Great realities have always had one common denominator – the Dream. It does not matter what field one wants to succeed in, but how deep-rooted one’s will to achieve it. When Walt Disney was asked how he created his empire, he replied with great serenity: “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole adventure of mine started with a little mouse.” Like Walt Disney and many great characters, this reality today was born out of the Dream of two bright, well-educated young people with wealth and know-how but, above all, with a big dream in their drawer that they managed to realise.
Emanuela and Alessandro (she is an architect and he is a mechanical engineer) both graduates at the “Milan Polytechnic”, have created this new brand in 2022: Lebanto. It all began when Emanuela and Alessandro returned from a long working period in Japan and looked at Italy with completely different eyes, thinking about how much of our beautiful country is taken for granted. This is how the Dream of giving value to the many hidden talents our country has to offer begins to take shape. And this is how Lebanto came into being, a prestigious reality that creates 100% Made in Italy furniture of the highest design, using precious artisans. They realise each piece as a unique masterpiece because it is made by their skilful hands… just as it was in the workshops of yesteryear.
Lebanto collections are born from the simply perfect mix of past and present, investigating the lines and shapes used by the great Italian masters and combining them with today’s colour and interiors. A valuable contemporary reinterpretation of the furniture of yesteryear, handmade in the workshop and conceived in a ‘timeless’ vision. Lebanto was founded by pondering its status on three cornerstones: offering handmade furniture – designs created by young designers – delivered to the customer’s home directly from the workshop. Simple geometries, pure shapes and timeless style that focuses on people and the environment. Quality materials that last, local production in the workshop and a make-to-order manner. Also noteworthy is the choice of collaborations with green-tech start-ups. All aspects of a business are absolutely against today’s fast furniture trend.
A collection for the living room designed to give new life to the furniture of yesteryear that is no longer in use, such as the grandmother’s cupboard, which, when placed next to the telephone, has been transformed into a comfortable seat, or the bar unit, revisited into a modern bar unit with pure and attractive lines.
Inspiration from Italian beauty that translates into research and combining multiple materials is also enhanced in the small tables with hexagonal sections and in the console where the wooden structure is embellished with marble, satin-finished metals and mirrors. A new informal elegance that screams colour.
We will now ask a few questions to Alessandro and Emanuela, certain that no one better than them can tell us about this beautiful reality they have created.
Alessandro Pozzi is an engineer dedicated to his Dream and manager of his own business. What is the vision and mission of the Lebanto brand?
Our story stems from our love for Italy. Italy is a land of invention, flair, beauty and art. We want to promote quality Made in Italy, the real one, made by small producers, by small workshops. We want to ensure that the value of tradition, of old-fashioned know-how handed down from father to son in our country, is not lost but that it regains the notoriety and prestige for which we have always stood out in the World. At Lebanto, our mission is to offer handmade furniture as it once was, designed by young designers and delivered to the customer’s home directly from the craftsman’s workshop. We follow the entire process from design to final delivery, putting the workshop at the centre of the project.
A project that makes design and quality materials its strong points in an increasingly ‘aggressive’ market. How does your young and ambitious brand project itself onto the market?
Certainly, design is an element that sets us apart. In Lebanto, we have chosen geometric lines, sophisticated colours and timeless style, all aspects that distinguished the first collection will be repeated as a common thread for future products. However, Lebanto is not just designed. Our business model is based on a short supply chain, production and distribution, using the D2C (direct-to-customer) model and producing in make-to-order mode. We, therefore, offer our products directly to the customer, excluding intermediaries, agents and retailers. This allows us to have a price that does not include the usual industry markups and only represents the product’s quality without the countless surcharges due to the various steps in the chain. We also want the purchasing process to be simple. To this end, we have created an online platform that allows end customers from all over the World to purchase furniture directly from artisan workshops in a 100% digital manner. We then integrated technology as a choice support for the customer, using augmented reality to virtually visualise the furniture in its environment, providing virtual consultations with our designers and, from next year, including an artificial intelligence part.
Design and creativity as the ultimate expression of the result. What is the starting point that inspires every creation created by Emanuela Terraneo?
My being Italian is a key point that greatly influences the creative direction I want to give the brand. I take inspiration from everything around me: the scents and colours of nature, buildings, art and food. Italy is a rich and varied country regarding landscapes, nature, architecture and people. I translate these observations into choices of textures, colours, finishes and materials that refer to these sources of inspiration. I want to give a taste of Italy to those who may be far away, sharing the beauty and uniqueness of the Bel Paese through a piece of furniture or a graphic choice on social networks. To cite one example, the mirror details on all the pieces in the first Lebanto collection developed by designer Eugenio Gelao are intended to recall the play of light and shadow generated by the columns of Turin’s arcades.
A wealth of international experience brought her back to Italy. Signature made-in-Italy philosophy with 100% production in the Bel Paese. How important is this for you and how do you make this possible?
Living in Japan for years has allowed me to appreciate everything done with care, dedication and strong attention to detail. These experiences allowed me to see Italy with different eyes on my return, recognising that I found everything I had learnt in Japan in craftsmanship. In Japan, ritual dictates everything, allowing time to appreciate the value of everything. In the workshop, every object is made with the right timing and strict rules handed down through generations. This method of production is an absolutely important factor for us. Lebanto does not industrially produce hundreds of pieces of furniture a day, filling trucks and warehouses and risking having to dispose of part of the production in the environment if not purchased by customers.
On the contrary, we produce in the workshop with quality materials and techniques, taking the right time, and only start when the customer orders a product from us. We are certain, in this way, that we never have to dispose of a finished product in the environment and that everything we produce will be long-lasting and well-made. Of course, the customer has to wait a few weeks to receive a Lebanto product at home, but we believe it is worth it for the sake of the environment and people.
The collection is available on the Lebanto online platform, which connects artisan workshops in Brianza with end customers all over the World, allowing anyone to interact and purchase products in 100% digital mode. The price represents only the quality of the product without the countless surcharges due to the various steps in the supply chain.
All that remains is to advise you, for those who want the pleasure of being able to touch Lebanto’s creations, to visit (until the end of December) the pop-up store in Via Borgo Vico, 82 – 22100 Como. A team of professionals will be happy to welcome you and present the brand’s creations.
Discover even more at lebanto.com
Article by Massimo Basile
Alessandro PozziCollectionEmanuela TerraneoInterior DesignLebantoLifestyleLuxuryMade in ItalyStyle