The new brand brought to us by Raimondo Guzzini and Ernesto Canelli. “Turn off the routine” is the payoff for the six versions that will be presented at Milano Home. Domenico Guzzini, President of Fimag, the family holding company, is opening up to the world of retail: "It will be the privileged partner, the products will not be sold on the open marketplace"
"Blackout is a new way of interpreting and experiencing light, an innovative and exclusive project that takes shape together with form and emotion. At the same time, the new brand will have the retail world as a privileged partner: It will not be offered for sale on the open marketplace or in large chains, but only at Italian and foreign retailers."
After spending more than 35 years of his life in Fratelli Guzzini, Domenico Guzzini has been President of Fimag, the family holding company, since last May. A charismatic and representative figure of one of the brands that is the ambassador of Made in Italy across the world, Guzzini's history has its roots in 1912.
Mr. President, what is the Blackout brand and how did it come about?
"At the heart of the idea are rechargeable cordless lamps that boast the collaboration of renowned designers who have created five models. A new version will be available in February. It is the result of careful research and studies carried out by my son - Raimondo - and Ernesto Canelli, an entrepreneur with in-depth knowledge of the world of new technologies. Together they created Blackout, lamps ideal for use in the home, but also perfect for the world of Ho.Re.Ca.”
“Blackout – Turn off the routine” is the brand's payoff. Turn off the routine and turn on a new concept of light, a message that implies a clear break with the usual and the ordinary. An investment of €200,000 has been earmarked to support online communication, as well as traditional channels and point of sale banners and displays, and the initial response has been encouraging. In addition to the sales force spread throughout Italy, which has already launched and completed major projects, since last August commercial operations have been launched in South Korea, France, Portugal, Japan and Canada, while this year will see the entry into other strategic markets such as the United States, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
Who are the designers who collaborated on the Blackout project?
“Marcantonio, Setsu&Shinobu Ito and Spalvieri & Del Ciotto. The next model to be released on the market has been designed by Ron Arad."
What is the reason behind your decision to break new ground in this segment?
"There’s more than one reason, I’d say, apparently different from each other, but in the end converging towards a single denominator. Let's start with the sector: it’s booming, there’s a lively buzz, but it’s not as dynamic as it might appear from the outside. Innovation is a necessary driver, but it’s not enough on its own to satisfy the needs of all the components that go into a product.
Blackout was born with a very clear formula that embraces a principle of exclusivity: the lamps will not be sold on the websites of any platform but only on our official website. Not only that, but even the large distribution chains will be excluded from the circuit in order to privilege the players in the retail supply chain, i.e. Italian and foreign retailers. It’s a kind of direct dialogue that we want to establish with the points of sale, a direct and constructive approach that we are sure will also be appreciated by consumers. A clear and practical sign of support for a category that has recently suffered, an openness that is not indifferent and that shows how it is possible to propose a new model of relationship between producers and distributors".
If you had to name just one feature of these lamps that defines their distinctive identity, what would it be?
"They are lamps designed for use both outdoors and indoors. Not only because they are cordless and therefore easy to move, but also because of their aesthetic appeal, convenient charging system and easy adjustment of light intensity and volume".
Indeed, the latest addition to the Blackout family is a cordless lamp with a Bluetooth speaker. Designed by Ron Arad, it's called Ambience and will be available in a month.
The five models already on the market bring beauty and conviviality to our favourite living spaces. Starting with Stem and Flaat (design Marcantonio): The first is a lamp that is a recreation of a mushroom, an arboreal body, harmonious and refined; Flaat, on the other hand, has pure lines and a harmonious geometry, characteristics that make it a key piece in living spaces.
Mystery, abstraction and the perfection of the most ancient Japanese tradition are the dominant features of Zeebo (design Setsu&Shinobu Ito), a sculptural creation that fascinates by transporting us to distant lands.
Pin and Pin-Up (design Spalvieri&Del Ciotto) reflect the millennial world, characterised by friendships and shared experiences with the world of fashion and ready-to-wear.
In an increasingly competitive world, what are the requirements that give a product value and strength?
"It has to be really distinctive, authentic, capable of translating thought into emotion. This is a legacy I inherited from the many years I spent at Fratelli Guzzini, in fact all the objects created by the family business have always had this goal".
After all, history tells the tale, as evidenced by the two Compasso d'Oro Adi and numerous other Italian and international awards.
Aesthetics, research and emotion are three values to which you feel particularly attached. Are you thinking about other projects?
"We are sensitive to the stimuli that come from our designers. We are focussing on outdoor living and there is no doubt that Covid has changed our behaviour and many of our habits. It's more than a suggestion, rather it’s something I want to tell you..."
Ask a question, give an answer
"Rather than asking a question, what I intend to do is to extend an invitation to the entrepreneurial class and to leaders in general: let's put our trust in young people. This is an issue that is often at the centre of the debate, with much talk but little action. I am a firm believer in the new generations, and they must feel our trust, a confidence that must be clearly expressed by lending to their entrepreneurial projects. Focusing on them and encouraging their growth is my greatest desire."
To be clear, Domenico Guzzini does not intend to spend his days in the park. His is an idea that should be widely disseminated and supported with vigour and conviction. If Italy wants to continue to play a leading role in the world, there is a real need to trust the new generation and create a synergy with them.
It is more than a symbolic act, it is a practical gesture to put change on the right track.