B&B Italia is an internationally renowned Italian Group leader in the high-end designer furniture sector built on a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a future-oriented mindset.\n\n\n\nAfter 53 years since its establishment, it counts 600 employees, 70 single-brand stores and 1000 specialized stores worldwide, the oldest Italian Contract Division and a fascinating story beginning a few kilometers away from Milan in 1966.\n\n\n\nLet us bring you through the facts, the people, the products and the events that wrote a chapter in the grand history of Italian design, named B&B Italia.\n\n\n\nThe Founder - Piero Ambrogio Busnelli\n\n\n\nMeet Piero Ambrogio Busnelli, the energetic personality that kickstarted the success of B&B Italia.\n\n\n\nThe ones who had the chance to meet him in person describe him as a magnetizing personality with a quick and intuitive mind and a fascinating obsession for innovation.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHis ability to make the right strategic choices, combined with the strength of executing them and turning an intuition in concrete results had been crucial to the endless growth of B&B Italia in the furniture industry and ongoing exploration towards new markets.\n\n\n\nThe Name - From one B to C&B to B&B Italia\n\n\n\nWhile working at the family company alongside his brother Franco Busnelli, Piero is firmly oriented towards making a big change which would revolutionise the sector.\n\n\n\nIn the 50\u2019s the whole Italian furniture industry is still based on handicraft production, requiring extended manufacturing times and resulting high prices on final products.\n\n\n\nPiero Ambrogio is motivated to find a way to industrialize the production process: this is what pushes him to research beyond Italian borders and into different sectors besides his own.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhile visiting Interplast fair in London, Piero Ambrogio\u2019s attention is caught by a machine producing little toy ducks out of cold polyurethane foam: he senses a potential application of the same technique in furniture production, which will be soon revealed to be the right intuition.\n\n\n\nIn 1966, Piero Ambrogio Busnelli starts a new venture with 10 employees, focused on the industrial production of furniture pieces.\n\n\n\nThis move gains the attention of Cesare Cassina, founder of furniture brand Cassina, which is intrigued by Piero Ambrogio\u2019s unique manufacturing process for sofas and armchairs: firstly, switching from a hand-crafted wood frame to a more resistant one made of iron, and consequently inserting the frame in a mould to shape the rest of the furniture piece injecting cold polyurethane.\n\n\n\nThe collaboration between Piero Ambrogio and Cesare results in the birth of C&B, Cassina & Busnelli, that will last for 7 years: when the newly born company overtakes the revenues of Cassina itself, the two entrepreneurs decide to split up. \n\n\n\nB&B Italia gains is current name as a family company driven by Piero Amrogio Busnelli and his sons. \n\n\n\nThe Product - Manufacturing design icons\n\n\n\nOver its 53 years of history, B&B Italia has designed more than 1200 products which marked the evolution of the furniture sector on a global scale.\n\n\n\nMany of these products became design icons that hold a spot inside museums and prestigious public locations: their timeless and innovative nature will serve as inspiration for future generations of designers.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nFrom top left to right: Antonio Citterio, Gaetano Pesce, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Marco Zanuso, Mario Bellini, Naoto Fukasawa, Piero Lissoni, Zaha Hadid, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Patricia Urquiola, Studio Kairos, Paolo Nava\n\n\n\nFollows a selection of landmarks, each of them belonging to different designers, all of them united by the high-end manufacturing signature of B&B Italia: scroll through, and find out the one thing you should know about each one of them. \n\n\n\n\n\nCoronado by Afra and Tobia Scarpa, 1966 The first furniture piece produced using cold moulded polyurethane foam\n\n\n\n\n\nLombrico by Marco Zanuso, 1967Its modular design opened the market to large scale public spaces\n\n\n\n\n\nSity by Antonio Citterio, 1968, Compasso d\u2019oro The seatings in the collection can be shuffled and combined with one another, ensuring flexibility and a tailored configuration\n\n\n\n\n\nUp Series by Gaetano Pesce, 1969Made of 100% polyurethane foam with no internal structure. The piece carries a symbolic statement for women\u2019s oppression\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nLe Bambole by Mario Bellini, 1972, Compasso d\u2019oroLaunched by a memorable and provocative marketing campaign by Olivero Toscani, Le Bambole is the evolution of a large cushion shape into upholstered furniture\n\n\n\n\n\nDiesis by Antonio Citterio and Paolo Nava, 1979Precious details, classic infused inspiration and a neat distinction between structure & support made this leather sofa part of design history\n\n\n\n\n\nSisamo by Studio Kairos, 1983, Compasso d\u2019oroThe invisible wardrobe design integrates in the room and disappears, introducing the innovative smooth sliding doors which overlap to reveal its interiors\n\n\n\n\n\nPab by Studio Kairos, 1996This minimalist shelving system was inspired by a piece of paper folded and kept together by braces with elegance and lightness\n\n\n\n\n\nCharles by Antonio Citterio, 1997Paying homage to design legend Charles Eames, this sofa is the bestseller of B&B Italia\n\n\n\n\n\nTufty-Time by Patricia Urquiola, 2005A