The company enjoyed great success and grew rapidly. So fast, in fact, that it was becoming a worry for Cesare Cassina, as C&B Italia would soon become Cassina’s biggest competitor. The relationship between Cassina and Busnelli became increasingly fraught. The solution came in 1973, when Busnelli finally managed to raise the capital to buy out his former rival. The company changed its name to B&B Italia, which was in turn owned by Busnelli & Banks, as the banks helped Busnelli to bring the deal to fruition. Over time, Busnelli’s sons became involved in the company and the meaning of the name later changed to Busnelli & Busnelli, which applies to this day.
Innovative design and a leader in research & development
Ever since, the company has been a leader in the production of modern furniture and interior design for the home and public spaces. B&B Italia is found in Novodrate north of Milan in a prestigious building designed in 1972 by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. The headquarters is built in the same style and served as a precursor to the modern Le Pompidou museum in Paris.
Today, the company devotes considerable resources to research and development. It also frequently collaborates with international designers and architects. Recent collaborations include Antonio Citterio, Mario Bellini, Marcel Wanders and Patricia Urquiola. With creativity, innovation and production, it produces both modern and classic products. The Le Bambole lounge chair, Studio Kairo’s Sisamo wardrobe system and Antonio Citterio’s Sity Sofa are all iconic products that have won the prestigious Compasso d’Oro design award. B&B Italia was also awarded the same prize for its skillfully crafted design furniture with a focus on artistic expression and functionality, and is the first brand in history to be awarded the Compasso d’Oro. In 2018, the brand was commissioned to furnish parts of the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa in Iceland, one of the country’s most popular travel destinations.
The Up range was designed by Gaetano Pesce in 1969 and is uniquely styled. The range is a great favorite at Nordiska Galleriet. Up6 was designed as a metaphor of a female figure with an accompanying ball to symbolize the woman’s captivity. Le Bambole from 1979 is an icon of modern design. The lounge chair is formed in one piece as a back rest, seat cushion and armrest. With Le Bambole, designer Mario Bellini wanted to reproduce “a living body, soft and stable”. The Tufty-Too sofa collection is designed by Patricia Urquiola and stands out with its padding, decorative stitching, and modular shape.
B&B Italia has put Italian design on the world map with its production of exclusive and innovative pieces, tastefully spreading “made in Italy”. The brand is also a member of the Altagamma Foundation, a committee of Italian luxury brands dedicated to spreading Italian culture and style throughout the world. Today B&B Italia is run by the second generation of the family.