Alessi (Italian company)

Alessi is the name of the famous Italian design factory by Alberto Alessi in Omegna, in the district Crusinallo ( Piedmont ), which was founded by his grandfather, Giovanni Alessi, 1921 ( not to be confused with Galeazzo Alessi, an Italian architect of the High Renaissance ).

The extensive production program ranges from playful styling products to re-editions of design classics of the Bauhaus. 2000 alone kitchen items are available; 2002 bathroom range has been introduced. The company employs 500 people, had a turnover of 108.5 million euros. Alessi has customers in 70 countries, with Germany 's most important export market ( as of 2002).


The roots of the company in the Italian countryside to Cusio. In the 17th century settled there many examples of metal goods manufacturers. In 1920, Alessi involved than in one of the smaller companies on the Milan Fair. But it soon became out of the small family-owned one of the leading metal processing company in Italy. 1921 Giovanni Alessi bought a piece of land in this region and founded the company Alessi. It was a small craft company, which specialized in domestic metal ware. Giovanni was a skilled metalworker and attached great importance to ensuring that its objects were quality. This careful design made ​​its products soon widely known. Initially, the production was still on order.

The 1920s and 1930s

Giovanni Alessi specialized beginning of the 1920s in the production of Messingknäufen. The hallmark were the intertwined initials " FAO ", which stood for " Fratelli Alessi Omegna ". The quality developed well thanks to new techniques such as Nickel plating and silver plating. From the year 1924 presented " FAO " small household appliances, as well as coffee pots and trays ago. At that time lacked the material and the know -how of the production process, to produce pots and cutlery.

Carlo Alessi, Giovanni's son, was trained as an industrial designer and established the design as it is understood today. He took over the company from his father. The items that emerged during this period, such as the " tea and coffee service " made ​​of silver plated alpaca from 1921, are the " table bottle holder " made ​​of nickel plated brass of 1926 or the " cheese tray " polished alpaca from 1929, available in many Italian households. During the Second World War, when the products are no longer sold so well, Alessi something new had to think and began to produce stars for uniforms and small parts for aircraft. When the war was over, the company specialized on mass production. Since 1945 worked Ettore Alessi, Alessi Carlo at eleven years younger brother in the company. Nowadays, however, Ettore but no longer works in the company's management, yet he is considered a specialist in the technology of cold casting of metals.

The 1950s and 1960s

Alessi's icon in the 1950s, was a fruit basket in the wire design, which had been designed in 1952. Carlo Alessi in these years was general manager of the company, but it was his brother Ettore Alessi introduced the collaboration with external designers in 1955. With some architects, he designed a series of objects which were created for the hotel needs. Through his intervention caused many individual objects which became bestsellers, such as the historical series of wire baskets. He also introduced a change brought about in terms of the materials, it was brass and nickel silver to go back and introduced the stainless steel, which is actually at the end of the 1930s, was introduced by Carlo Alessi.

This innovation brought some technical and structural changes.

Since 1956, a set is produced in the style of "Café pot 101 " for restaurant operations, which is one of the most professional and best selling items of the Alessi history.

In 1957, the "Shaker ", the " bucket " and the " ice tongs " from the " Program 4 " for the 11th Triennale in Milan as part of a debate for the development of industrial design were chosen. That was the first time that products from Alessi at an exhibition for industrial " author production " were shown. Under the technical direction of Ettore Alessi of victory run the hotel Commodities continued. In 1963, Henkel and spouts of the service " Dani " were renewed and more determined, as was a certain peculiarity which ranged from Café churns up milk jug.

The 1970s

In July 1970, the career of Alberto Alessi, Alessi Carlo 's eldest son began to direct one day after his law degree. He delegated the various tasks of design management by investing in new, fresh creativity.

So he sat down to ensure that the company should always remain a family business and took Michele and Alessio Alessi and Stefano Alessi on board. These conditions were responsible for the emergence of the policy of " Design Excellence ", which made the design " Made in Italy" known as well. From 1971, they used the new logo by Alessi.

The first designers who were brought by Alberto Alessi in the company, were Franco and Eija Helander Sargiani. They also worked on designs for stands or in the design of a part of the office in Omegna.

Along with Franco Sargiani we developed the "Program 8" ( a housewares line ), which lasted 5 years. The idea was that all objects have a square or rectangular shape and were to be constructed of steel; which was very difficult at that time. International that was a novelty and there was a large advertising campaign. In 1979 Alessandro Mendini design consultant to the Company.

The turn of the millennium

2002 Stefano Giovannoni designed the project "One", which was dedicated to the bathing area. After that it was hard to find other designers would focus on this area. Alberto Alessi decided not only with project designers to work together, but also with Bauarchitekten. Also in 2002, presenting Alessi in collaboration with SII Marketing International Inc. in Austin, Texas, his first full collection of watches. Already in the 1980s dealt with one watches. At that time, inter alia, the architect Achille Castiglioni and Aldo Rossi commissioned to design wristwatches. " Momento ", the version of Aldo Rossi, newly rebuilt during Achille Castiglioni design of the piece "Record" as a chronograph version in the " Alessi Watches" collection was added.

2003 Alessi also devoted himself to the children and therefore designed the colorful children's dishes " Alessibambino ", which has round and friendly shapes. The collection should be expanded with lamps and toys.

2005, two new collaborations were presented, once the car "Panda Alessi " with Fiat and once the home textiles " Alessi Textile" with the Belgian company Lyntex. In the same year there was even another new edition of the "Program 8 " series. Due to the rectangular and square shapes, various containers, that can all be combined with each other developed.

2006 brought a significant change with it: The entire product range has been divided into three brands, namely " Officina Alessi ", " Alessi " and "A di Alessi ":

  • Officina Alessi

This is an exclusive brand for selected products, unique pieces and limited editions. Basically there are milestones of contemporary design, structurally and functionally. All products here have settled at the experimental stage and are in the higher price range.

  • Alessi

The best of the best still includes the traditional trademark " Alessi ", namely series production for the household. This innovative design flow and productive quality together. In terms of price, the products here are at the level of middle and upper class.

  • A di Alessi

The " Dream Factory " follows the original design goal: to create high-quality products to a large audience, which can be as many people do.

Metal production for all three brands is still at origin in Crusinallo.

Since April 2007 there is a new bathroom collection, " ILBAGNOALESSI Dot ". Again, Alessi has worked with two other companies together with "Run " from Switzerland and " Oras " from Finland.

Known design objects from the Alessi production, for example, the kettle by Michael Graves (1985) and Richard Sapper (1983 ) and the controversial in their functionality Juicy Salif lemon squeezer by Philippe Starck (1990).


A selection of designers and architects who work or who have worked for Alessi: