“In the Socialite family, there is, above all, the Mamma! The one who cooked for the four of us, her children, but above all the one who involved us in her mad passion! From the furniture found in the street downstairs at night, to the excitement of antiques auctions, to the chill of the flea markets on winter days. Our Mamma, took us, my brother Paolo, my sister Letizia and me, to explore that special world, with the constant quest for the singular and beautiful as its leitmotiv. I remember the hours we spent waiting for her in the aisles between the stalls, dressed in our double-breasted coats and our English Start-Rite shoes. We were always very chic, and kept warm as we played for hours on end in the chill wind. These images come back to me and scroll through my head. These memories of her, seeing her collecting different styles, and explaining how to recognise hand-made work and an era: an Empire Style bed one day, crystal glasses the next, and, on another, antique rugs. We must not forget Antonio, the father of the family, always dressed to the nines, and in search of a good deal, in love with women and love. And the Nonna, our grandmother, a seamstress, ready to make us our most eccentric and exotic ballgowns! In my family, there have always been grand dinners, elegant tables set with antique dishes, colourful glasses and silver cutlery, with children dressed up and playing hide-and-seek under the embroidered tablecloths. The stuff of which memories are made: elegant furniture with baroque music in the background. So theatrical! Cara famiglia, I cherish your independence of mind and your imagination which have given me my passion for materials, beauty, elegant lines, colours and above all design.”
Discover Constance Gennari’s world, founder and artistic director of The Socialite Family at the Salone del Mobile in Milan from the 9th to the 14th of April via Parlermo 1, 1st floor. Opening hours: 10h – 20h from Tuesday to Saturday and 10h – 16h Sunday. You will discover a Parisian style apartment designed as a personal setting around our collection of furniture, lighting and lifestyle accessories. You will discover a Parisian styled apartment set up around our furniture, lighting collection and lifestyle accessories – the whole in a very personal environment.
Where do I have the pleasure of welcoming you today?
For the second year in a row, we are in Milan, in Brera, the artistic district, where, this time, we are occupying an entire apartment! The idea is to present our new products and our complete collection of lifestyle furniture, lighting and accessories in a very personal Parisian-style setting, by inviting people to my home. We are extremely excited to be here again. Come and visit us! Our space is located at Via Palermo, 1, on the first floor. The Salone del Mobile is an important time for us because Milan is truly the centre of the international design and decoration scene. It’s an unmissable event for our brand!
What does our presence in Milan, at the Salone del Mobile, mean to me?
For me, being in Milan is a mixture of emotion and excitement! I am at home here. I think of my father, my childhood memories with Paolo my brother and Letizia my sister… My origins, in short! Those I still cherish deeply, and who make the soul of The Socialite Family something rare. And then, Milan, under the banner of the Salone del Mobile, is an amazing event for the brand, and for meetings with professionals and curious and interested visitors with whom we share a great deal of pleasure, and inspiring artists who all, in their own way, nourish us. We are caught up in a fantastic energy that makes us want more and more.
Why the choice of this setting here? What is it about this place?
I wanted to take people home with me and immerse them even more in my world and my background – which really represents the roots of The Socialite Family – by creating a very personal world, punctuated by vintage pieces that inspire me, and our creations from The Socialite Family collection. I wanted this place to reflect an emotion. To be the reflection of a soul. Here, everything is interspersed with works of art, family photographs and trinkets. It is a way to take you home and introduce you to The Socialite Family collection, including the Milano chair, our latest chair, very light and elegant in appearance. The Gioia table lamp is showcased here, in its summer colours, and we mustn’t forget the Carlotta coffee table in marble or travertine with its lacquered wooden base.
Discover Constance Gennari’s world, at the Salone del Mobile in Milan from the 9th to the 14th of April via Parlermo 1, 1st floor. Opening hours: 10h - 20h from Tuesday to Saturday and 10h - 16h Sunday.
Are there really any personal items here?
Yes, there are umpteen family photos with my parents, brothers and sisters, children… But also pieces from my Parisian apartment, a family screen, books, trinkets and French music from the 80s! I feel as if I were at home here.
Will we find colours and materials here which are dear to me and which I consider to be specific to The Socialite Family?
I am very fond of the brick colour in the hall, which reminds me of Italy, Tuscany and also of the land. It is strong and warm against the complexion. And then this tint is our red thread. The one you will find in our collection in multiple models such as Cavallo seats, TSF + HAOS wall lights and our Copertina throws too. In terms of materials, we like to play with wood, marble and also lacquer, which we love to apply as a finish, especially to the legs of some of our designs. I like the light and the shine it adds.
Why did I unveil my Milanese apartment a week after opening the doors of my home in Paris?
To tell in more detail the story of The Socialite Family brand, and its Franco-Italian identity! This blend is our DNA, our strength.
What are the new The Socialite Family brand items we will find here?
There are lots! The marble coffee table we have called Carlotta, which can be composed according to your wishes. Three bottoms, five tops. Fifteen combinations in all! Our Nonna sofa which is displayed in an XXL version, very English in its Prince of Wales check, accompanied by its fringed pouffe. As for lighting, we are unveiling the new colour versions of our Mezza Luna wall light, the Gioia table lamp is on display wearing its summer clothes… And how can I avoid telling you about our first dining chair, the Milano chair! Its curves will match your dining room table perfectly, whether it is round or square.
Which is my favourite?
The Carlotta coffee table with its brown marble Emperador top and green lacquered wooden legs. It’s a marvel!
When will you be able to get these new products?
Photography: Valerio Geraci – Text: Constance Gennari – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily