Tag Archives: Milan

Planes dining table.

Scottsdale Interior Designer Launches Furniture Company in Milan

Celebrated Scottsdale-based interior designer Anita Lang, founder of IMI Design, is hosting an exclusive, industry-only launch of Design 528, her new luxury furniture company, in Milan this April during the largest international furniture show:  Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

Design 528 will unveil its first collection “The Planes,” which features fifty pieces of top quality crafted furniture with options for beds, credenzas, nightstands, seating and tables available in exotic wood veneers and lavish metal finishes. The entire collection is handmade from sustainable materials by seasoned artisans in the United States.

“I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to introduce Design 528 to the design community at a world class industry event like Material Village,” said Anita Lang, founder and CEO of Design 528.   “This show is truly the global benchmark for the home furnishing sector and attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.  What a great way to introduce our new line to the global design community.”

Salone made its first appearance in 1961 and was originally designed to promote Italian furniture and furnishing accessories on the export market. Over the years it has continued to grow and expand attracting the finest designers, architects and innovators from all over the world to share ideas and showcase their products.

Design 528 was invited to participate among the sponsor of the Materials Village, a brand new concept from Material ConneXion Italia – a renowned center of research on materials and innovative and sustainable production processes.

Material ConneXion created the 2014 Materials Village as a platform of events and initiatives dedicated to promote the culture of materials and related manufacturing companies.

“We are delighted to have Design 528 among the sponsors of our Materials Village in Milan this year,” said Michael LaGreca, Vice President of Library Access & Academic Programs at the Material ConneXion.  “Materials Village 2014 will be an amazing showcase of talent and innovation.”

The Materials Village format is an innovative layout featuring houses of various dimensions and configurations, with exhibition spaces and social events, created in the gardens of the prestigious La Triennale Museum.

Design 528 is not only a furniture company; it is a holistic business with a mission to elevate the human spirit through the design and creation of functional pieces of lifestyle artwork.  These handcrafted pieces will inspire people to live in the present while bringing prestige and excitement to the luxury furniture industry.

The design style personifies the concept of evoking positive emotions and simultaneously incorporates a heart-focused business model into the company’s strategic plan.   As a result, Design 528 aims to create a lasting, positive impact on not just its clientele, but also on the company’s employees, partners and on the global community at large.

After the industry launch in Milan, Design 528 will celebrate an official launch on May 28, 2014.  The furniture collections will be available exclusively through design showrooms in North America and Europe.  Created for an elite clientele that seeks to augment their furniture collection with distinctive pieces, the “Planes Collection” will debut this May with prices ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.


Molina dazzles Arizona for 25 years

Alfredo J. Molina doesn’t care for pennies.

“Starting when I was a young boy, I learned the jewelry business from my grandfather,” Molina says. “He would take pennies and roll them out into a sheet because copper and gold have similar malleability. Every day after school, he would put me to work on the bench for four or five hours, learning how to make jewelry. He would find fault. He was a perfectionist, but I learned how to craft fine jewelry. But to say I have a strong dislike for pennies would not be an overstatement.”

From his humble beginning working with pennies, Molina has built an empire that rocked the jewelry world in 2012 when he sold the Archduke Joseph diamond – a 76-carat stone once owned by Archduke Joseph August of Austria – for $21.5 million, the highest price ever paid at auction for a colorless diamond. If you ask Molina how he went from working with pennies to becoming a record-setting diamond seller, he is quick to point to his lineage.

“I am an 11th-generation jeweler,” Molina says. “My ancestors were silversmiths in Milan, Italy, beginning in 1634.”

His family eventually landed in Cuba, where Molina was born in 1959, three months after the revolution. Molina’s father, Roberto, had built his own multi-million-dollar jewelry and gold empire in Cuba until Castro seized power along with the Molina family fortune.

Molina’s family fled Cuba in 1967. They landed in Chicago with no money, but a man — whom Molina has never been able to identify — selflessly bought the family food so they could survive. That single act, Molina says, inspired him to become philanthropist who has given away a staggering $30 million to more than 195 nonprofit organizations.

But earning those millions to give away didn’t come easy. After coming to Phoenix as a teenager to see his uncle and then staying, Molina set his sights on opening his own jewelry business. He opened Molina By Appointment Only at 13th Street and Missouri on Oct. 1987 with no money in the bank, no inventory, and $90,000 worth of furniture that he was only able to secure because he talked the furniture store owner into a “90 days same as cash” agreement.

“I had to call it ‘by appointment only’ because I didn’t have any inventory,” Molina says. “But what that did was set us apart. By having the customers make an appointment, it gave me time to talk with them, find out what they were looking for, and then I had time to source the merchandise and when they came in, I was able to present them options that gave them exactly what they wanted.”

In his first two months in business, Molina made more than $1 million and he quickly built a reputation as the go-to jeweler for those seeking the highest quality and craftsmanship.

“We are not just in the jewelry business,” says Molina, who is celebrating 25 years in business, “We are in the emotion business. We are about the experience of buying fine jewelry. We do everything within our power to make that experience unforgettable.”

Molina Fine Jewelers
3134 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix