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From the local markets of small and large Italian cities to New York’s MoMa: this is the story of Seletti in short. A story that juxtaposes made in China and made in Italy, an international brand with solid roots in Italy, an owner, Stefano Seletti, with the histrionic and visionary personality of an innovator.
It was in 1987, when he was 17, that Stefano started working in the family business. His father, Romano, founded the company in 1964 to import tin cups, plastic tablecloths, straw mats from the East and sell them in local Italian markets.
Objects that everyone remembers, because they are accessible to everyone.
Stefano studied as an accountant in Cicognara, a village in Northern Italy, where he still lives. Discovering life beyond the Po Valley at such a young age left a mark on the young Stefano. He started a new course in Seletti, applying a designer aesthetic to those everyday products and founding an internal creative laboratory, Selab.
Democratic design: Seletti products are exclusive but affordable.
On the Seletti website we read a description of the brand that goes A charming place that links design to pop art. But what does pop mean today?
The term pop has had different meanings in recent years. For Seletti today it means being affordable and pleasant to a wide number of people.
What is the role of design today?
I have always thought that design means to think well before doing something, which inevitably leads to a well-thought, beautiful and contemporary production.
How do the Seletti projects reflect our time?
In a contemporary, ironic, fun - and affordable - way.
Stefano Seletti is an innovator. An entrepreneur who, with a good dose of courage, has overturned the market with new, different ideas.
You said that you are often inspired by your daughters and nephews. What else makes you think?
I am inspired by the unknown, the challenges of the future, beauty, sustainability, breaking the rules (obviously if I do not believe in them).
What mistake would you not do if you could go back?
There would be too much to tell and I don’t want bore anyone.
How's your studio?
Colorful and welcoming. Messy in a tidy way.
An object or that you would need but has not yet been produced?
It's a secret :-)))
The secret of success? Always looking forward. But how, may you ask. Stefano Seletti has no doubts: observing the children of today and imagining how they will live tomorrow.
You said that we must always look to the future. How do you think we will live in the future and how will Seletti production be influenced?
We will focus on the so-called mysphere. No more pre-packaged items but objects related to experiences and emotions.
After Maurizio Cattelan and the successful Seletti Wears Toiletpaper collection, with which other contemporary artist would you like to collaborate?
With anyone as long as they give me the same inspiration that Maurizio has given me in these years.
Can you give us a preview on the Seletti project for the 2018 MDW?
There will be a colourful and exciting Design Pride on Wednesday, April 18th, with the participation of a variety of Design students. You're all invited!
Maurizio Cattelan e Pierpaolo Ferrari
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