Silia: Journey of a Luxury Brand
Posted on 26 April 2016
This month I was given the incredible opportunity of visiting Florence to discover the craftsmanship, development and fine detail behind one of Italy's newest and visionary luxury home brands, Silia. There is such a fascinating and inspiring story behind this brand, from the initial concept, traditional skills and historic influence to the innovative materials, forward thinking and contemporary finesse of the finished designs. It is with great honour that creative director, Ilaria Balduino Sartori has shared the brand's story with me and that I am able to share it with you today.
Nestled within the labyrinth of streets are the most incredible workshops, creating and selling everything from crystal chandeliers and glasses to wooden carvings and paintings, a beautiful and engrossing world that I could get lost in for days. Our first visit was to Laboratorio Locchi, a world renowned workshop dating back to the 19th century, famed for their quality of restoration, grinding and carving of crystal and glass. The level of detail on many of the items was astonishing. I could barely believe that it was physically possible to have the amount of precision required to create such an intricate and elegant design as I was witnessing before me. It is this level of skill and technique, passed down through generations that Silia embraces and utilises within its own designs, ensuring these skills can continue to be used long into the future.
After the beautiful insight into the world of Italian crystal and glass, we made our way to another hidden treasure. Argentiere Pagliai is a family run silversmiths established by Orlando Pagliai in 1947. In a world that has been taken over by machine, it is reassuring to know that this business and workshop is still going strong. Recognised the world over for their quality of products and restoration of luxurious antiques, Argentiere Pagliai have even collaborated with Tiffany's to create the iconic animal designs seen below. Currently in their third generation, there is nothing that these skilled silversmiths cannot achieve and it was with great admiration that I got to discover the dedication and talent it takes to work within this industry.
After experiencing the craftsmanship behind the designs, it was time to move on to the more public side of the brand and see the lavish stores that the Silia designs are sold in. On our approach to FLAIR, I could feel my excitement build. To describe this store as grand would be a complete understatement as you pass by the artistic window displays and make your way into the main building. As you can see from the images below, this lavish and traditional space is decorated and styled with a contrast of sculptural and contemporary pieces, each with their own individual and characterful personalities. FLAIR is the perfect representation of Italian design, covering many time periods and genres in design. What better place to showcase the traditional craft and contemporary approach of Silia's designs than a store that encompasses and showcases these ideals in its very foundation.
My experience of Florence and insight into it's tradition of design has truly been unforgettable. The story behind Silia and it's brand values is such an important one, something that I feel so privileged to have experienced. Silia understand the importance and value of the local Florentine workshops, their skills have been cherished for many decades and it is incredibly important to support the unseen talent behind the designs to ensure that it can continue to survive for decades to come. By fusing contemporary style with traditional methods, Silia not only has a wide appeal in the luxury market, it is telling the story of Florentine craft from the heart. To view the full range of products and discover more from the Silia brand, click below to visit the official website.