A passion for design, a love of creativity and a driving urge to serve a refined audience are the fundamental elements that induced the designers Franco Bettonica and Mario Melocchi to found Cini&Nils in 1969: the same values that can still be found in today’s new company structure.
In 2012, Mario Melocchi took an extremely unusual step in the annals of Italian entrepreneurialism when he entrusted the company’s leadership to six managers who had already been working with Cini&Nils for years, because in them he saw the future and the possibility to continue the brand’s activities, respecting their traditional values, while at the same time adding technological and stylistic innovation with the potential to face the future.
The new company structure at Cini&Nils
Luta Bettonica, as President, joint Managing Director and art director, represents both continuity and innovation in the brand’s design, as she had always worked side by side with the two founders, contributing new ideas and new forms; Stefano Poli, joint Managing Director and production manager, has been in the firm for many years, guaranteeing its products’ quality standard and subjecting them to strict tests; Roberto Rossi, joint Managing Director and design manager, guarantees that all Cini&Nils products are truly Made in Italy, by always choosing top-ranking Italian suppliers; Francesca Purchiaroni, joint Managing Director and marketing&communications manager, has set about updating the company’s corporate image, adding a touch of emotion to its previous purely technical approach and introducing 2.0 communication tools and channels; Mauro De Vanna, joint Managing Director and commercial manager, and Alberto Vergani, joint Managing Director and foreign sales manager, are applying a programme to overhaul the company’s commercial policies that aims to take in new international markets and bring the company closer to the needs of its partners in the distribution chain, without compromising on its strict criteria.
In addition, the company is moving its offices this year from its original premises in Milan’s Viale Certosa to join its production unit, sending a strong message of cohesion that further strengthens the company’s already united image.
Everything that Cini&Nils represents today is certainly due to the dedication and passion that its founders were capable of conveying, to the company’s constant work and to the research and innovation that have always been such an important characteristic of its history. Such clear design statements as the Scissors and letter Opener dated 1968, the Bar Collection dated 1969, the swivel Magazine Stand dated 1970 and the Cubobar dated 1973 are milestones that have written pages of design history, some of them have been acquired by the MoMA in New York.
Cini&Nils production in lighting design
An important change came about in 1972, when Bettonica and Melocchi first ventured into the field that was to mark the company’s production definitively: illumination. Fascinated by light, its effects and its potential, which awoke his creative curiosity, Franco Bettonica created the Cuboluce
, a product that became the progenitor of the company’s new production range in the area of lighting, an iconic piece in the collection and the link in the chain between objects and light fittings. What made it so innovative was the complete absence of any switch and the new approach to switching it on and off by simply lifting or lowering the lid, properties that combined with its attractive, simple and well-balanced design to enable the Cuboluce to become part of the Design Collection at the MoMA in New York. Cini&Nils’ objectives today are related to producing lighting design
, using nothing but the innovative, sustainable LED technology and expanding to work in new international and contract markets. The company’s artistic production has prepared a programme that focuses on the need for energy saving and for respecting man and the environment, while targeting the involvement of new designers for future production. Precision, care for detail, elegance and perfection are the constants that have always been passed on from one design to the next, contributing to the creation of collections with innovative styling and technology.