Renato Minotti: ‘The Cypriot market has always shown a great interest in and passion for Italian design’
Athena Yiazou 07:06 - 11 February 2024
With a presence in 80 countries including Cyprus, Italian furniture design brand Minotti recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Here, Renato Minotti, co-CEO of Minotti S.p.A. talks exclusively to GOLD about the secret of the global company’s success as well as Minotti’s plans for Cyprus, where it has enjoyed a prosperous collaboration with C. Askotis Retail for over 30 years. He is pictured above, on the right, next to his brother and co-CEO Roberto.
Since its establishment in 1948, Minotti has grown from a small artisan workshop into a global leader. What have been some of the main ‘ingredients’ of this remarkable success?
Every company has its own identity and ours has evolved over time, although it remains anchored to its origins of 75 years ago. From our classical roots, we started in the 1960s to develop a contemporary style to meet the needs of the market. The pay-off line in our campaigns was “Classics today and classics tomorrow” and that is what we do: we design timeless furniture in terms of quality and taste, while paying attention to evolving trends and lifestyles. The key to success, then, has been to create a precise contextualisation around the products through a lifestyle that is recognisable worldwide. Undoubtedly, our ability to remain linked to the values of the family and of our territory, as well as to ‘Made in Italy’ craftsmanship, also guarantees reliability in the market, consistency of style and high product quality. We are, indeed, a family company that moves forward with passion and dedication towards common goals: my brother Roberto (second generation, co-CEO of the brand) and I have worked constantly side by side and then, from 1998, together with the third generation fully involved in the company too, in the figures of Alessio, Alessandro, Susanna and Leonardo.
What can you tell us about the company’s long-term cooperation – since 1992 – with C. Askotis Retail here in Cyprus?
C. Askotis Retail is a leading brand in Cyprus in the world of contemporary design, with which we started collaborating a long time ago. With the founders and owners Makis Askotis and Michalis Vassiliades, a strong business collaboration was born, in terms of both the vision to promote our ‘Made in Italy’ furniture in the Cypriot market with Makis and design and stylistic approach with Michalis. Our partnership has been consolidated and strengthened over the years, expressing a deep commitment and shared passion, until reaching an important milestone in 2021 with the opening of the Minotti Cyprus flagship store in Nicosia. Ours is a professional relationship that goes beyond commercial interests, with the aim of enriching the local design scene, inspiring A&D professionals, and satisfying customers who are increasingly demanding when it comes to quality and style.
Are there any plans for further expanding the company’s activities in Cyprus?
The Cypriot market has always shown a great interest in and passion for Italian design and C. Askotis Retail has, over time, built up a very strong brand image locally. The market is therefore dynamic and promising and it could definitely grow further in the future.
What are some of the major emerging global design trends you foresee for the coming years?
Nowadays it is difficult to make predictions because the world of design is constantly evolving, as are lifestyles, trends and technologies. However, I believe that everyone in this industry should continue to focus on their own area of expertise. Our style gives life to a sober yet sophisticated aesthetic, which finds in craftsmanship a strong and distinctive key element. That is what then gives our furniture its added value.
Are there certain design qualities that you consider will always be popular with your clients around the world?
For years, we have been offering extremely versatile solutions in terms of modularity and functionality in order to meet different needs, multiple spatial dimensions and increasingly dynamic lifestyles all over the world. Our seating systems, in fact, feature an articulated range of elements to fulfil the most diverse functions – relaxation, conversation, remote working – offering a timeless versatile language and freedom of expression. I am thinking, for example, of Twiggy, designed by the dear departed Rodolfo Dordoni, which is one of the most representative for its unprecedented flexibility and ability to adapt to space with great ease. (Pieces from the Twiggy collection can be seen throughout this article).
On a more personal level, what do style and aesthetics mean to you?
I was born under the sign of Libra, which is by definition a symbol of balance, with an eye for style and a keen sense of aesthetics: for me, style means taste, refinement and elegance, while aesthetics is expressed through attention to detail and proportions, which are the aspects we give special attention to every day in every area of our work and can be found as a constant in our collections.
Your company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2023.Can you share any upcoming plans for Minotti with us?
We are proud to have reached this important milestone, through three generations, 75 years of history and countless furnishings distinguished by a unique and timeless style, renowned worldwide. Our vision has resulted in a widespread presence in over 80 countries through a network of 56 single-brand stores – including the Minotti Cyprus flagship store – and more than 300 dealers all over the world, and our goal is to continue to expand worldwide, exploring new markets as well.
As you mentioned, the third generation of the family is now also involved in the company’s operations. Do you believe that this is something that will continue in the coming years? Will family values always remain part of Minotti’s wider philosophy?
We are a family company where the third generation works alongside the second generation, with a long-term vision. For us, the family plays a central role: just as my father Alberto passed on his passion, vision and sense of unity to me and my brother Roberto, I hope that, in the future, the commitment to keep alive the spirit of our origins and the heritage of the ‘Made in Italy’ tradition will continue to be cherished, from generation to generation, ensuring the constant evolution of our brand.
(This interview first appeared in the January edition of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.)