Brands Acerbis Design
One of the most enduring furniture companies in Italy, Acerbis stands as a connoisseur’s benchmark of Italian design — a pioneer with 150 years of expertise, whose continual search for modernity has produced creations of stunning innovation. Today that mission continues with fresh vigor. With industry leader MDF Italia acquiring Acerbis to elevate its presence in the international market, and newly appointed creative directors Francesco Meda and David Lopez Quincoces helming a dynamic path forward, Acerbis affirms its family-led lineage of cutting-edge vision, and its universe of designs that unite function and the avant-garde.
A Century and a Half of History
Originally located in Bergamo’s Valle Seriana, part of the northern furniture- making hub of Lombardy that transformed Milan into the world’s design capital, Acerbis has passed from fathers to sons through the decades and is now in its fourth generation with Enrico Acerbis as the brand’s ambassador. Founded in 1870 by Benvenuto Acerbis, a skilled woodworker who built up a loyal clientele for his artisanal custom designs, Acerbis has seen its family leadership guide the company from early craft fabrication to Lodovico Acerbis’ 1960s-era leap to serial production and collaborations with some of Italy’s most trailblazing designers — among them, Massimo and Lella Vignelli, Vico Magistretti, Nanda Vigo, Gianfranco Frattini, Giotto Stoppino, Mario Bellini, and Andrea Branzi. The brand is one of just a handful of Italian companies to have exhibited at Milan’s Salone del Mobile from the very beginning, in 1965, and to present new designs at each edition ever since.
Imbued with precision production and a finely-honed heritage in high craftsmanship, Acerbis innovated creative solutions for contemporary living spaces — creating the vanguard in modern modular furnishings, with designers’ reimaginings of credenzas, cabinets, and storage pieces, many of which have been exhibited at the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum of London.
Continually exploring novel material uses, Acerbis established a new touchstone in high-quality lacquers, imbuing them with previously unseen levels of gloss and durability, and inventing its own patented Caoxol lacquer finish. A unique talent for specialized closing mechanisms, hinges, and other custom hardware, descended from the furniture maker’s artisan tradition, imparted a fundamental luxury experience of design for users to match the conceptual aesthetic solutions of the furnishings. Over these years of experimentation and industrialization, Acerbis forged its DNA of Italian ingenuity for a future-gazing clientele.
A New Alliance
In the globalized design landscape, today’s companies succeed best in strategic partnerships: as of 2019, MDF Italia acquired Acerbis in order to join the forces of these two powerful brands of bold Italian furnishings. Interconnected in their offerings, together the brands are able to explore new markets, reinforcing their sales vitality to stay robust amid the changing tides of the global market. “The alliance secures the strength and continuity of a brand that has always been a standard-bearer in the world of design,” says Enrico Acerbis.
With the consolidation of the companies’ commercial, marketing, and production organization, and a joint headquarters in Mariano Comense, MDF Italia offers the strength of its sales network in Italy, and its extensive manufacturing power in the country, while Acerbis contributes a mighty international sales network and its niche manufacturing in Lombardy. The two brands stand to reinforce each other as complementary pillars of Italian design in the world, growing together while maintaining their diverse positioning, target audience, and distinctive design identity.
An Invigorated Creative Course
As the new creative directors of Acerbis, Francesco Meda and David Lopez Quincoces combine their well-proven strengths in industrial design and architecture. “Francesco and David each bring different specialties to the table, creating a more comprehensive perspective for Acerbis,” says Marco Cassina, marketing manager of MDF Italia. “They’re designers of the new generation, but with considerable experiences that have already affirmed their talent, and with a remarkably clear vision for the brand that embraces its exceptional story and icons, freshly evolving the International Style and architectural design that has always distinguished Acerbis.”
With a passion for the history of design and a visionary sense of the contemporary, the pair have commenced a reawakening of Acerbis’ archives, relaunching creations whose modernity remains progressive even today. “These pieces recount an important history with an intrinsically precious value for those who understand the narrative of design,” say the designers. “We’re updating them for how we live in our homes today, with new proportions, new materials, and new colors.” Future collections will draw on the most exciting designers of the new era, but first, the launch of their tenure sees Meda and Lopez Quincoces looking back to the most daring and original versions of archive designs and reinterpreting them for today.
Each archive design was carefully chosen by Meda and Lopez Quincoces to highlight an era of iconic experimentation and to create a forward-looking survey of Acerbis’ beautifully useful icons: a foundation grounded in the potent heritage of this pace-setting brand to commence a new chapter of Acerbis.
Text by Laura Rysman
Acerbis International Design
MDF ITALIA SRL SOCIETÀ UNIPERSONALE
via Fratelli Cervi 4/A,
22066 Mariano Comense (CO)