modern reinterpretation of the Chesterfield sofas for a casual and contemporary lifestyle\n\n\n\n\n\nCanasta by Patricia Urquiola, 2007An outdoor seating which combines classic Viennese cane inspiration with modern and neat details\n\n\n\n\n\nMoon System by Zaha Hadid, 2007A sculptural piece made of a single block of material carrying the iconic curves and lines of Zaha Hadid for a scenical presence\n\n\n\n\n\nFlat.C by Antonio Citterio, 2008A shelving system designed around the use of technological devices in modern homes and their integration with furniture and interior spaces\n\n\n\n\n\nGrande Papilio by Naoto Fukasawa, 2009Designed to provide the ultimate seating comfort through its elegant shape, the 360\u00b0 rotation keeps the person fully involved in the space around\n\n\n\n\n\nRay by Antonio Citterio, 2010A modular seating system that includes a sofa, a chaise longue and an ottoman featuring refined details for a clean aesthetics\n\n\n\n\n\nBend-Sofa by Patricia Urquiola, 2010A soft monolithic shape with sewings that follow its curves and become a unique trait of its character\n\n\n\n\n\nTobi-Ishi by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, 2012Inspired by Japanese Zen gardens, this sculptural piece presents a smooth balance between its shapes and material\n\n\n\n\n\nEda-Mame by Piero Lissoni, 2018 Organic curves inspired by the shape of a soybean gift elegance and lightness to a piece designed for residential and public spaces\n\n\n\n\n\nB&B Atoll by Antonio Citterio, 2018A comprehensive collection combining diverse seating designs which integrate traditional and modern lines for sophisticated interiors\n\n\n\n\n\nThe Marketing \u2013 Give those products the voice they deserve\n\n\n\nThe overall success of a company is made by the combination of single successful components. Marketing and communication for B&B Italia have been a priority since its establishment, aiming at large groups of people due to its industrial-scale outputs, while holding an upscale brand positioning.\n\n\n\nThe first brand image for the company was designed by Bob Noorda, memorable Dutch-born graphic designer who contributed to shaping the modernist graphic style.\n\n\n\nHe is also remembered for developing logos with historical relevance such as the Milan Metro and NYC subway signs, Feltrinelli, Eni and Ermenegildo Zegna.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nLaunching its first furniture piece in 1966, Coronado, B&B Italia focused its communication on technology, explaining the shift from handcrafted to industrial production as a core value of the company.\n\n\n\nIn the years ahead, as new pieces are designed and produced, the topics of each advertisement are intertwined with the concept of the product themselves.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe influential statement on women\u2019s oppression conveyed by the Up Series of Gaetano Pesce was supported by an impactful and bold communication campaign developed with photographer Klaus Zaugg. The ad also leveraged on the technical peculiarity of the piece which is purchased flat packed and vacuum-sealed, acquiring its very own shape only once opened at its final destination.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe series Le Bambole by Mario Bellini is probably the most notorious example of B&B Italia provocative and daring communication, developing the campaign for this collection with fashion photography icon Oliviero Toscani and model Donna Jordan. The campaign was presented at the Milan furniture fair, Salone del Mobile, in 1972 and to get instantly censored, fuelling further buzz around it.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIn 1970 B&B Italia once again takes advantage of the innovations and trends of its time, becoming the first furniture brand to promote and stream television commercials:\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe Future - B&B Italia Research & Development Centre\n\n\n\nGiorgio Busnelli - first son of Piero Ambrogio and holding key positions at the firm between 2003 and 2018 - refers to Research & Development Centre as the \u201cmind and the heart of B&B Italia\u201d.\n\n\n\nThe Research & Development Centre was established since the birth of the company with the purpose to facilitate the conversation between designers and production team, in order to transform sketches and ideas into functioning prototypes within a very short time.\n\n\n\nThis division is central for B&B Italia: 3% of the annual sales are invested to sustain and support its activities.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe technical staff from CR&S division helps designers refine their ideas and creative process through experience and knowledge on materials and manufacturing techniques: leaving maximum freedom to the designer on the creative side, the B&B Italia staff supports on production aspects, generating a powerful synergy resulting in new design products.\n\n\n\nBesides research & development labs and training facilities, the CR&S also serves as a historical archive for the company: all the sketches and prototypes of products which did not make it to production are meticulously stored and preserved to be reused in the future as inspiration, or even turned into special collections.\n\n\n\nThe Scale - B&B Italia Contract Division\n\n\n\nBeing the first Italian company to establish a Contract Division, this branch of the business expresses the full potential of B&B Italia, where entire interior projects are developed from scratch providing large scale furniture solutions to high-end brands.