Fernando and Maddalena De Padova started their business in 1956 bringing in their showroom on Via Montenapoleone in Milan the precise and clean linear forms of Scandinavian furniture and accessories from northern European design. In the 1960s, Maddalena met the American company Herman Miller and secured a production license for Italy for the products designed by Charles Eames and George Nelson. This led to the foundation of ICF De Padova, based in Vimodrone. In the 1980s, De Padova sells the ICF brand with the Herman Miller production license and creates a line of furniture and accessories under the De Padova brand. The "Edizioni De Padova" is born, which later becomes "ē De Padova".
Among the great masters who have helped pave the way forward with extraordinary effort are Pierluigi Cerri, Michele De Lucchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Ingo Maurer, George Nelson, Dieter Rams, Renzo Piano and, above all, Vico Magistretti and Achille Castiglioni.
Starting in the early 2000s, this great symphony has been further enriched with the notes of talented up-and-coming designers. The merger with Boffi, which took place in 2015, seems to accentuate this inclination towards new connections, marking a new beginning for the De Padova world.
The partnership between De Padova and Magistretti narrated by Vico:
“I designed the Marocca chair as part of a nice collection of furniture that I thought for Maddalena De Padova, who’s the most incredibly dynamic woman. I might say that working for her is not easy, at least not for me. It’s a tremendous struggle because she’s never content. But that’s her magic. Actually it’s a good thing because other manufacturers I work for tend to get all enthusiastic about something so that they’re incapable of saying no. Anyway, the outcome of all this is a series of objects connected by a common thread, thanks to Maddalena. Give her a match, and she’ll light the fire.”
and by Maddalena:
“In the beginning it was difficult, or rather let's say it was very different. Vico works on the con concept. Eames and the others worked on the maximum definition of the detail of the product. What's more, I didn't see the finished product until some months later. It's one thing to select an object ready built, and quite a different one to imagine it, perhaps just on the basis of a sketch or merely an idea. And in this Vico was always very gifted. Beds, chairs, sofas: they all grew out of an insight. The Americans made furniture that would not be easy to imitate and so they took the path of technology, expensive and complicated. Vico's products always followed the path of simplicity. All the same, I never lost sight of the teaching of Eames and Nelson, to think of the connection between things above all else. So whenever Vico suggested some piece of furniture, I tried to imagine the setting around it."