The Pratesi name is known for the very best in Italian luxury; this family have been crafting the world’s finest luxury bed linen for decades and have amassed a celebrity following that has included the likes of Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol, to Elizabeth Taylor and Stella McCartney. Federico now sits at the helm of this prestigious dynasty and continues to ensure the brand stay at the pinnacle of luxury bed linen across the world.
Pratesi is celebrated 110 years in 2016, what do you think is the secret to the brand’s continued success in the luxury market?
My family for four generations has been committed to ultimate quality which, along with the obsession to minor details and impeccable service, have always been key-factors to our success story. But it’s more than this, I believe that what makes the brand so unique goes even further. Today (like yesterday), the pillars of Pratesi are the Pratesi people who, behind the scenes, proudly manufacture by hand flawless products in the warmth of tradition (nowadays we have three generations working together under the factory roof in Tuscany).
Speaking about “secret weapons”, our DNA is definitely part of the arsenal. Since 1906 my family has been giving shape to the Pratesi style. Today, after 110 years, although the torch of Maison is best kept in the family, we are fully supporting a new very talented creative team that is setting a new standard in the market.
How long can the process take from an initial design to a finished piece, can you tell us a little about the process?
Thank you for asking as I love to unveil the back-stage world. Behind a Pratesi collection, there is a fascinating world and a challenging journey. It all begins from inspiration for the new “collection theme”. From there, our creative team begins its extensive research which ends up sketching by hand hundreds of drawings. I personally find extremely interesting the prototype phase. The last few days prior to the official presentation are always eclectic and kind of crazy.
There have always been many high profile Pratesi customers, from Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol, to Elizabeth Taylor and Stella McCartney, what has this style of consumer taught you about the Pratesi designs and your customer base in general?
Pratesi has decorated the homes of the world’s jet-set. Legendary authors, poets, painters, composers, royal families, heads of state and celebrities… and the list continues to grow. Pratesi gives incomparable multisensory experience: the elegance of Pratesi is above fashion trends and its quality fascinates as much now as in the past.
Some of our clients become friends. And, as you can imagine, this can get quite “intense” when we speak about celebrities. I get emotional every time I happen to meet them, although sometimes they are the ones who are honoured to meet us (like we are rockstars!!). More than once they have said how much they enjoyed sleeping and living with Pratesi. They have said we can take care of their most private and unwinding moments like no others.
What is your favourite part of your job and what is the most challenging aspect? What is your favourite part of your job and what is the most challenging aspect?
I like each aspect of it: from creativity to production, from being an ambassador to the finances. I personally get moved when we do new hiring or I am asked to tell about our 110 year story.
How would you describe your own home style and what is your favourite room in your home & why?
I live in Tuscany with my family. Our home in Florence is chic-rustic although the beauty of the countryside around it plays the greater part. My favourite spot is by the fireplace during the winter and in the garden at summer time.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? …..
do it with the heart.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt about business from your family?
Here are two important lessons I learnt from my family:
• be loyal and transparent always
• never give up.
What has been the hardest professional challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
My hardest challenge happened twenty-one years ago when my father (Athos Pratesi) passed away.
How would you describe the Pratesi brand ethos and how do you ensure the company adhere to it?
Pratesi has been defined “the Quintessence of living the Italian luxury”. In other words, to me this means: Quality, Style and Service. At Pratesi we all are focused and work hard to raise the bar.
How do you relax and unwind in your spare time?
I love to stay home with my wife and the kids (Margherita and Athos) and to take Yoga lessons (my wife Gaia is my Yoga trainer).