While in Milan, Italy last month with Modenus Blog Tour, we were invited to visit Gessi Milan. Gessi Company has been designing and manufacturing exclusive bathroom and kitchen fittings in the furnishings industry for 20 years. They opened their doors last year in the heart of the fashion district. Gessi Milano is the result of a 2 year transformation of an old cinema into a show stopping “underground” concept store.
The 1,500 square foot luxury space features double height waterfalls and pools, along with vertical gardens and high tech video walls. Gessi Milano is a multifunctional space open to the public that displays an upscale selection of bathroom and kitchen collections.
Photo courtesy: Gessi Company
I had the opportunity to interview Larry Allen of The Gessi Company:
Kandrac & Kole: What is your position at Gessi and how long have you worked for the company?
Larry: I was introduced by a colleague to GESSI in 2004 and made it my mission to bring GESSI to North America. GESSI USA was formed in 2007.
Kandrac & Kole: I love Gessi’s mission statement: People, Planet and Profit as well as their motto, “made with love”. In your view, how is this mission statement achieved?
Larry: Through a mutual respect for all. GESSI strongly believes in maintaining a compassionate responsibility to the environment and the treatment of their employees. This vision has helped establish GESSI as a world leader in developing and encouraging new forms of humane capitalism. PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT-
photo credit: Chasen West for Modenus
Kandrac & Kole: In Milan we were introduced to the Eleganza collection. How many years go into Research and Development before products are introduced into the marketplace?
Larry: This process can last up to 2 years.
Kandrac & Kole: Where do the inspirations for the designs come from?
Larry: From a multitude of different sources. Generally speaking, from the movement and interpretation of lifestyle. GESSI is fashion and style driven in their approach to NEW PRODUCT DEVLEOPMENT.
Eleganza in Brushed Nickel and Copper Finishes – photos courtesy of Gessi Company
Kandrac & Kole: We were enchanted by the fountains and Private Wellness Shower System. Can you explain this concept?
Larry: The sights and sounds of water have always created relaxation and tranquility. GESSI MILANO was created to provide visitors with a private sanctuary of waterscapes all tied together in a unique expression of living environments that soothe the soul.
Photo courtesy Chasen West Photography for Modenus
Kandrac & Kole: What do you find the biggest differences in European design versus the United States?
Larry: I think that European design reflects a culture with an expectation and uniqueness of expression tempered by many hundreds of years as opposed to the US which is much younger, historically. European design always seems to be very visually stimulated with a rhythm that is experimental and edgy but not forced.
Kandrac & Kole: On a more serious note, which is your favorite Italian dish – lasagna, cannelloni or risotto?
Larry: I have several favorite dishes while I am in Italy. Fresh mozzarella caprese salad, gattinara wine infused risotto, pizza, pasta Bolognese and of course, homemade tiramisu!
Even though Larry is American, I think his many trips to Milan have turned him into one of the stylish “Men of Italy”. Here is a picture of Larry’s shoes I took when we visited the Gessi showroom.
Thank you Larry for your perspective on Gessi Company!!
If you haven’t had a chance, check out my “Men of Italy” blog HERE where I feature several handsome, stylish men including Gianluca Gessi, President, Luca Poletto, Managing Director, and Francesco Nappo, Export Area Manager of Gessi Company!
Many thanks to our wonderful Modenus Blog Tour Milan Sponsors: