Carlo Colombo´s name is associated with a range of luxury brands, such as Bentley Home, Fendi Casa, Arflex, Poltrona Frau or Trussardi Casa. We met him at an exhibition of the Poliform brand during the Milan Design Week, under whose aegis he presented his new bed Park One, in order to have a chat not only about his work.
Carlo Colombo set off on his path to ´designer heaven´ in the 90´s when he made his first iconic design: the luxury bed Kyoto, which was presented the same year at the Salone de Mobile in Milan. Gradually his focus on interior design extended to the construction sector and in 2009 he won a tender for the design of two multifunctional towers in Abu Dhabi.
In addition to design Colombo also focuses on business and marketing support of his clients. He offers consultation services to companies; in two of them he even fulfils the function of an art director. On top of all that he manages to switch between his offices in Europe and the ones in the United States and to chair conferences in many parts of the world. He has held lectures in Brazil, Israel or China and that is not the end of the list.
Does Carlo Colombo have any free time at all? We have interviewed the world-renowned designer not only in respect of the topic of design. We have also found out what his handicap in golf is or what he likes the most about women.
Welcome to Milan. This is Salone del Mobile Milano. Let’s see what it offers to us.
The special bed, the name is Park One and the idea is to work with the frame structure for the legs of the bed and to cover the structure in aluminium with leather or, if you want, with fabric and the same thing is in the front of the bed, I cut in the middle, you have two different sides and you have the corner and you have the ring in leather with all the beautiful detail and in the front you can put also the leather or if you want the fabric like this bed. The colour also is very nice because you can see a lot of things in the factory, in the fair with this colour, because it is a fashion colour I like so much and also it’s very nice because the first idea for the marketed of Poliform is the price. Nice bed for the young people for the contract world or for the retail. But in the same time is very important to control the price, because…
The price would be more or less three thousand five hundred euro and it’s very perfect price because it is a Poliform brand and Poliform is the best brand in the world for the furniture, but in the same time, the design is amazing because Poliform invests a lot of money to make the frame in aluminium but now the cost for the public price is very low because if you was before, after you have a low price and in the same time if you buy this bed, not in leather but in fabric, the price I think will be little bit less. And I think this is a good combination with the design, with marketing, with respect for DNA of the brand. I think it is a good idea for this, for the bed.
Hmm, I don’t like the black colour because little bit dark. I prefer to work with a colour like white, like brown. I don’t like also the green colour because in the house the green colour is very difficult. But this is a fashion colour and I think in the Poliform this year, it is a good combination with the piece of art and design and the idea about, I don’t know, the culture in general, because I am also the, I like also the piece of art because I have in my house a lot of painted, a lot of sculpture and inspiration for my design come before for the culture or the piece of art and also for my trip in the world.
My favourite artist is Andy Warhol. I have a lot of paintings in my house of Andy Warhol and also Mimmo Rotella. Mimmo Rotella is a very famous artist in Italy, like he’s the Andy Warhol in Italia.
I think this is a good idea because normally when, I don’t know, when a man, the wife and the husband want to select a new bed in the house, normally the woman or the girl is the decision about the selection of the bed come from her. OK. And for these things is very important to think about the philosophy. Also the shape and the colour and the detail is very important to select about this things about her, about the woman, about this, these are good marketing things.
I never been in Prague. But if you want to invite me, I will be very quickly, because I think, I see the picture and also is a lot of very old buildings, is very romantic place. I think if there will be the possibly to go in Prague, I don’t know, for the interview or for the conference about the design, to the university or for the store about Poliform, I would be very happy, it will be my honour to come, yes of course.
My office now is in New York and Miami, but I prefer Miami because I like hot weather and I’ve been many, I think in one month, I am one week in Miami and two days in New York every month, yes because I have a lot of business in USA and, but the next trip I want to come in Prague.
My office is not in South Beach of course, but South Beach is the best place because you are in front of the sea, you have a beach and also a lot of place to go to walk, running, the amazing people, the amazing restaurants, but for the business I am in downtown of course, I am in Brickell.
Yeah. I play golf, but for my golf, for my travel, I don’t have a lot of time. But is a good sport, I like a golf, yes. To stay the green with a friend, it’s nice, yeah.
My handicap before was ten, but now I work a lot, I think will be more. Fifteen, yeah.
I like the elegant, I like the eyes, I like a beautiful body, but the first thing is the head. Because if you have the amazing girl, beautiful body but without the head, you will be disaster, no for you. I prefer, the first thing of course is OK the fashion, the body, yeah and the eyes and the many things, but the head and the heart is the first thing for me.
It changed my life, yes, Poliform. I start to work with Poliform twenty-five years ago. I was very young, but the relationship with the owner is perfect. We are a good friend and also I make not only the furniture collection, but also the factory, the Poliform lab is my project and also I make the private dealer for them. I have a very good relation with Alberto with Nino Anzani, with also Roberto and blah, blah, blah.
Yeah, it’s good because I designed twenty-five years, I think I designed a cabinet, wall system, the wardrobe, working clothes, sofa, bed, coffee table, many things. Now this year, I work for the bed. For the next year I have a good idea and we met also before the fair to work again for the new cabinet, the new area like a new Sintesi. You know the Sintesi? Sintesi is the name of my cabinet system, probably for the next year will be the new one, I have a good idea.
Right now I think, for the Salone del Mobile is very important to finish this week, because we worked one year only for five days. And now I need to concentrate about this day with the press, with interview, with a lot of client come from the world and after the Salone, I have a trip immediately to Miami, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and I come back in Switzerland because my main office is in Lugano in Zurich and this is a crazy life. But is very important for me the trip in the aircraft because I have more or less ten hours and the mobile is switch off and I can work because I have my schedule and I have the books and I sketch a lot of things about the project. Is a good time for me to make a sketch.
Yeah, I hope to see you soon and I hope to come in your country. Thank you.