Visionnaire is a brand of the Bologna-based company IPE srl, founded by the Cavalli family in 1959. From April 2014, Visionnaire entered in the porftolio of Ergon Capital Partners III, the investment fund of the Belgian baron Albert Frère.
IPE (Imbottiture Prodoti Espansi – expanded padded products) was founded by brothers, Pompeo and Vittorio Cavalli in 1959 in Zola Predosa, a few miles from Bologna, Italy. The Cavalli brothers broke ground with their unprecedented use of the soft yet extremely durable chemical, polyurethane, which at the time, was used solely by automotive company, Lancia, for vehicle seat padding. IPE was the first design company to adopt this method that revolutionized the construction system of their furniture creations. Traditional methods included springs, horsehair, and feathers among other materials. In 1959 the holding company launched their first sofas: Kosmo and Mercury. It is since its first edition in 1961 that the company participates at the Fiera Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. In the ‘70s, Vittorio Cavalli’s son, Luigi, joined the company who set his sights on developing new collections and international expansion. In the mid 90s, Luigi’s children Leopold and Eleonore joined the company that along their father, launched Visionnaire in 2005 with the aim of offering their customers a new luxury interior decor concept that emphasizes an idea closer to fashion and Lifestyle.
MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY
Throughout the last decade, this illustrious, world-class luxury Italian furniture monobrand has become known for its unique designs and aristocratic flair. Visionnaire takes an alternative approach to the idea of interior design, offering a “total concept” solution - residential, business, contract and yachts alike – creating customized interior atmospheres to fit a customer’s personal needs, style and taste. “Luxury, style and quality are core values within the Visionnaire brand philosophy,” says Eleonore Cavalli, Visionnaire’s Creative Director and Communications. “Our made-in-Italy brand has grown beyond simple furnishings providing bespoke furnishing solutions for consumer projects.” In addition to its indoor and outdoor furniture and lifestyle offerings, Visionnaire offers tailor-made projects, crafted according to consumers specific needs, making it the ideal partner in projects for private dwellings as well as luxury contract proposals. Visionnaire’s home philosophy speaks to a new way to regard furnishing- not strictly linked to the product, but linked to a way of living and linked to how the furniture will be used within its owner’s lifestyle. This vision has been the driving force in increased global demand for Visionnaire and the company’s worldwide expansion. Un iqueness, modern style and a vocation for Made in Italy are the founding values of the Visionnaire brand.
Visionnaire currently produces more than 2000 articles, thanks to the collaboration of a team of Italian and worldrenowned visionary designers. The brand offers total looks for important interior design projects, from private dream homes to public spaces such as hotels, restaurants and luxurious clubs, covering all living areas from living rooms to bedrooms, bathrooms (wellness rooms), kitchens (food rooms) and outdoor areas. Its predisposition for tailor-made design and ability to offer exceptional solutions with authentic personality makes Visionnaire the ideal partner for “Contract Design” projects.
For some years now, Visionnaire has been able to vaunt prestigious partnerships in the luxury hospitality industry, covering not only the vast hotel sector, but also meeting the needs of particular and important private buildings as a partner of exceptional sensitivity. It offers flexibility, expert Italian craftsmanship, the design and creation of ”bespoke luxury” to satisfy the requirements of the most exacting customers. Furthermore, it has experience in great-bespoke projects in the private yacht industry with the major Italian shipyards and in the short and medium haul private jet industry.
DISTRIBUTION AND NEW OPENINGS
Visionnaire, leading brand in high-end made Italian interior design, is present in more than 55 countries with 24 monobrand stores (Baku, Shunde, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wenzhou, Nanjing, Cairo, Dubai, Kiev, Bari, Milan (2), Bologna, Moscow, Singapore, Miami, Istanbul, Ho Chi Minh, Riyadh Teheran and London). It also operates through an extensive network of selected high-end multi-brand stores and luxury department stores, as well as working with some of the world’s best interior architects. In the first quarter of 2017 VISIONNAIRE will develop an important plan for opening stores in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), in Delhi (India), Xiamen and X’ian (Cina).
ERGON CAPITAL PARTNERS
Since April 16th, 2014, Ergon Capital Partners III is an investor in the company. Together, with Ergon Capital, the brand shares an ambitious growth strategy through the opening directly owned and licensed monobrand stores within the world’s most luxurious cities. Andrea Gentilini leads the company as Managing Director while Emanuele Lembo is the President. Ergon Capital Partners III is a pan-european mid-market private equity investment company backed by Belgian Baron Albert Frère’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL”). One of the largest holding companies in Europe with market capitalization of over 11 billion euros, GBL has been listed on the Brussels stock exchange since the ‘Fifties and it has significant shareholdings in the energy, raw materials, spirits, sportswear and certification industries.
VISIONNAIRE AND ART
Art, in all its form and expression, has always been a source of inspiration for Visionnaire. The dialogue between art and design has always been part of Visionnaire’s DNA. Six years ago, Visionnaire opened Wunderkammer, a space devoted to Contemporary Arts projects situated in their Flagship store at Piazza Cavour 3 in Milan.