London's FM Gallery ❤︎s vintage Italian design

Italian Allure

Since 2000, FM Gallery in London has offered up a delightfully eclectic mix of vintage furniture, lighting, decorative accessories, artworks, jewelry, and more, representing different decades and styles of European design from the 20th century.

While FM’s collection is quite varied, the gallery’s owners, Michael and Francesca Ahose, are clear about what they like: aesthetic elan and quality craftsmanship. And for the Ahoses, these qualities are particularly concentrated in Italian design, both past and present.

We asked them to tell us: Just what is it that makes Italian design so different, so appealing?


Pamono: In your view, what is special about Italian design?

FM Gallery: The entire world acknowledges that Italy produces the most exquisite luxury brands in the world. This has historically been the case with Italian arts—even before design earned its status over the last 100 years. There’s always a magical combination of passion, taste, classicism, a sense of beauty, functionality, quality, an experimental attitude, a continuous search for renewal, and an incredible attention to detail.

Curved Sofa by Federico Munari, c. 1960s Photo © FM Gallery
How would you characterize Italian design specifically?

FM Gallery: We are attracted to vintage Italian design because it has proven over time to hold up to the best. It seems that regardless of the decade in which Italian furniture and objects were produced, they are never outdated in any way. Italians are very passionate, selective, and demanding about what they place in their homes, so production is continuously challenged to be the very best that it can.

To a certain extent, Italian furniture can be compared to Scandinavian furniture, which also has a strong commitment to craftsmanship. But this similarity is really incidental. In fact, Italian furniture offers a wider choice of colors and finishes, with brilliant and inventive use of expert artisanal skills. There is an overall feeling that each piece has been made for you. Whether vintage or contemporary, Italian design is so distinguished in its beauty.

Pamono: Who are your favorite Italian designers?

FM Gallery: There are too many names to mention them all. But a few of the greatest are Gio Ponti, Guglielmo Ulrich , Franco Albini, Carlo De Carli , Paolo Buffa, Giancarlo Frattini , Ico and Luisa Parisi, Carlo Scarpa, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, Ignazio Gardella , Ettore Sottsass, Enzo Mari, Alessandro Mendini, Joe Colombo, Gae Aulenti, Nanda Vigo, Johanna Grawunder, Gabriella Crespi...


More to Love