Rising to prominence in the mid 80s as a talented furniture designer, Tom Dixon was 30 years ahead of the “hipster trend” of recycled furniture, making his signature welded salvaged furniture his calling card. Nevertheless, his foray into mainstream design began just before the turn of the 90s when he worked with Italian design stalwart Cappellini for whom he designed the Iconic ‘S’ chair. Having successfully run in his own company and heading Habitat to great success, Dixon eventually formed his own namesake label, sold internationally in 65 countries and since 2012, an annual fixture at Maison et Objet, Paris. Today, he has his cool new concept – a restaurant in Milan where everything is for sale – The Mazoni.
“It’s very monochromatic, which is what we’ve focused on with the new collection, and also with an emphasis on materiality.” – Jessica Strutt, Tom Dixon
Quality hand-crafted furniture should be enjoyed, touched and used before purchasing it and this is why the British designer decided to make his showroom permanent in Milan this year. Tom Dixon’s design research studio worked on The Mazoni showcasing his three latest collections. However, it is no mere “furniture showroom”, it is also a fine dining option for potential buyers.
At The Manzoni, Dixon’s new collections includes Fat, an upholstered seating line; Spring, a trio of pendant lamps; and Opal, a spherical lighting collection. In the restaurant, these elements work to soften the space and balance the bass notes of concrete and marble – expressing Dixon’s vision.
“It’s very monochromatic, which is what we’ve focused on with the new collection, and also with an emphasis on materiality. So the walls, the tables, the elements of stainless steel all relate back to that idea,” said Strutt. The Manzoni’s main space, called The Dining Hall, features a vast “monastic Italian” dining table lit by a string of Opal globes, accompanied by Fat dining chairs. Looking for a private dining area? The Jungle Room functions as the main display area for the brand’s collections but can be turned into a private dining area for guests to enjoy. “It’s a great meeting place for the tea, or to have a dinner party or something,” added Strutt.
Beyond the Jungle Room lies the courtyard, with an expansive round green Primavera marble table accompanied with silver seats with thick bases and vertically trained plants that grows up the walls. Guests will be able to enjoy Italian dinner entrees by Executive Chef, Roy Smith Paredes Ynfantes, such as Sicilian-style ring-shape pasta with roasted eggplant, tomato and ricotta and boneless duck leg cooked in Lambrusco wine.
“After doing 5-days exhibitions in Milan, we finally decided that we had enough of putting such energy into pop-up exhibitions,” explains the designer. “With the city being so active and engaging right now, it is the right time to forget being temporary and build something permanent.”
This isn’t the first restaurant Tom Dixon has worked on. The Coal Office restaurant in London joins the offices, flagship store and showroom that Dixon opened in April 2018 and The Mazoni is another fine addition to his portfolio.