One 4 All, All 4 One

Is there strength in numbers? Perhaps this is the question that Stefano Core asked himself in 2012 before embarking on his business venture. ItalianCreationGroup is an industrial holding which comprises four companies of the calibre of Driade, Fontanaarte, Valcucine and Toscoquattro and which is dedicated to the Italian luxury lifestyle. These are very different companies with different histories but all united by the same passion for their products created with the craftsmanship and skill that is typical of Made in Italy excellence. co-founder and group ceo Stefano Core talked about the work and the feelings that lie behind the desire to create a group like this.

Let’s start at the beginning: what was ItalianCreationGroup’s mission statement?
The reason I created ItalianCreationGroup was to be able to maintain and sustain over time the histories of certain companies that share a fundamental characteristic, namely a passion for their work. In this case, Driade, like FontanaArte and Valcucine are all companies in which there is a strong sense of continuity between the individual, vision and the company’s positioning. These are also companies with in-depth links with local manufacturing processes, located in the same areas and which are able to turn the involvement of craftsmen and local skills into a positive and virtuous feature.
These are at the heart of the unique nature of the Made in Italy product which is at the same time Made by Italy: a highly qualified modus operandi able to meet the needs of any market, both Italian and foreign. I believe that big brands are born by following the vision and lifestyle of those who create them; some of them are fortunate enough to go on to become leading players, even from the economic point of view. In Italy, this is very difficult because the family style of business imposes a limit in terms of internationalization and the management change required to make the next step and also because the most widespread business model in our country is that of the small-medium enterprise. I noticed how during one period, talking about 2012, the design sector was on the threshold of a tremendous renaissance but that it was formed by businesses that had not yet aligned the need for product innovation with the needs of the market. The danger was that in the near future they would have to close or be absorbed by foreign companies. Having lived abroad for many years where people appreciate the value and style of the Italian character much more, I decided to become curator and guardian of these companies.

How did you decide which brands to choose?
We were looking for Italian businesses with a unique and inimitable brand so we drew up a list of companies that we wanted to be part of the group and went to the owners to explain what we wanted to accomplish. The first was Enrico Astori of Driade who was fascinated by the ItalianCreationGroup project but there was a problem in that the group was not in existence at that point. Given his (understandable) hesitation, I promised him that if he sold us the company, we would establish the group keeping to exactly the style and format I had just talked to him about. After a week I founded ItalianCreationGroup SpA and bought Driade and that’s how it started.
It is a truly unique international industrialization project, set up by an S.p.A. with private investment and characterized by a managerial approach with entrepreneurial vision. The acquisition of Valcucine, FontanaArte and Toscoquattro also came about because the owners of the companies firmly believed in the project: they were won over both from the financial point of view and by the inherent features of cultural heritage, Italian characterand passion for the product which are at the heart of the group.

The companies are very different but complementary at the same time: how does ItalianCreationGroup approach the contract sector?
In this case the four companies divide into two pairs, Driade and FontanaArte on the one hand and Valcucine and Toscoquattro on the other. To give an example, an international developer who is building flats wants to sell them with integrated kitchen and bathroom so in terms of time scale we start first with Valcucine and Toscoquattro and then with Driade and FontanaArte. In the hospitality sector however, they contact us for lighting and furniture from the beginning. This is especially the case with boutique hotels, the more unconventional ones and those with an unusual style since Driade products create environments with a one-off atmosphere, a distinct and unique style that is not easily classified.

What is your dream for the future of ItalianCreationGroup?
My goal is to find the right balance between innovation, heritage, the establishment of strong values and the right market outlet; raising awareness of the brand internationally and going into homes all over the world. When ItalianCreationGroup and the companies it has brought together are totally independent of both an entrepreneur and an investor, I shall feel satisfied.