic view of the world of Molteni&C through the lens of its world-renowned design collaborators. Published by Rizzoli New York with art direction by Beda Achermann, photography by Jeff Burton, and edited by Spencer Bailey, the book features a foreword by Jean Nouvel and an afterword by Jacques Herzog.

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