The life roadmap of
Italian Atelier’s CEO
While Italian Atelier officially came to life in 2008, our story went way back. It was in 1988 when our CEO & President, Gianfranco Bianchi, learned the art of fine furniture and Italian luxury furniture production techniques at his father’s factory in Brianza, Italy. His family business was Poltroarredo, an important furniture manufacturer in Italy and a huge supplier for the United Kingdom market in the 90s. It started as a part-time job where he began with the most meticulous and mundane tasks like sweeping floors and operating plant machinery.
In 1994, Gianfranco Bianchi, with his younger brother, Dino Bianchi, decided to launch their own business called Poltromec. The company’s scope was a continuation of the family tradition. Their main business was manufacturing classic furniture items for their target market. As the company grew in revenue and reputation, the focus began to shift from classic to contemporary products.
In the next few years, the furniture industry in Europe in general and in Italy, in particular, witnessed a remarkable market change. To adapt to the situation and prepare for a vigorous transformation in the following years, Poltromec was renamed Bianchi & Co. in 2001.
The 7 years period from 2001 to 2008 was when Bianchi & Co completely shaped its vision, mission, and goals. Gianfranco and Dino Bianchi worked as regional sales managers of a few furniture brands in Italy, one of which was Ego Zeroventiquattro. Working for these brands allowed the Bianchi brothers to see clearly the potential of the Asia-Pacific market and a problem that needed solving: there was no luxury furniture and design consulting agency competent enough to bring prestigious Italian luxury furniture brands to the East. This led Bianchi & Co. to completely reshape into Italian Atelier. The mission is to be the trustworthy one-stop solution for European furniture brands and customers in the Asia Pacific.
2008 was the year Italian Atelier was born. It was when Gianfranco Bianchi had a vision for a luxury furniture agency that would set itself apart from others. His mission was to redefine how commercial space works, introducing a range of high-quality products and solutions that would bear all the hallmarks of the ‘Made in Italy’ label, Italian craftsmanship, and cutting-edge design furniture into the Asia market.
Italian Atelier started with only three employees, the Bianchi brothers and Cristina Huber, our current Chief Sales Operation Manager. The company’s premise was in the basement of the Bianchi family house in Quarrata. After a few years, as the revenue increased, the office moved up to the first floor of the building. It was not until 2017 that the company’s Italian office was located in Pistoia. A year later, the headquarter in Milan came to life.
In 2012, Italian Atelier signed a contract with Fendi to become their regional representative and Gianfranco Bianchi became their Sales Manager. The company also helped the brands they were representing generate great revenue at the Milan fair, which accounted for 20% of total order in the whole fair, and as a result, consolidated the company’s reputation within the industry.
Two years later, Italian Atelier embarked on a new journey with Armani/Casa and helped elevate the brand’s name in the Asia Pacific region.
2016 was monumental as Italian Atelier purchased the CRM system of Salesforce, which made them one of the first companies in the world to do so. With a professional CRM system, the company could keep track of its large network of private consumers, architects, interior designers, developers, and local retailers.
2017 was the start of regional expansion. The company opened its first Asia office in Singapore by the end of that year. The second one in Mumbai, India was established in January 2018. The third was in Shanghai, China, which was launched in April 2019. In June 2020, even during the chaotic time of COVID-19, the Vietnam office was opened in Ho Chi Minh City. June 2021 was when Italian Atelier joined hands with its partners in Bangkok, Thailand to establish a firm.
By the end of 2020, Gianfranco Bianchi has helped the company reach over 30 countries, by demonstrating and consolidating his vocation for the company territories.
Today, Italian Atelier’s CEO and President is a leader in the agency business in the Asia-Pacific. Thanks to the experience and mastery he has acquired, the company now represents a select number of leading Italian furniture and manufacturers. It’s an accomplished outline of Gianfranco’s passion for working with exquisite products and many prolific brands in the industry.