Following the debut of its inaugural cement tile collections at Cersaie last September, Bisazza is expanding its offerings in the trendy material this week with the launch of a new collection from French architect and designer India Mahdavi at Salone del Mobile. Mahdavi follows in the footsteps of Jaime Hayon, Carlo Dal Bianco and Paola Navone, who created the very first cement tile collections just seven months ago, heralding a new direction for the firm that is renowned for its awe-inspiring glass tile mosaics.
“I spoke with India in Paris last year. I’ve always admired her work and have always wanted to collaborate with her,” says Rossella Bisazza, the brand’s director of communications and daughter of its late founder, Renato Bisazza, of the collection's origins. “[India] told me she wanted to do a cement tile collection and in just three months the collection was ready—she’s vey professional and precise, she knew exactly what she wanted.”
Running the company alongside her brother, Piero Bisazza, Rossella believes that the brand has been strengthened through this product diversification and has already attracted a new, different type of customer. “The cement tiles are probably more rustic but at the same time very contemporary as we work with internationally renowned designers,” she explains. “I am always the one to select the women designers and my brother selects the men, I don’t know why,” she laughs, “but it works.” It would certainly seem so given that the studio’s previous collaborators include prestigious female power players such as Andrée Putman, Patricia Urquiola, Paola Navone and now India Mahdavi, whose bold geometric designs recall ‘70s pop patterns.
Handmade in Tunisia, where cement tiles have been made for generations, Bisazza runs its own production. “The colours are more refined and we worked on the texture of the tiles to make them softer than the traditional version,” Rossella tells us. “They are handmade so every tile is different from the next, which I think is a . It’s not like ceramics where all the tiles are exactly the same, this one has more life and the texture is fascinating because it’s not shiny it’s more silky to the touch.”
With a new showroom opening in New York during ICFF, the launch of a mosaic collection by British designer Tricia Guild of Designers Guild during London’s Chelsea Flower show and a new cement tile collection by a yet-to-be-announced British designer in the works for September, Bisazza is set for another busy year.