The inside story at Molteni&C

Vincent Van Duysen, the brand's recently appointed creative director, on his new role and thinking outside – or rather, within – the box


As a non-Italian, being chosen to be creative director of such an iconic brand as Molteni&C was a big compliment and so far it's been both a fascinating and challenging experience.

I oversee the whole collection and whether we're working on new items or revamping vintage pieces, I put a part of myself into the designs. There's so much for me to work on and it's a brand with a lot of history; it still denotes understated, rigorous and elegant furniture that is not dictated by trends, but is about quality of living.

Our Paul collection is about creating a new kind of sofa, looking at the proportions and layers to give a freshness and sophistication. The people who are contributing are mainly architects and that's what Carlo Molteni, the brand's president, really likes about it because the furniture pieces become part of a spatial language. This is why, when we're working on the catalogues and campaigns, it's not about presenting the furniture in a soulless or abstract way, but about considering people's living rooms and homes from an architectural standpoint.

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I think my strength is that I'm an atypical architect. I'm originally from Belgium, but feel very connected to Italian culture. Take, for example, the design of a glass – Italians not only understand the beauty of the object, but how to hold it.

Since the beginning of my career, I've wanted to truly understand what an interior was and how people were living in their houses. Architects in general are not really interested in what's going on in the inside – they're more concerned with the outside, the space and the building itself, whereas I always see it from a much broader perspective. For me, function is the most important element.

VINCENT VAN DUYSEN is the creative director of Molteni&C and brings his background in architecture to the furniture brand's designs;

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