The history of Matteograssi began in Mariano Comense, a small town situated in a small area called Brianza, located in Lombardy, a region of northern Italy, where the head of what was to become a dynasty of leather craftsmen opened a workshop in 1880.
The sign over the entrance read “Saddlery”. Inside, the Grassi family - Matteo and his wife, and later on, his sons - would carefully craft articles made of coach hide, such as saddles, bridles, reins and the full harness which horses need for work and transport. At the time, the Brianza district was mostly a farming area, and the Grassi family business adapted to the needs of an agricultural economy in which the ability of the craftsman, and his skills in coming up with solutions, were the key to success.
At the end of the Second World War, the family business took on a different character. Brianza started to become one of the liveliest industrial furniture areas in Italy, and the Grassi family paid close attention to the changes that were occurring. From the 1950s to the ‘70s, thanks to their lengthy experience crafting fine saddlery, the family began producing coach hide components for other companies and their many customers included almost all of the most celebrated names in furnishings. As this work was performed, contact was made on a daily basis with designers and architects who would follow the various steps in the production process. Thus, the family developed a passion for design, along with a special talent and style, which ultimately led to the decision to found the Matteograssi company in 1978 and create its own line of furnishings.
The first item bearing the company’s name was the ‘Korium’ armchair by Tito Agnoli, an immediate success that brought the creativity of this small, dynamic firm under the spotlight. Since then, Matteograssi has enjoyed uninterrupted success and growth. After more than hundred years in business, its name is now found at international airports such as Dubai, Kiev, Rome, Paris, Athens, Beijing and Djakarta, amidst millions of people travelling daily. Although the old saddlery seems to have little in common with a company that is known the world over, there is a strong bond between the two. That bond is coach hide itself...and much more. The 19th century farms in Brianza and today’s futuristic airports in steel and glass are linked by the production skills of craftsmen who intelligently follow changes in taste and in the economy adapting their knowledge and experience to the needs of the present.