Andrea Lupi: the art director of Antonio Lupi

 

By Andrea Carloni & Carlotta Ferrati

Giugno 2019

Andrea Lupi, the art director of Antonio Lupi, together with his brothers, transforms the small company founded by his father in the 1950s into one of the most important companies in the world for bathroom furnishings. What is the secret? Innovation and research starting from the patent of new materials and construction techniques.

Andrea Lupi

Antonio Lupi is a 70 year old company and for the last decade it has become a point of reference in the bathroom world. What is your secret?
Antonio Lupi was established by my father in 1950 mainly producing mirrors and accessories made of crystal. Ever since we children stepped in about 30 years ago, the company has evolved from being purely a manufacturer of accessories to a way of rethinking the bathroom.
Another important and distinguishing factor is the constant desire to experiment and try something new.

Antonio Lupi – Salone del mobile Milan 2019

At the end of the 90s you started attracting a lot of attention from the media.

Yes, this was the time when we children started working for the company and the first challenge for us was to utilise solid surface materials like Corian to make our products. Back then, nobody really knew these composite materials: they allowed us to create custom made objects of the highest quality. For the first time it was possible to incorporate made to measure sinks, shower bases or bathtubs.

Antonio Lupi – Baìa by Carlo Colombo

Despite the industrial dimension of Antonio Lupi, are you still able to offer custom made solutions?

Absolutely yes. We do not hold any stock and everything is made to order. We are capable to fulfil an order in 30 days which is definitely one of the secrets of our success.

Antonio Lupi – Processing of Cristalmood

What are the most important attributes for a designer?

To be fully aware of the Antonio Lupi style and elegance. I give a lot of room to our designers and when I review an innovative project, I throw myself into it fully so to make it happen.

Antonio Lupi -Introverso by Paolo Ulian

Whilst developing a product or a collection line, what sort of relationship do you have with the designer? I am referring to the fact that Antonio Lupi manufactures objects signed by you together with Carlo Colombo.

It actually was the first time that I signed one of our products and that was because this year we patented a new material called Cristalmood.

However, even in the past I have always dealt with architects; it is impossible for a designer to be fully aware of the production process.

My job has always been about developing a good idea and improve it where necessary. Many of our designers would like to have a brief of the project but I rather not give any as I want them to be free to express themselves as oppose to follow specific instructions. What is paramount to me is to express the soul of Antonio Lupi.

Antonio Lupi – Sinks Albume by Carlo Colombo and Andrea Lupi

With the advent of the Internet and social media, has the way to promote a company changed?

Very much so. I was pro internet and social media since the beginning.

Our website is a real working tool. It used to be really difficult to send a brochure to the other side of the world. Today, thanks to the Internet, we can expose our DNA in a moment. Our agents and retailers have access to the website and can obtain up to date information very quickly whilst our customers have the opportunity to get to know us by looking at the information sheets and photos of our products.

Do you still use printed brochures?

Yes of course, but they now hold a different role. They are more like edited bibliographies which have become collector’s items. In fact, we pay close attention to every little detail as if it were the production of our products.

The success of a company over time is not left to chance. Luck can help to develop an iconic piece over the years, but otherwise there are plenty of aspects to take care of and among these is the image to convey to others. The obsessive attention we put into making these brochures conveys the seriousness and care with which Antonio Lupi take care of every single project.

Yes of course, but they now hold a different role. They are more like edited bibliographies which have become collector’s items. In fact, we pay close attention to every little detail as if it were the production of our products.

The success of a company over time is not left to chance. Luck can help to develop an iconic piece over the years, but otherwise there are plenty of aspects to take care of and among these is the image to convey to others. The obsessive attention we put into making these brochures conveys the seriousness and care with which Antonio Lupi take care of every single project.

Antonio Lupi – Vases Masa by Calvi Brambilla

Made in Italy: is it still so important?

I would say yes. 70% of our turnover comes from products sold outside Italy.
And I tell what else makes a big difference for us: to be a Tuscan company from the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci which some people find extremely fascinating. We used to utilise distinctive catchphrases about our origins however nowadays we use “Made In Italy” only.
One of the aspects we always like to highlight is the fact that Antonio Lupi is an Italian company that manufactures in Italy.

Is Antonio Lupi’s customer someone that seeks contemporary luxury?

In recent years, the company has grown thanks to some projects that I like to call “democratic” because they have enabled the more cost conscious people to buy some of our products. I would like to point out the fact that the price of these products does not mean they are of lower quality, it is purely due to research and the implementation of new technologies and materials.

What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur who wants to start a design company in Italy?

The most important elements to start any kind of activity, are passion and desire to make a difference.
It is not about being good at something, it is more about being the best. One must firmly believe in one’s ideas and must excel at communicating them onto others. One of the most common mistakes in our industry is to guess what the market requires. We in contrast have always done what we like and believe in which has allowed us to be different and to create iconic products.

Sink in Corian Slot by Nevio Tellatin – Antonio Lupi
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