Luca Nichetto is a busy man, with studios in two European cities and a host of projects underway. During Milan Design Week last month he was hard to miss, working with as many as ten different manufacturers. Two weeks later, he was back in his native Venice for his first collaboration with Hermès before flying to the US for New York Design Week.
When was the company founded? I started as a 23 year-old freelancer and went on to open my first studio in Italy in 2006, in my hometown of Venice. I then opened my second studio in Stockholm in 2011, having moved there with my wife who is Swedish.
How many staff? I have a staff of eight – four in each location. I’m very happy with my team – they are one of the main things that help us to achieve so much. This is what I want and like: I don’t want to become a manager running a big studio.
Where is it based? We are based in both Venice and Stockholm. It has been amazing being able to mix the two countries and cultures but it’s also not easy having two offices and the challenges this represents in terms of supporting two different bureaucracies, systems, mentalities…
What is your latest significant achievement? Working on ten new launches for Milan. I’ve been designing new products for manufacturers including MDF Italia, Kristalia, Arflex, Ethimo, MatterMade, A Lot of Brazil and Co-Edition, including lighting, an app-controlled heater, sofas, storage system and a lounge chair.
What is your best-selling product (and how much of it do you sell)? There’s no one bestseller, but rather a group of 10 products that do equally well in terms of royalties – including a tray table for Cassina and my products for de La Espada.
I’ve just discovered… What it’s like to work for one of the world’s leading luxury brands, Hermès. It’s a very interesting project in Venice, for the reopening of the Hermès store. It’s such an amazing brand and working with them is completely on another scale. They have such respect for your ideas and your creativity, and give you all the support you need. It’s very interesting to experience what that kind of world can offer.
What inspires me… So many things – it might be a movie or a book, or just walking around a city observing peoples’ behaviour, how they interact with objects and their environment. Living in a different country means I now look at Venice, my own city, with different eyes. And Venice has in many ways inspired me – the palazzi, the streets, the bridges – how they were created…
I’ve always been a fan of… Basketball. I was a player to quite a high level when I was younger. I’m a big fan of team sport: every single player is important. You can learn a lot from sport when it comes to launching your own profession.
My highlight of the last 12 months… I really enjoyed the installation I did for [Italian glass maker] Salviati at the Salone del Mobile in 2017. It was a welcome chance to work with them again. I also visited New York and really enjoyed the Rei Kawakubo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum – how the products were displayed was amazing.
My next design trip is to… Venice for the Hermès installation, and then New York Design Week in May.