Cristina Morozzi interviewed Giulio Mariano of Mariano Light for Design Italy. Let's find out more about the origins and evolution of the historical Salento company specialising in the lighting sector.
Mariano Light is a historic family company from Corigliano d'Otranto (Lecce), specialising in the design and installation of illuminations in Italy and around the world. It was founded in 1898 by Salvatore Mariano, who bequeathed it to his son Eliseo, who's Lucio's father. The dynasty continues with the second of Lucio's three sons, Giulio.
We asked Giulio, who has a degree in architecture from the Milan Polytechnic and a master's degree in architecture from the University of Technology in Delft (Holland), to tell us about the past and present of the family business.
In the early days, Mariano Light created illuminations for local festivals. The design process began with sketches on paper that were then reproduced life-size on the pavement. Currently, we start with a hand-drawn illustration and proceed with the computer. For the past four years, we have been creating indoor "illuminations", conceived as domestic decorations.
Tell me about indoor illuminations. What prompted you to diversify your offerings?
It was necessary to renew and expand an already growing market with installations for special events and window displays. So we created a particular line, different from the one intended for patronal festivals, and simplified the structure. We started by adapting the sacred ones. Gradually, we looked for other suggestions, as the Rosoni line inspired by the decorations of St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice or taking inspiration from famous paintings, such as those of Matisse. My wife Dominique, who is also an architect, collaborates with me in the research of sources and design.
Are the subjects updated periodically?
Almost every week, we introduce new decorations to complement the traditional ones, such as Rosone 100. In 2020, for example, we launched Fior di Margherita and Fiore di cappero.
Our products are in high demand by an increasingly international client base, both B2B and B2C.
In 2018, we created a 30-meter installation, "Pinta Cura", in Geneva, based on a work by artist Frederic Post. We collaborate with fashion brands such as Dior and Dolce&Gabbana for window displays and events. In 2017 we decorated Harrods' storefronts with new rosettes. We also do a lot of window displays, especially Christmas ones, around the world.
In 2014 in Fasano, we made the luminous setting for a spectacular Indian wedding and again in 2018 for another Indian wedding with 1000 guests at Villa Olmo on Lake Como.
Do you also collaborate with designers to create the decorations?
We have collaborated with artists, such as Pierluigi Calignano and Angelo Accardi, and the Apulian designer Fabio Novembre for the stage lights of the Taranta festival in 2015. We also worked with the designer Paola Navone for the company Baxter.
Mariano Light's collection is available on Design Italy.