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La Tripolina & More: Telami

Discover Telami, a Milanese brand born from the desire to revive iconic handmade furnishings that are exquisite and functional, such as the Tripolina and the Director's chair. Stunning seating crafted by Italian craftsmen using solid wood, ash or beech, and fine fabrics: naturally tanned leathers, high-quality prints, and embroidery. Foldable pieces that are easily transportable, a distinctive feature that makes them ideal for contemporary living.

Tell us your story.

Telami is a Milanese brand born in 2017 from the desire to revive iconic handmade furnishings, exquisite and functional, such as the Tripolina armchair and the Director's chair. The idea at the core of our brand is that some iconic yet almost-forgotten pieces have great untapped potential: Telami enhances this very potential by utilizing strong product customization and highlighting the modern quality these chairs still hold today.

What are the characteristics that distinguish a Telami piece?

Due to their extreme versatility and formal simplicity, Telami seating are perfect for today’s lifestyles. All of our products are made in Italy by expert craftsmen who have a deep and long-standing knowledge of our materials and models. They are made of solid wood, ash or beech, and share a distinctive use of fabrics, which, similarly to a painting’s canvas, reveals the brand’s values and excellence. We only use fine fabrics, naturally tanned leathers, high-quality prints, and embroidery, as well as offer customization upon request. Furthermore, our pieces are foldable and easily transportable, another distinctive feature that makes them ideal for contemporary living.

Telami produces two iconic seatings, famous worldwide: the Tripolina armchair and the Director's chair. What makes them so special and how does Telami revisit them?

First of all, the Tripolina armchair and the Director's chair have an absolutely unique story.

The Tripolina chair was designed in 1855 by an English engineer and, right from the start, its very fast and lightweight folding mechanism made it the ideal choice for outdoor living, both in summer homes and for scientific expeditions. However, it is only thanks to Italian manufacturers that, starting from the 1920s, the design was improved and became famous in Libya, inspiring its characteristic name. After the Italo-Turkish War, the Tripolina lived a renewed popularity thanks to renowned architects like Franco Albini and Giuseppe Terragni who adopted it, definitively enshrining it as an international icon of Italian style.

The origin of the Director’s chair, on the other hand, is still shrouded in mystery: no one knows neither who nor when it was designed for the first time, but the principle behind its mechanism is present in some chairs dating back to Ancient Egypt. What makes it widely recognizable is its use by celebrated movie directors on worldwide sets. Its functionality has made it the chair of choice from Hollywood to Cinecittà, turning it into an instantly recognizable status symbol whose charm has inspired some of the greatest designers in history.

Endowed with such a glorious history, Telami's approach to original projects remains always subtle and respectful, only developing some details in the production of the wooden structures while remaining fully attentive to tradition. On the other hand, we are more daring with our use of textiles to give our chairs a distinctive edge, securing their presence on an ever attentive, informed and demanding market such as that of the internet age.

How do you convey the authenticity and singularity of your products?

Telami relies mainly on the internet, however, we strongly believe it is primarily the product that communicates its authenticity and our values. To demonstrate how these products are current and unique in every context, we often produce experimental capsule collections, limited editions, which are sometimes transformed into co-branded collections. This continuous research, combined with a selected retail distribution from the renowned department stores to trendy shops and galleries, allows for constant feedback from customers. In this way, we have discovered that we are not the only one who love and value our products, but their originality is captured and appreciated by more and more people around the world.

What is Telami's mission?

Telami's mission is to bring product customization into the world of Italian tradition, including fashion, beauty, and design. In addition to offering a wide range of fabrics, leathers, and customizations, we are especially dedicated to the development of co-branding projects to achieve this goal, particularly with notable brands in fashion and beauty with whom we share an affinity. Our desire to experience this fusion of seemingly distant worlds has already brought forth original and highly prestigious collections, namely co-branding with Rossana Orlandi, Odeeh, Ultràchic. The latest projet is Telami x Atelier Cologne Collection, presented at 2019 Salone del Mobile in Milan, which for the first time unites the world of perfume with that of design, using graphic prints of great visual impact and precious hand-made embroidery.

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