Seletti has written and continues to outline the Italian history of design and furnishings. Born in 1964 in Cicognara, near Mantua, by Romano Seletti, the group was immediately characterized by its 360-degree look. In other words, the desire to network before the Internet arrived. This is witnessed, for example, by commercial trips to the Far East, from China to Thailand, undertaken by the founder a few years after his birth in 1972. An opening towards that part of the world that would have become central to production dynamics and also, later, to consumption balances. A pioneer hit. Seletti has gone from local markets of small and large Italian cities to New York’s MoMA.
When importing the typical Chinese products of the time, from bamboo objects to table enamels, Seletti has gradually been able to renew itself, even accompanying its own path by facing new challenges with the challenges that the various moments posed to a company engaged in the articles for the House. Objects that populate our lives and must, therefore, at the same time, intercept and guide taste. This especially since the 1980s, which, with their commercial changes – and the entry of their sons Stefano and Miria into the company’s button room – mark a gentle turnaround. First, for example, with optimized packaging, then with the push on the packaging, marketing, communication, and strategies to become an important player in the supply of large-scale organized distribution. Finally with attention to Italian lines.
Now it’s Stefano, 45, and his sister Miria, who today boldly pilot the destiny of this Italian family business. Stefano started in 1987 at the age of 17 to accompany his father in the warehouses but doesn’t consider himself a designer. Heir of pop art and Italian movements of radical design of the 70s, Seletti happily cultivates irreverence.
Ten years ago Stefano began to get tired of always having to fight on prices with retail customers such as Carrefour, Auchan or Hyper Coop. They were starting to source their products directly in China. So he had to invent something to survive. It’s in this context that was born the first collection of products, always “made in China”, but also, this time, “designed by Seletti” named “Estetico Quotidiano”. He didn’t draw anything, he simply sent a plastic cup, a cardboard tray and a bottle of mineral water that was hanging in his office to factories in China and asked them to copy in porcelain or borosilicate. This success was pursued with the plates, of the collection “Hybrid” signed CTRLZAK. Last year was launched the hyperkitsch series « Industry Garden » in an aluminum font at Salone, imagined by Studio Job. In 2013 Seletti and his 10 year friends, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari decided to collaborate and simply printed a selection of photos, prints of black humor, of ToiletPaper (a cult magazine), on enamelled dishes, plastic trays and tablecloths, exactly the same popular and cheap products that Seletti’s father Romano imported in the 1970s. They’ve also created together wildly patterned carpets, armchairs, mirrors and bars of soap.
Seletti broke a record by being the first non-fashion brand in 45 years to be invited to the Pitti Uomo Fair (collection of fashion industry events in Italy). And this coincides with the distribution strategy of “Seletti Wears Toiletpaper” which has already attracted the best concept stores, Colette, Paris, 10 Corso Como, Milan, through the store MoMA, At New York. And, pretty loop, the Chinese market is racing. Lane Crawford ordered 200 gold copies of the Monkey lamp for the new year of the monkey in 2016. Together Seletti, Ferrari and Cattelan decided to use extremely contemporary Toiletpaper images with objects from the past, rich in memory. When Seletti completely decorated the lounge of the untitled contemporary art fair at Art Basel Miami Beach in early December 2015, twelve unpublished carpet models (3 x 2 meters), featuring oversized images of Toiletpaper, printed with inkjet technology , were, from March 5 2016, the guest-stars of Emmanuel Perrotin’s Parisian gallery (10, impasse Saint-Claude).
Seletti has said that the secret to his success is to always look forward and never give up, he has been inspired by the children of today and imagining how they will live tomorrow. He would like to collaborate with anyone as long as they give him the same inspiration as his dear friend Maurizio Cattelan. In 2018 Stefano did a colorful and exciting Design Pride on April 18th, with the participation of a variety of Design students. This designer has been nothing short of “out of the box”.