Interior Designer Giulio Brambilla Revives “La Bella Vita” With Tribute, A New Bespoke Furniture Company.

Tribute is a Milan-based interior design boutique founded in 2018 by Italian native Giulio Brambilla and his business partner Andrey Shvidkiy. Shvidkiy operates the brand management side and Brambilla is the creative talent with a background in architecture & design and a rich network of Italian artisans.

Tribute creates contemporary, high touch, bespoke furnishings and accessories inspired by Italian luxury from the 50s including Italy’s avant-garde architecture, gleaming sports cars, glamorous fashion, and exclusive lifestyle.

For Milan Design Week the owners set up a pop-up exhibit inside an original 1950s apartment, a few steps from the famous Via Monte Napoleone in the heart of the fashion and design district.

We stopped by for the grand tour and to discuss luxury living with interior designer Giulio Brambilla.

Nichelle Cole: What attracts you to the 1950s?

Giulio Brambilla: In Italia the 1950s is La Bella Vita, we love the lifestyle from the 50s which has a lot of focus on details, the cars, fashion, architecture, art, lifestyle, everything.

Image from the LA DOLCE VITA photo series by Gray Malin documenting Italy’s most glamorous beaches.

Nichelle Cole: And how would you describe Tribute’s interior design style?

Giulio Brambilla: Mid-century modern. The style is around the 50s but it can have some expression from the 30s. It is a retro style but in a modern way.

Nichelle Cole: Would you describe this as minimalist design?

Giulio Brambilla: No. These looks are not minimalist to Italians, this is fancy. Maybe in Dubai this is minimalist but to Italians it is fancy.

Original Italian Mid Century Sofa, 1950s

The Paolo Armchair by Tribute (photo: courtesy Tribute)

Nichelle Cole: What sets Tribute apart from other boutique interior design firms?

Giulio Brambilla: We focus on shapes, and they are difficult to realize. Everything is hand made by artisans here in Italy, they are customizable, made to measure, we change out the colors and even the size.

Nichelle Cole: What are you presenting for Milan Design Week?

Giulio Brambilla: For Milan Design Week we introduce a capsule of chairs (sofas, armchairs, benches, stools), tables (dining tables, coffee tables, consoles), lamps and mirrors. These are all new pieces inspired by vintage designs. They are similar to pieces from the 50s but some are completely new. The yellow sofa is a completely new piece but you’d think it is from the 50s.

Nichelle Cole: The mid-century modern style is very popular. Why do you think it is so popular now.

Giulio Brambilla: I don’t know why it is so popular. It’s fashion, it’s difficult to find, and people want something cool and unique in their homes.

Nichelle Cole: What kind of reception have you received to the collection so far?

Giulio Brambilla: Everyone who came yesterday were shocked.

Nichelle Cole: Tell me about the materials and textiles.

Giulio Brambilla: The textile is mostly velvet and bouclé, like Chanel. They are all natural fibers combined in a new modern way, cotton and linen mostly. There is also a silk velvet, a technical fabric mixed with cotton.

We really focus on patterns a lot in order to give a new vision to the 50s shapes. The patterns are new but inspired from the 50s and you can customize the colors to your style and taste.

Nichelle Cole: And the marble tables?

Giulio Brambilla: The marble table is a project that is very new because just a few weeks ago we decided on the main marbles and we were focused on Carrera white marble. But when we arrived at the marble warehouse we found these amazing colors. This marble is used to restore churches. They had left over marble and they matched with our colors.

Nichelle Cole: The texture is amazing.

Giulio Brambilla: Yes, I love all the veins.

Nichelle Cole: The light fixtures are incredible.

Giulio Brambilla: Everything is brass, brass is a difficult material to work with, it has a very high fusion of temperature. These are made by a small group of artisans with a specialty in lighting. And the form can look mid-century or they can be changed.

Brass Light Fixture By Tribute.

And the lamps have the same rescued marble for the base. All of the Tribute lamps have a marble bass.

Even the paintings are rescues as well from the warehouse and they match perfectly for our pop up rooms.

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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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