From the very beginning Milan based DePadova have always been at the forefront of high-end furniture, both for home and office, and over the years have continuously had a significant impact on the perception and spread of design in Italy and by extension in all of western Europe.
It all began one summer's day in 1956 when Maddalena De Padova together with her husband Fernando decided to travel to Denmark to discover the clean, light lines of the Nordic designers. Impressed both by the beauty and diversity of what they saw they began to import furniture and objects and sold them at their Milan shop. This marked the debut of Scandinavian design in Italy, a revolution that has had a permanent impact on the evolution of Italian sense of taste and on people's way of living in general.
A few years later, on a trip to Basel, Maddalena discovered the Wire Chair by Charles Eames, an encounter that again would change her life. Within months she acquired a license from USA based company Herman Miller to produce designs by Charles Eames and George Nelson and founded ICF De Padova for the production of the office furnishings of Herman Miller in Italy.
From her encounters with the American designers, Maddalena absorbed the secrets that would become the core of her philosophy: the importance of the environmental context, from George Nelson; of “connections” from Charles Eames; and of the crucial role of objects from Alexander Girard.
A large showroom was opened for the display and sale of those collections which soon also became a launching pad for emerging young designers like Ingo Maurer, whose first lamps and objects were introduced by De Padova. The same space on corso Venezia in Milan still serves as showroom today.
During the 70's, following her husband's death, Maddalena took full control of the company and besides the Herman Miller products began to produce pieces that would become icons of the era. While the Herman Miller license was ceded, this trend continued throughout the 80's with the collaboration of great designers like Achille Castiglionni, Dieter Rams and above all Vico Magistretti. The 90's saw new successful collaborations with Renzo Piano (including furnishings for the café at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Morgan Library's restaurant in New York) and Gaetano Pesce while Patricia Urquiola managed the R&D division of the company.
In 2004, two years before celebrating the 50th anniversary of the company, Maddalena received the prestigious Compasso d'Oro Career Award and gradually initiated the passing of the helm to her children.
Together with his sister Valeria, a member of the board and director of the Milan showroom, Luca De Padova, CEO since 2010, has continued to develop collaborations with new emerging and renowned designers, investing resources in the development of new products, while consolidating the brand and increasing its presence on traditional and emerging foreign markets.Read more