They say a home is what you make it. And a big part of “making” an abode your home sweet home comes with carefully selecting what you fill it with. Whether it’s a conversation-starter lampshade, to a sofa that brings you joy, furniture plays a big role in transforming your space. And when it comes to premium leather furniture, Baxter is a name to watch out for.
Known to add a taste of Italian craftsmanship into your homes, Baxter has always been about more than just a furniture company. It is, in many ways, a philosophy — one rooted in creating quality, timeless pieces that fully express what it really means to be ‘Made in Italy’. On the one hand, there’s passion — sparked by the two Italian founders Luigi and Paolo Bestetti, and continued today by the rest of the team — and on the other, there’s a beautiful use of materials to create a collection of furniture that demands to be experienced, marvelled at, and loved. We sat down with Gloria Cazzaniga, Baxter’s export manager, to talk about whether trends in furniture really exist, following your own design philosophy, and making choices for your home that bring you happiness.
Tell us about your role at Baxter — how did you come to be involved with the company?
It’s quite a long story. I joined Baxter back in 2002, and came on board because they were looking for a figure to take care of the new export market. Things were quite different back then. I started on this journey when the company was still quite young, and now, nearly 17 years later, we’ve taken some really big steps forward. Together we have created almost all of the export markets outside of Europe, and I’m now in charge of quite a large number of countries, like all of Asia, the United States, the Middle East, and even parts of Europe.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I’m very happy to be a part of the Baxter family. As I’m overseeing the export market in so many regions, I have quite a big overview of the Baxter world on a global scale, and it has been a very interesting adventure. To start with a company that, in a few years, became very important and very famous in the international furniture scene has really been a great experience. Of course, I also enjoy visiting the markets — I’m very happy to be here in Bangkok, and I’m always thankful to Season for this long standing partnership. It’s been almost 10 years of working together, and they’ve always given us very nice representation.
As Export Manager, do you believe in trends?
I like to think that furniture is very similar to fashion. For sure, there are trends to follow, but at Baxter, we actually don’t really follow trends — we do what we like to do. We would take inspiration from fashion and colours for our collections, but when it comes to the products we have our own philosophy and vision. We just produce what we think will be interesting for the public, and aim to create pieces that would last forever, not just remain a “trend”.
Would you say Baxter isn’t moved by market trends, then?
Actually, in terms of trends, Baxter is often defined by others as a sort of “trendsetter” in furniture. We like to experiment, and create things that are different compared to what already exists in the market. If you look at our background, whether it’s our past or present work, we’ve always been coming up with something new. For instance, we introduced the concept of printed leather that previously was not used in furniture, and many years ago, we were the first to start using very soft, fabric-like leather with our signature outside stitches that nobody else would have. We are also known to like mixing and matching many different types of materials, like marble, metals, and — of course — leather, which is the core of our business. We always rsearch very carefully when it comes to materiality — everything we do starts with materials and design.
What would you say is most important when it comes to choosing furniture?
Materials, design, and comfort. For me, it’s a combination, and never just one thing. It’s also important to choose something that really attracts you. For example, I’ve had my Baxter sofa at home for many, many years. It’s a ‘Budapest’ — which is one of our bestsellers — and every time I sit on it or look at my sofa, I’m just happy with it. For your home, you should buy what you really like, and not just go for something because someone is saying that this is the brand that you must have. With Baxter, I love it because when you touch it, the material is just so sensual, and each piece is unique. When you sit on a Baxter sofa, it isn’t only about design, but like I said, it’s a combination of things — you have comfort, you have a design, and then you have this amazing material that just feels so good to the touch.
As a brand, what makes Baxter different from the rest?
A key thing that differentiates Baxter from other brands is that we don’t only work with one designer, but we have many designers working together for one unique goal — to create a Baxter collection. To be able to mix and match different designs together makes the brand unique. Another thing which makes us stand out has always been and will always be the materials we use. Baxter is recognised now as one of the brand leaders in leather furniture, and this is the purpose and the challenge we have had since the very beginning, and is what we are still trying to achieve. If you look at the entire collection, there is a lot to be inspired by.
What do you have coming up in the pipeline?
We’re preparing for a new collection for Milano, of course, and we are working on a new outdoor line, because we already have some outdoor/indoor collections. We’re planning to enlarge those collections with a new designer, and then we’ve also got plans for new sofas by a designer that isn’t part of our entourage yet, which will be very interesting. There’ll be new materials, and a lot of things to discover.To find out more about Baxter, visit seasonsofliving.com.