Our company was born one hundred years ago, in 1920, in Valsesia, where the Toscanini family, which originated in the Piacenza Apennines, put down their roots in the early 1900s.
The events between the first sawmill started by our great-grandfather and the present factory, which specialises in making clothes hangers and hanging systems, constitute a long story. A story written by persons like our father, Ettore Toscanini, persons determined to grow and improve day after day with creativity, tenacity and a pinch of visionary spirit.
Following this example, today we design and produce our wooden and plexiglass clothes hangers and other products to display garments in boutiques or to organise wardrobes in the home, visualising how to make them unique, beautiful, practical and, above all, right for the person that is going to use them.
Collections conceived for the world of fashion and its specific needs and collections for private homes.
We can count on unrivalled skilled craftsmanship contained in the hands and ideas of a host of able workers and on the best that technology can put at the service of creativity, so that ideas can be transformed into real objects.
We believe in quality, because it is beauty and the pride of doing one’s work well. We make everything in Italy, at Isolella Sesia, because it is here that our heart beats for Made in Italy.
Why do we call them portabiti – “clothes carriers”?
We decided to call our products portabiti because, among all the available options, this seems to us the most suitable name for describing them.
Portare means “carry”, “support with care”, but also avvicinare – “bring something close to someone”, provide a service. And this is what our portabiti do, and know how to do well.
We can say that with us, the clothes hanger has evolved and transformed from a mere article to hang clothes into a design product. The various Italian regional definitions cramped our style, we needed a name that expressed the concepts of quality, care and elegance.
Call them as you may: grucce (cross-shaped hangers), appendini (little hangers) omini and ometti (literally, “little men” hangers) , attaccapanni (clothes stands), bastoni (wardrobe poles) ….but when you have one of our clothes hangers in your hands you will see that it could only be called a HANGER!
ONCE UPON A TIME
THE TWENTIES. Great grandfather Giuseppe Toscanini starts trading in timber at Isolella Sesia.
He came from Bogli, a village in the Piacenza Apennines, where he worked as an expert sawyer, an artisan who specialises in hand woodworking. Bogli is also the place of origin of the family of Arturo Toscanini, the great orchestra conductor.
UNDER THE SIGN OF WOOD
THE THIRTIES. Giovanni, Giuseppe’s son, starts making fine knives on a small scale.
His wife Angela helps him by punching the knives with the name “Toscanini Isolella” and selling them, taking them in her pannier on her back, at the market in Trivero, near Biella, in front of the Zegna wool mill, and other markets in the area. The first patent for a Toscanini knife was deposited in 1933.
INGENUITY AND ORDERLINESS
THE FORTIES. Ettore Toscanini, the second-born of Giovanni and Angela, takes up the reins of the little family business and brings about a change by producing wooden clothes hangers.
Italy is changing, Italians want to leave the hardships of war behind them and begin to buy articles for their homes. Ettore, gifted with extraordinary intuition and great technical and design capability, seizes upon the opportunity and starts making clothes hangers for department stores and wholesalers on an industrial scale.
THE FIFTIES. Business grows and the factory and its production lines with it.
The increase in manufacturing capacity enables the firm to provide an even better service to department stores, above all, La Rinascente in Milan, followed by Standa, Upim and Metro.
In 1954, Ettore Toscanini starts work on the construction of a new factory building, a project that he follows in all the slightest details and which still constitutes the heart of the production of Toscanini clothes hangers. In the same year, he signs the first commercial agreements with important clients in the United States.
THE SIXTIES. Italy is at the height of its boom, there is no pause in industrial growth or in the activities of the Toscanini company.
In these years, Italian creativity weds design and functionality and thus some of the most iconic Made in Italy products come into being. Toscanini also patents and manufacturers room valets and tie racks.
AT YOUR FEET
THE SEVENTIES. The advent of plastic products risks slowing down the production of clothes hangers, but Ettore has an intuition that will lead to a great commercial success..
he creates a range of mules in cork and wood with perfect lines and a variety of fashionable finishes. The “Made by Toscanini” mules conquer the Italian market; the company produces as many as 500,000 pairs per season, using various species: beech, alder, cork and wawa, a very light African wood.
THE EIGHTIES. The season of our great debut in the fashion world with an exceptional sponsor: Valentino.
Indeed, this fashion house commissions a clothes hanger for its boutiques from Toscanini. To celebrate the event, our company baptises the model with the name of the famous stylist.
During the same period, an important agreement is reached with the Williams Sonoma Group, a leading household goods retailer in the United States and Canada: a collaboration destined to endure and become a firm friendship.
THE NINETIES. With Giovanni, Cristina and Federica, Ettore’s children, the fourth generation of the family enters the firm.
They bring with them design, technological and creative talents in addition to a new commercial vision. The company enters the fashion world in its own right, diversifies production and enhances the quality of its products. Federica starts to liaise with global brands. New species of wood are tried out, such as red cedar with its exquisitely beautiful grains and a delicate forest scent with mothproof properties.
KNOW-HOW BECOMES TRANSPARENT
The 2000s. After wood, plexiglass comes onto the scene, a precious material full of light and fascinating reflections.
Toscanini develops the know-how for working methacrylate, a fine material that can be sculpted as if it were marble. New models are created that play on transparencies and refractions, including a special article for Jean Paul Gaultier. The new millennium is marked by even more novelties: avant-garde models like Ba-Rocco and collections for lingerie and children and other patents.
JUST FOR YOU
The 2010s. Trends point to growing demand for customised products, design objects that contribute to the harmony of an ambience and self-concept.
“Bespoke” is the keyword, with a return to the origins, when Toscanini made clothes hangers for Italian homes. Our company creates the SuMisura collection for private clients, which includes a selection of hangers which can be customised in line with the personal sizes and tastes of men, women and even children. It is now possible to purchase clothes hangers and wardrobe accessories easily on line.
TODAY. Toscanini is 100 years old, yet is still learning and finding new applications for its creativity and technical capability.
Our company continues to liaise with visual merchandisers of major international fashion brands and creates clothes hangers on the basis of each house’s retail concept.
New collections are born: like the Hôtellerie, specially conceived for hotels and restaurants; Toscanini Interior, which offers architects and interior designers entirely customisable design solutions; and Corporate Gifting dedicated to businesses.
THE PERFECT WARDROBE
TOMMOROW. Design, imagine, accomplish. Toscanini is not going to stop.
The Toscanini Interior collection, which includes the Wardrobe Project and the SuMisura collection, is enriched with complementary articles – fabric clothes bags, mothproof red cedar balls, shoe trees and hanging accessories, all practical, matching and customisable to impart order and beauty to all wardrobes. But the best, as the saying goes, is yet to come!