Top 20 influencers: the brightest big bosses in the business
Our pick of the men and women who match vision with strategic smarts, and manufacturing and design innovation with a confidence that quality will, eventually, win out
Behind every great design company is an equally – if not greater – business mind. As part of our Power 200 list of the globe’s pre-eminent design talent – a doubling of our Power 100 list, devised as part of our celebratory 200th issue of Wallpaper* – we’ve collated a list of the brightest big bosses in the business; the men and women who match vision with strategic smarts, and manufacturing and design innovation with a confidence that quality will, eventually, win out.
On one side, we have those eponymous heads of totemic and established companies at the top of their games: such titans as Carlo Molteni and Alberto Alessi, Michael Maharam, Rolf and Mette Hay, Roberto and Renato Minotti, and Nadja Swarovski, the latter of whom has transformed a twee brand into a dazzling design patron.
On the other, the power CEOs revitalising and pushing existing brands to the peak of their powers: Claudio Luti at Kartell, Kvadrat’s Anders Byriel, Georg Jensen’s David Chu, Restoration Hardware moderniser Gary Friedman, Marianne Goebl at the Vitra-owned Artek, ClassiCon’s Oliver Holy and Vitra’s own co-CEO Nora Feldbaum.
In between – though no less significant – are other tactical mega-minds such as Vipp’s CEO and chief designer Kasper Egelund and Morten Bo Jensen (respectively), Flos’ lighting maven Piero Gandini, SCP founder Sheridan Coakley, Emeco-embellisher Gregg Buchbinder, B&B Italia CEO Giorgio Busnelli and the sharply intuitive Patrizia Moroso.
It’s hard to underestimate the significance of our chosen 20 – the individuals with our contemporary design identity in their hands, and the facilitators pushing the world’s brightest design talents to stratospheric new heights.