Hitting a Home in One
Gian Luca Gessi has made an art out of home furnishings. The sharply dressed gentleman is the founder and CEO of Gessi Group, an Italian company specialising in luxury bathroom and kitchen concepts, with an emphasis on generating a sense of wellbeing through its products. With the opening of Casa Gessi in Singapore in March 2015, he is leading a convoy of forward-thinking design and sustainable practices that are taking Asian homes, hotels and spas by storm. But even with a tight schedule that sees him shuttling between continents on a regular basis, Gessi takes some time out to share about life outside of his work.
One of my favourite fashion brands is Ermenegildo Zegna. The Zegna family lives in the same region as mine do in Italy. We are very close both as a family and professionally, and share many similar hobbies, one of which is vintage cars.
My favourite cars are Italian made. For newer cars, I am inclined towards Ferrari and Maserati as they are doing a great job of flying the Italian flag worldwide. But my favourite vintage car is Fiat. We also own a vintage Volkswagen van in our collection that I drive around when I want to unwind from work.
I can probably start a museum with my collection of things from all over the world. Wherever I go, I look out for anything from chairs to carpets to antique objects. We have often used many of these items from my private collection in the Gessi showrooms, and have received many requests from customers who want to buy them. The last thing I collected was a series of bird cages. I had amassed various types of them from different parts of the world.
Outside of work, I spend a lot of time with family and friends. I am mostly always working, so when I have free time, I like to relax by going skiing or sailing. We are located in a fantastic part of Italy where we have access to a lot of nature and activities.
My favourite meal is one that’s not just about the food, but the complete dining experience and emotion it evokes. It is the same as Gessi’s philosophy. You can take a shower anywhere where there is a pipe and water, but the difference lies in the experience of the shower itself. Similarly, you can eat on the street, but eating in a restaurant with a chef who cooks for you changes the entire experience.
The secret to running a successful business is being able to inspire and empower your employees. We put the value of our people in the centre of our projects. Without our own people being completely committed, there is no way a project can be successful. We share the same vision within this family unit, and help each other achieve our goals. By adopting this same approach with our partners, we are able to surrounded ourselves with loyal partners that have in essence, become family too.
I always travel with is my Gessi pin. I always wear it for good luck.