December 1, 2010
The Next Wave Ernesto Gismondi | Artemide
“We’re developing a direct online presence in the U.S. and England.”
We do create for the upper echelon. But it’s a cultural upper echelon. Recently I was in the office of a uni-versity professor in Torino, and he had the Tizio lamp on his desk. Our clients aren’t the superrich. They’re the people who care enough about design to buy our products. We don’t design for a specific country. We make our products, and if the product is good, it sells all over the world—in the United States, in Brazil, in India. These countries are full of people of talent. It’s not possible that in India, for example, the people can be so gifted with technology and somehow
not understand design. The U.S. market is a little different for us, especially since the introduction of e-commerce. It’s made things very difficult for us, with competitors online who offer authentic quality products and seem content with a profit of two dollars, or even to lose money, just to bring people to their site. Clients see a lamp in the window of a Manhattan store and then buy it for much less online. We not only lose clients, but our showrooms lose faith because they’re seen as gouging. For this, we’re developing a direct online presence in the U.S. and England.