A family business
It was 1935 when Enrico Bellotti started his business in Cabiate. His enterprise was perfectly suited to its Brianza setting, an area that would become known throughout the world for cabinet-making, craftsmanship and a workforce whose hands could bring quality furniture to life.
In the same workshop, his son Ezio Bellotti not only learned the craft but also immediately showed signs of a bold entrepreneurial spirit. As the production and sale of chairs grew, the company expanded, all the while retaining the family trait of far-sightedness, for which it would become known in later years.
The Second Generation
The transition from the first generation to the second was smooth and natural. In 1963, Ezio Bellotti took over the reins of the company and carried on the family name. His leadership was marked by a solid approach and a renewed entrepreneurial vision, but he remained true to the past and tradition and the craftsmanship that are synonymous with quality and aesthetical appeal.
With Aldo Moro at Fiera del Levante
As he looked for new business opportunities, Ezio Bellotti made the first forays into the world of trade fairs, beginning with the Fiera del Levante in Bari, which at the time was the key economic and commercial event. Then Prime Minister Aldo Moro opened it five times, during which he spoke to Italy and the World about Europe and the Mediterranean, addressing entrepreneurs with optimism and identifying technology as a key to success. The Prime Minister is pictured here with Ezio Bellotti at the 1964 edition of the fair.
Debut at the Salone del Mobile in Milan
At the height of the economic boom, 1967 was a turning point for the Salone del Mobile in Milan, which officially turned "international", having opened its doors for the first time only six years earlier. It was an equally important year for Ezio Bellotti's company, which made its first appearance at the Milan show. It was the start of a close collaboration with the fair, which continues to this day.
As production and the company name went from strength to strength, bigger premises were needed for production and to accommodate more staff. At home, sales were growing considerably and Ezio Bellotti had become an established name representing Italian excellence. The first site of the new headquarters was in Via Buozzi, Cabiate.
Not Only Furniture
Along with his dedication to his company and his work, Ezio Bellotti cultivated a deep passion for cycling. In 1974, he became chairman of the Cabiate Cycling Union and established the amateur team. This brought new life to the surrounding area, only this time in the form of sport. Numerous sponsorships of top cycling events followed, culminating in Ezio Bellotti's induction into the organising committees of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.
Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
The highest order in the Italian Republic. The Order of Merit "recognises merit shown towards the Nation in the fields of literature, the arts, economics, in the duties of public office, and in social, philanthropic and humanitarian service, as well as for long and distinguished civil and military careers". On the strength of these virtues, Ezio Bellotti was inducted as a Knight to the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Giovanni Leone.
After the company's rapid expansion in Italy, it was time to look to foreign markets. The first was the Middle East. Armed with insight and a forward-looking strategy, Ezio Bellotti was one of the first to bring classic Italian design to the Emirates, with high-end residential furnishing solutions.
Part of this outward-looking approach was the newly founded Marka Italia consortium, which brought together entrepreneurs from the Brianza area, with the aim of exploring new markets and spreading the word about Italian furniture to the world. Ezio Bellotti headed the consortium, which first gained visibility at the Cologne and Paris trade fairs.
Grande libro dell’Arredamento
It was not Bellotti Ezio's first catalogue, but it was the first volume to be issued for sales purposes that also made an important cultural impact. The Grande Libro dell'Arredamento showed the company was ahead of its time with a strategy that is now widely practised today: creating books about new collections, with evocative and aesthetically appealing images, and telling the reader the story of the company and its philosophy, as well as providing more detailed information about its products. For this volume Ezio Bellotti chose the elegant ambience of Villa Passalacqua – an 18th century residence overlooking Lake Como – to recreate the ideal setting for his furniture choreographies.
From Knight to Officer
After receiving a knighthood in 1977, as a Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, in 1981, Ezio Bellotti was honoured with the next highest decoration by President Sandro Pertini, namely as "Ufficiale" or Officer. This was further recognition of the values he brought to his entrepreneurial interactions and of his status as a witness and creator of Italian manufacturing excellence.
Foreign Trade Award
The important offices Ezio Bellotti held were accompanied by a series of awards from local authorities, underlining the decisive role of the company in injecting vigour into the local economy. These include the Foreign Trade Award of the Chamber of Commerce of Como, which recognised the company's contribution to exports. The award was given again in 1987 for the 1983–1985 period.
Palladio Collection: an icon
Clean lines, delicate engravings, refined fabrics and a modernist appeal. These are the distinguishing features of the Palladio collection, presented in 1983 and soon one of the company's best sellers in Europe, where it was adored for its perfect balance of formal rigour and the craftsman's touch.
It was designed by architect Enzo Gualazzi in the company's first real creative collaboration, the forerunner of future partnerships with Italian and international designers.
