Founded in 1921 as a “Workshop for the processing of brass and nickel silver sheet metal, with foundry”, Alessi has always stood out for the high quality of its products.
The History of Alessi
In 1921 Giovanni Alessi, a skilled lathe turner, purchased some land in Omegna and together with his brother founded the FAO (Fratelli Alessi Omegna) engineering workshop, which crafted tableware and household objects. The copper, brass and nickel silver products, subsequently nickel-, chrome- or silver-plated, soon became well known for their perfect finishes and consummate craftsmanship.
Design as we now understand the word, first appears in our history with Carlo Alessi, son of Giovanni, founder of the company. After training as an industrial designer, Carlo joins the business very young and goes directly into design. He is responsible for most of the objects produced between the mid-1930s and 1945, the year of his final project, the"Bombé" tea and coffee service, an archetype of early Italian design. He completely ceases design work when he becomes general manager of the company in the 1950s.
A new name, ALFRA (ALessi FRAtelli), herald the start of the era of mass production.
During the 1950s the company gradually replaces soft metals with stainless steel, marking the transition from artisanal craftsmanship to mass production. In this period the company specialises in creating professional equipment for hotels, restaurants and bars. Carlo Alessi, eldest son of the founder, becomes General Manager. His brother Ettore, who joined the company in 1945, becomes Head of the Technical Office, strengthening the design-based identity of the business. His stewardship sees the creation of a number of “industrial designs”, such as the steel wire baskets and fruit bowls. Under Ettore ALFRA also begins partnerships with external designers such as Luigi Massoni, Carlo Mazzeri and Anselmo Vitale.
In 1970 the founder’s grandson Alberto Alessi join the company. In that very busy decade he lays the foundations for Alessi to become one of the “Factories of Italian Design”.
How we make things
"A true design work must move people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against..." Alberto Alessi
Our Design Philosophy
Alessi’s mission is now one of translating its quest for the most advanced cultural, aesthetic, design and functional quality into mass production. Designer products are the result of the constant reconciliation of art and industry, of the “Immensity of Creative Potential” and the needs of the market. The company is committed to a design approach in which the most advanced expression of international creativity is always balanced against the desires of the general public. Alessi has been described as a “Dream Factory”, which uses its products to make people’s dreams come true, providing them with the Art and Poetry that they seek.
Our Manufacturing Process
Since the company’s foundation in 1921 the majority of Alessi products have been manufactured through the cold working of metals, a tradition that is kept alive today by the skilled workers at the Crusinallo plant in Omegna.
Over time, Alessi also began to work with many other materials, such as porcelain, glass, wood, and plastic... A specific production method was developed for each one. Even when production takes place outside the Crusinallo plant, Alessi’s guidelines guarantee the company’s original production quality standards, continuing to reconcile industrial technological complexity with an artisanal eye for detail.
The objects produced from the different materials are manufactured in various production plants across the world. They remain original Alessi objects in that they are conceived with the same design excellence and produced with the same attention to quality that sets the company’s products apart.
“Alessi gave us the freedom to create what we wanted, without worrying about the contraints of industrial production. The factory would take care of technology later" Carlo Mazzeri
Still up to today Alessi gives designers all the freedom to create, to express their philosophy, creativity and ideas through products to the world.
"For Alessi, the care taken over the quality of our designs and products as well as the care of our staff, the work and the context remains the key to continuing to uphold the “Made in Italy” flag around the world. The business culture, respect for our work and care of the community are the most important parts of the heritage which my father and my uncle Ettore left us and which we are doing our best to take forward and pass onto future generations responsibly." Michele Alessi
Buon Lavoro, a Factory for the City
Buon Lavoro is a great example of the commitment of Alessi towards the community. An innovative and original social responsibility initiative in 2013 in collaboration with Goodpoint, whereby the company attempted to use its labor force in a “different” way, employing it in socially useful activities for the benefit of the community in which the company operates.
Around 300 employees voluntarily signed up for the project for a total of 9000 hours dedicated to the Municipality of Omegna and the Cusio Social Services Association.