Design & Architecture

Design Talk: Paola Lenti

Anna Lenti

We have a chat with CEO Anna Lenti on what makes the brand tick in the Middle East

Words by Aneesha Rai in Design & Architecture · May 18th, 2022

In this edition of 'Design Talk', we chat with one half of the Paola Lenti brand, CEO Anna Lenti on the evolution of the indoor/outdoor furniture brand, its presence in the Middle East and the brand's focus on sustainability.

Q: How has the Paola Lenti brand evolved in the past year?

Anna: We keep on working to improve and move our quality standards higher and higher. Research on materials and sustainability is the starting point of our activity: this has been our commitment since the inception when we started weaving the first rugs. Since then, we have made the rigorous choice of using natural materials, recycled or recyclable, and we have been assembling them so that it is easy to separate them at the end of their life, thus ensuring optimal disposal and supporting their recycling. We pay the utmost attention to limiting consumption, selecting non-polluting processes, and supporting local suppliers: we want to be as sustainable as possible, in the belief that beauty cannot and should not be separated from ethics. Likewise, we carry out constant research on materials, in order to guarantee ever-higher performance. This year we celebrate 20 years since the launch of Rope, the 100% recyclable yarn, resistant to water, mold, and bacteria, which was instrumental to the creation of our first outdoor collections. Since the introduction of Rope, we have never stopped, and from this commitment more and more performing yarns, fabrics and materials have originated, like Twiggy, Maris, and Diade.

We want to be as sustainable as possible, in the belief that beauty cannot and should not be separated from ethics.
Rope by Paola Lenti

Q: Has the demand from the Middle East evolved the design direction of the brand?

Anna: Thanks to the cooperation with exclusive partners, such as Purity in Dubai, we are involved in the Middle East in both residential and contract projects. Our collection is particularly appreciated by architects because they have introduced a totally new language to the market, based on the uniqueness with which we coordinate colours and materials. We are also witnessing in recent years an increasing demand for products characterized by a more formal aesthetic yet required to meet high standards of sustainability. It is a request that matches our values and our proposal and that we are therefore able to satisfy with any product in the catalog. In 2021, for example, we introduced the Eres collection, produced exclusively with natural materials such as linen, hemp, bamboo, Raphia, igusa, and Manila hemp. These furnishings are particularly appreciated for the delicate colour hues and for the tactile sensations that arise from the contact with plant fabrics.

Q: Are there any recurring themes/trends you've seen that have grown more popular over the past year?

Anna: As far as the Middle East market is concerned, we have experienced during these last years a higher convergence between the concepts of indoor and outdoor. While in the past, open-air life was considered subsidiary, we are now noticing a growing attention to the care of the exterior environment, which is required to offer the same esthetic and quality characteristics that are usually reserved for interior spaces.

Hiro from the Eres collection
Nido collection
Sciara table
Nido sofa & Sciara table
Ami collection
Harbour sofa
Ami chairs & Harbour sofa

Q: What are some of your most popular pieces?

Anna: It is difficult to choose within our wide collection the pieces that may be defined as the most popular. For the Middle East market, we can definitely mention some seating furniture like Ami and Nido. The Harbour sofas and armchairs and the Sabi series, which also include a sunbed with adjustable backrest, are also very much appreciated. The Sciara table is very popular, especially for the peculiarity of its workmanship. Its top is made of lava stone and glass; the decoration is made by hand and each piece is therefore different from the other. Irregularity is the featuring characteristic of this product and its selling point.

All images courtesy Paola Lenti.