I was born into a furniture manufacturing family. My father had a small custom furniture manufacturing facility in New York City, which included a showroom and finishing. He too came from a family of craftsmen in Northern Italy and was a master wood carver. As a result of the tradition of the trade, when I was 11, I apprenticed at the factory on weekends.
Showing artistic ability from a young age, I was able to enter a prestigious High School, noted for music and art. After graduating, I went directly into the family business, and learned various skills in furniture making. I married, and promptly drafted into the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon returning, I went back into the business. My father decided to retire and return to his country, which left me running both segments of the business, a to the trade showroom, and factory.
Although very adept at sketching and creating pieces in many of the various traditional styles, which became very popular, I lacked the ability to detail the designs. I returned to evening school and enrolled into Industrial Design at Pratt Institute. It was there that I honed my skills in rendering and drafting. In addition, I was now exposed to the modern furniture movement of the mid 50’s. I realized that although very successful in interpreting various traditional styles into products, I was simply reworking an existing vocabulary.
In 1965, now familiarized with materials other than wood, I began to experiment with some of my own designs, incorporating stainless steel, aluminum and acrylic. Slowly the collection became recognized, and in 1968 an aluminum coffee table was accepted into the Permanent Design Collection of Moma, followed shortly after with a floor lamp. The collection was subsequently bought and produced by Vecta Contract.
I began designing for the retail furniture market in 1970, as a result of the then V.P. of Home Furnishings at Bloomingdale’s, Carl Levine, who introduced me to one of their resources. First case pieces, followed by upholstery. My path of products and manufacturers is long, but currently, all my creative efforts are being satisfied by one innovating company, LAZAR.