Hospitality Gervasoni style. Home from home even when travelling
Gervasoni: design made in Italy since 1882
The story of a company in Friuli that can boast 3 generations of design, winning a place on international markets
THE GERVASONI HEADQUARTERS IN PAVIA DI UDINE. THIS MODERN DAY COMPANY WITH A STORY THAT STARTED IN 1882, SPANNING 3 GENERATIONS, A WORLD WAR AND THE TURN OF THE CENTURY
THE FRAME ASSEMBLY DIVISION IN THE NEW 4,500 M² GERVASONI PRODUCTION PLANT IN VIA GERVASUTTA
THE ART OF WEAVING WICKER WAS A TYPICAL PRODUCTION PROCESS FOR GERVASONI IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES
GERMA (STANDING FOR GERVASONI MOBILI ARREDAMENTI) WAS SET UP IN 1965 FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF DESIGN FURNITURE. IN THE PHOTO, A WICKER ARMCHAIR FROM THE SEVENTIES IN THE PAINTING DIVISION
STRIPS OF WICKER AND RATTAN PILED UP IN A GERVASONI WAREHOUSE IN PAVIA DI UDINE, USED WOVEN TO COMPLETE THE CHAIRS MADE WITH THESE MATERIALS
DESIGN ARMCHAIR FRAMES PILED UP IN A CORNER OF THE GERVASONI COMPANY BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE WICKER AND RATTAN WEAVING DIVISION
From local artisan tradition to design 100% made in Italy, through to international fame: Gervasoni is an all‑Italian, or rather all‑Friuli story that, starting in 1882, has spanned 3 generations and the turn of a new century. A family saga made of enterprise, entrepreneurial intuition, artisan knowhow and passion for skilfully made beautiful things.
The adventure started with Giovanni Gervasoni who, in 1925, was at the head of the Società Friulana Industria Vimini, a small local company founded 43 years earlier, producers of baskets and small objects. In the thirties, after having taken over the company together with Pietro Dal Vera and moved the headquarters to Via Brenari, he started up rapid structural transformation of the production equipment, adapting it to new market needs. Results were quick to come and orders soon arrived for furnishings on big Italian and foreign ships and in 1939, Gervasoni e C had gained a certain fame and a growing market share. Not even the outbreak of the World War or a factory fire in 1954 could stop its expansion: after the war, the family took over sole ownership of the brand and it consolidated its market position as a manufacturer of garden furniture, cots and children’s beds. In the meantime, a new 4,500 m² production plant was built in Via Gervasutta.
In 1958, Giovanni Gervasoni’s son Pietro joined the business, whom everybody called Piero. He was just 18, but it was clear from the start that he had inherited from his father the same passion for challenges and the same farsighted vision into the future. Passionate about design, in 1965 he founded the Germa brand, a production spin‑off from the parent company, specialising in innovative products with big communication impact. Designers called on to collaborate with the brand include names such as Vico Magistretti, Oskar Kogoj, Werther Toffoloni and Roberto Lazzeroni, a highly esteemed art director through to the mid‑nineties.
When his father died in 1977, Piero inherited his father’s position at the helm and once again focused on technological innovation and study of new markets, including the new Europe in the East, just rising out of the rubble of the Berlin wall. In the eighties, Gervasoni expanded the range in its catalogue and opened the store in Via Durini in Milan, destined to become an international style showcase.
By the early nineties, the brand was gearing up for a ground‑breaking turnaround, coinciding with the arrival in the business of Piero’s two sons: Giovanni and Michele. The handover occurred gradually, it was time for change and there was a very ambitious goal. In 1999, as a consequence of the dwindling appeal of materials such as woven, rattan and wicker, Piero understood that the moment had come to make way for the future, leaving the reins in the hands of his sons, who accepted the challenge and raised the bar. Once again, it was all in the DNA and the two brothers decided to prioritise quality design, recuperating the innovative, pioneering spirit of Germa, which had meanwhile been merged with the main brand.
This was when designer Paola Navone arrived on the scene. Invited by Giovanni and Michele, she was a real deus ex machina, revolutionising the soul and spirit of the company. The result was surprising and new collections did not follow trends – they set them. Furnishings for outdoors and indours, upholstery, woven furniture and Scandinavian‑inspired wooden pieces epitomised a very personal style, eclectic and refined, which was to bring new elegance to the interior design sector. The various articles were all accompanied by selected production of accessories with big personality that changed the mood of any room. The innovative mix of ideas and products made its mark, especially in the world of contract and Gervasoni style was soon chosen by locations that ranged from luxury hotels to cruise ships.
About fifteen years have passed since then, but at the headquarters in Pavia di Udine, Giovanni and Michele Gervasoni continue to pursue their business vocation with the same enthusiasm embraced by their grandfather and father, one again through expansion of the production range. In 2009, they purchased a company specialising in high‑quality wooden chairs and launched the Very Wood brand for contract only. In 2012, they then also conquered the bedroom market, with the Letti&Co brand, once again entrusted to the creative talent of Paola Navone.
This was not all, however, and in May 2015, Private Equity Partners S.p.A. (a company founded and owned by Fabio Sattin and Giovanni Campolo) Paolo Colonna and brothers Giovanni and Michele Gervasoni, backed by a selected group of top‑level private investors, set up Italian Design Brands S.p.A.(IDB). The group aims to bring together big financial, strategic and relational powers with solid, established industrial and commercial experience to promote a hub of Italian design in the sector of high quality furniture and furnishings. The IDB has its headquarters in Milan and represents the vehicle through which the initiative’s promotors intend to achieve aggregation with other businesses of excellence in the sector. The Gervasoni brothers joined IDB and both will continue to be actively involved in management of the company, as IDB shareholders respectively cover the roles of President and Managing Director of the new Group. Other IDB members include Fabio Sattin, Paolo Colonna and Alessandra Stea, who represent the financial investors.
The night zone interpreted by the creativity and contemporary style of Gervasoni
In & Out: the Gervasoni design collection for living room and garden
Hospitality Gervasoni style. Home from home even when travelling