Kartell is an Italian company that makes and sells plastic contemporary furniture. The company, headquartered in Milan, began manufacturing automobile accessories in 1949. It expanded into home furnishings in 1963.
The company opened its first store in the United States in 1998, when a Kartell U.S. outlet opened on Greene Street in New York City. Ivan Luini, president of the U.S. division at that time, oversaw the opening of additional stores in Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles.
Kartell's retail marketing strategy is to stock items in a variety of styles and colors at prices that appeal to impulse buyers. The company grosses $100 million per year. In addition to its stores, Kartell furnishings are sold by more than 150 independent retailers in the United States.
At the time of his death, Luini was in discussions for Kartell's plastic furnishings to be used in a hotel chain being designed by Philippe Starck.
Chairs designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell: a transparent "Louis Ghost" in the foreground and a red "Victoria Ghost" in the background.
- Appelbaum, Alec. (2002, October). Rapt in Plastic. Metropolis
- Graustark, Barbara. (2006, September 18). Ivan Luini, 46, Innovative Design Executive, Dies in Crash. The New York Times, p. A27