\n\n\n\nOver 40 years, the division has carried out projects of all sorts, from hospitality to retail, as well as public spaces like museums or airports and even cinemas, theatres and cruise ships.\n\n\n\nFollows a selection of their most striking realizations.\n\n\n\nThe Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland - A five-star luxury geothermal spa located inside an 800-year-old lava plain on the Reykjanes Peninsula, also featuring a hotel, restaurant and library for which B&B provided all the furnishing.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBvlgari Hotel Beijing - The collaboration begins with Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts group in 2000 with the Milanese hotel followed by the London one. Bvlgari Hotel Beijing is developed in 2018 featuring special editions of pieces from B&B Italia, Maxalto and Outdoor collections as well as custom furnishings specifically developed for the project.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nStarbucks Reserve Roastery Milan - The challenge-oriented mindset of B&B Italia was expressed at its finest in this unusual project. The contract division was involved to engineer and produce the 8 meters high cask positioned in the center of the first Italian Starbucks. This hand-polished bronzed brass piece is the main element of the roastery, where coffee beans are processed and transformed into different blends.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe Presence \u2013 Developing a network of premium stores and showrooms\n\n\n\nIn the year 2000, Piero Busnelli is focusing on the Contract Division of B&B Italia and is time for his first son Giorgio Busnelli to begin leading the home division of the company. Giorgio has an international and global mindset: among the many, one of his big decisions is to establish a directly operated retail network of B&B Italia Stores around the globe.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWith over 70 premium single-brand stores in the main cities of the world, 8 flagship stores are directly owned and operated by B&B Italia throughout Milan, Paris, London, Monaco, New York, Dallas and Washington. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nDeveloping a retail presence is crucial for the brand to design a context around its products and establish a direct connection with its customers.\n\n\n\nThe showrooms of B&B Italia tune a fine ambiance around its pieces: they are the perfect place to get involved in the brand universe and breathe its pure, refined essence.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nToday \u2013 Where is B&B Italia today?\n\n\n\nB&B Italia continues on its innovative path, keeping the spirit of Piero Ambrogio Busnelli alive in its strategic decisions and development of new products.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe B&B Italia Group currently works in the residential and contract sectors (hospitality, retail, offices and nautical) with its four brands, B&B Italia, Maxalto, Arclinea and Azucena.\n\n\n\nB&B Italia operates from its headquarters located in Novedrate, Como, 1-hour away from Milan. The iconic building was designed by a young Renzo Piano in 1971 as a first inspiration for his monumental work in Paris, the modern art museum Centre Pompidou, and Richard Rogers.\n\n\n\nSince December 2018, B&B Italia has been a part of Design Holding, the world\u2019s largest European group in the high-end designer sector. Investindustrial and The Carlyle Group jointly own Design Holding which includes B&B Italia Group as well as leading lighting companies such as Flos and Louis Poulsen. Design Holding has consolidated revenues of more than 500 million Euros.\n\n\n\nBesides the offices, Novedrate also hosts all the production facilities, the logistics center shipping towards the whole globe, the historical Research & Development Centre and a 1300 sqm showroom with the addition of 350 sqm open-air area to host the B&B Italia Outdoor collection launched in 2007.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThis year, B&B Italia launched new B&B Italia and Maxalto designs at Salone Del Mobile in Milan.\n\n\n\nB&B Italia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary UP Series by Gaetano Pesce and displayed the Catilina chair, quintessence of Italian design by Luigi Caccia Dominioni, for Azucena. Next to these evergreen icons, B&B Italia also unveiled absolute novelties by internationally acclaimed architects and visionary designers such as Michael Anastassiades, Antonio Citterio, Piero Lissoni and Vincent Van Duysen.\n\n\n\nDock is the new seating system designed by Piero Lissoni. This new collection was designed with current generations in mind, interpreting the lifestyle of young adults: shared experiences and moments of entertainment, alongside a \u201cnomadic\u201d, often changing approach to living tend to be a common habit influencing interior spaces and the role of furnishings.\n\n\n\nThe seating system takes a fresh look at the use of a sofa: designed with millennials in mind, the pieces have a low and large seating area, inviting for an ultra-relaxed reclined position. Around the soft cushions, the wooden platform serves different purposes as a low support area completed by sleek glass shelves.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe seating system Ribes by Antonio Citterio was also presented at the event: the collection of outdoor furnishing pieces is inspired by trips in South-America, featuring a range of colorful and nature-themed prints. With flexibility as a central matter, the different elements of the collection are designed to be combined in the most preferred arrangement of sofas, chaise longues and ottoman couches.