As far as leathersmiths go, Baxter is relatively young. Though the family-owned furniture brand dates to 1990—when Italian entrepreneurs Luigi and Paolo Bestetti realized their love for the material and the culture of creation—it incorporates centuries-old traditions from Italian tanneries with progressive reinterpretations of the English styles once favored by the Lombardic aristocracy. In the three decades since, the Bestettis have built off this innovation of heritage, developing a contemporary studio fueled by its familial ties. “The concept of a family business expands to the relationship with all the staff and distribution, with whom have established a real symbiosis to work and grow together,” says Asal Emami, Baxter’s director of development.
At the foundation of the brand’s strong design vision is, of course, leather, its long-running inspiration and one it returns to at the start of any project. “Baxter is based on a single infinite passion: leather,” continues Emami. “Intended not only as a noble material but as an intrinsic expression of the uniqueness of every single type of leather, of unique products, and craftsmanship. The philosophy of leather applies to all the materials—wood, metal, and stones—that are always used in purity and their natural diversity.”
Browsing Baxter’s catalog of modernist pieces, this could not be more evident. Take its collaboration with Turin-born, Milan-based architect and designer Paola Navone, who has created a line of avant-garde upholstered furniture for the brand that finds a balance between shape and comfort. Or its collection with the Florentine interior designer Roberto Lazzeroni, who envisioned sleek lounges and armchairs for Baxter with "sentinemtal design," one that avoids excess but still feels personal. Like all of the studio’s offerings, each piece’s textile is customizable to complement its owner's personal style.
As Baxter turns 32 this year, the Made In Italy brand is opening its first American showroom in West Hollywood where guests will be able to view all of its unique designer collections and other exciting projects in a space that feels directly out of Milan’s design district. “It’s a very important milestone that represents a rapid growth path and constant fact of people, relationships, innovations, with an active and proactive spirit,” says Emami. “Thirty-two years have given us a unique position in the world of contemporary design; now, we have created the complete Italian shopping experience in Los Angeles.”