Discovering Formitalia with David Overi
Where furniture, art, design and enterprise generate positive energy
A historic and influential company on the Italian design scene, Formitalia was established in Quarrata in 1968. It is a success story and a story of great insight. Such as the Mirabili brand, which blurs the line between art and design, the Tonino Lamborghini and Aston Martin licenses with which Formitalia climbed up the ladder of success in the contract sector. And an art gallery in the Oltrarno neighborhood, on the main floor of the 16th -century Palazzo Nasi on Piazza de’ Mozzi, where contemporary art blends with design furniture consistently with the company’s DNA. We discussed all this with David Overi, today at the helm of the company with his brother Gianni.
The strong points of your production?
Quality, major brands, fine materials.
What is Formitalia’s aim for the future?
We plan to implement the hotellerie and real estate market and go on pursuing our interest in contemporary art. We are about to release a book, together with the Uffizi Gallery, on Marco Lodola’s exhibition when, last December, he lit up the Gallery’s spaces with his Pop Nativity scene, owing to the collaboration between us and the Uffizi.
Any projects under way?
With Tonino Lamborghini we are building a hotel in Sharm el Sheikh and two residential towers near Cairo.
Do you remember your first time at the company?
No, but I remember the first time I saw our furniture in Australia. I was a marketing student at Sydney University, I was still uninterested in my father’s company. I was surprised to learn that he had produced the furniture.
Your idea of the “Made in Italy.
To me, the “Made in Italy” means fashion and reminds me of our collaboration with Paolo Gucci, in the mid-1990s, at a time when he had abruptly left the company. He encouraged our interest in special leathers and in quality stitching and finishing.
Your three favorite places in Florence?
The Oltrarno neighborhood where our gallery is located. The Church of Santa Felicita with Pontormo’s Deposition. The Bardini Museum, which is so close to the terrace of our gallery in that I can almost reach out and touch it.