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This article first appeared in Haven, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on April 17, 2017 - April 23, 2017

WHO Stefano Conficconi runs the furniture manufacturing business his father, Romano, started in 1972. 

For Conficconi, the journey to becoming CEO was a very hands-on experience. He joined the company at 16, starting in the manufacturing section. “I stopped studying very early... All my know-how was transmitted to me in the company,” he says, describing the journey as filled with ups and downs but one that he is very grateful for.

Today, he plays a pivotal role in the design process. “Travel has a tremendous influence on my designs. Sometimes, I see something in my hotel room or a restaurant that inspires me. Once, I found inspiration in the laser cuts on a leather jacket,” he says. “The design ideas come from either me or my son (who recently joined the company) as we travel around the world a lot. We see what we can ‘take back’ home and [then we] work on a design. Travelling gives us an indication of the market, as well as customers’ demands and needs.”

WHAT Cierre’s products — primarily armchairs, sectionals and sofas, followed by tables, beds and decorative items — are a convergence of Italian handicraft tradition and new technology. The furniture, predominantly upholstered in premium leather and sold worldwide, is synonymous with high quality and comfort. Conficconi tells us that Asia (including South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia) is their second largest market.

It uses top-quality bovine leather purchased from various parts of South America, Asia and Europe. “We don’t buy through a supplier, we buy the raw material and process it at our own tannery in Italy.”

The company comes up with two or three collections every year. “A range of internally-developed mechanisms for our sofas allows us to have the maximum freedom in design, without any restrictions,” Conficconi explains. 

Cierre’s design philosophy champions two factors — aesthetics as well as comfort — and it is serious about not compromising on the latter for the benefit of the former. “A design without comfort is not a good design; we must connect the two things,” explains Conficcony, admitting that it is easier said than done. 

Cierre also takes pride in the mechanical aspect of its sofas and armchairs, offering various adjustable heights and angles. At its Studio 216 showroom in The Gardens Mall, Kuala Lumpur, the luxurious sofas are contemporary in design and have various interesting features. Customers can recline the sofa to an angle that suits their individual needs and adjust the height of the headrest. The show units are large but Conficconi tells us that customers may have their sofas customised to their requirements. They can also choose the leather, colour and stitching. 

WHERE Cierre Imbottiti SRL is located at Via Giovanni Ansaldo, 2, 47122 Villa Selva, Forlì (FC), Italy. 

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