HQ – The Complete Edition
The ground had been laid, the conditions for further expansion soon arrived. The headquarters built in 1971 were no longer large enough to accommodate all the people, projects, products, ideas and ambitions of a company that was conquering the world. The building was extended to 8000 sqm to make room for new offices and a new showroom. More space was also available for polishing and upholstery.
20 years at the Salone del Mobile
On 17 September 1986, Antonio Castelli, chairman of Cosmit, the organising committee of Salone del Mobile, presented Bellotti Ezio with an award to celebrate 20 years of uninterrupted participation at the Milan furniture show. It was the first in a long series of awards, which would be repeated at the 30th, 40th and the golden anniversary of the company's participation.
The Friend: Gino Bartali
"To my friend, Ezio Bellotti. Bartali”. This was cycling champion, three-time winner of the Giro d'Italia and two-time winner of the Tour de France, Gino Bartali. In 1987, during the 70th edition of the Giro d'Italia, he met his friend Ezio and signed a photo that has gone down in the annals of cycling and sports history. In it, he is immortalised as he and historic rival Fausto Coppi pass each other a water bottle during the ascent to the
Col du Télégraphe, in the 1952 Tour de France, a gesture of solidarity that has now become legend.
Hospitality & more
Ezio Bellotti's race towards new, unexplored geographical and design frontiers was unstoppable. In the early 1990s, Africa became the new destination, a place of great potential for design, which the company explored. The company's ability to meet a wide range of demands was further honed with the hospitality industry. At that time, international customers were knocking on the door of the Brianza firm in search of its design expertise.
A New Chapter
Enter the third generation. After Ezio Bellotti's death in 1987, his daughters brought continuity to the family business, continuing in the tracks first marked out by their grandfather first and then by their father, with the precious support of Natalino Marelli in the sales department. They founded Bellotti Ezio Arredamenti Srl, a new company ready to face the new millennium with renewed energy and strong roots in the past.
From Russia with Love
Although the Russian market had been courted earlier, it was in the late 1990s that the company's efforts began to bear fruit. The style proposed by Bellotti Ezio Arredamenti corresponded perfectly to the tastes of Russian customers, who were admirers of luxury and high-quality Italian goods. The company unleashed its prowess in creating residential furniture solutions with fine materials, finishes and decorations.
Experts in Custom-made Solutions
Design design design. The extent of the company's expertise emerges in all-round solutions, where, in addition to the furniture itself, a decisive role in the character of rooms and spaces is played by the fit-out details (such as doors, wood panelling, systems, walk-in wardrobes) which are all made to measure and to design. The company began to specialise in this area in the late 1990s, making a name and a new identity for itself as a leading supplier to private customers and contractors.
Showcases across the World
The new millennium brought new objectives and new strategies to broaden horizons and prospects. First, was the commitment to take part in more industry events around the world, which are excellent showcases for business. The already close relationship with Russia was further consolidated at the Mebel and Crocus events, both held in Moscow. Next was Fiera Valencia, which strengthened Bellotti Ezio's presence in Europe, then Index Dubai, the reference for professionals in the Middle East.
Flying to China
First Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia, now China: last, but by no means least, and entirely charmed by Bellotti Ezio style. Design is still the bridge between the company and the market, which prefers customised, tailor-made solutions. The company's first large project was the creation of ten showrooms with the collaboration of one of the leading dealers in the territory.
Catalogue after Catalogue
The company’s rich heritage is encapsulated in the Platinum Catalogue, a narrative and photographic treasure chest containing new furniture and classic best sellers. The first volume, Platino, was not enough to contain the entire offering, so it was followed by Volume II Rame in 2013 and Volume III Diamante in 2015, each updated with new products for a stylistically complete collection.
In Serie A
Sport is an integral part of this company Ezio Bellotti was an avid supporter of cycling, and now the third generation is continuing his legacy of sponsoring and supporting local sports.
That's how Bellotti Ezio came to be the official sponsor of the Cantù basketball team, one of the stars of Serie A.
An important turning point in design and style terms came in 2016 with the start of the BelMondo brand to accompany the classic offering. BelMondo was created specifically to meet the needs of new market demand for a modern line with contemporary character, but with the same standards of craftsmanship that is part of the company's DNA.
50 years at the Salone del Mobile
An anniversary worthy of honours and celebrations, a milestone validating the company and its partnerships. In 2017, Bellotti Ezio received a certificate from chairman Claudio Luti for 50 years of uninterrupted participation at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. The company's relationship with the furniture show continued the same year with its participation in the Salone del Mobile. Milano Shanghai, a sister event to the Milan fair aimed at fostering relations and opportunities in the Chinese market.
A New Beginning
Passion, courage, fearlessness. With these values Donatella Bellotti and her sister Federica are starting a new chapter for Bellotti Ezio. A chapter where innovation, digitalisation and change are the keywords that will chart the new course in the company’s story.