Flou was founded in 1978 with the market launch of Nathalie, the first modern padded textile bed with completely removable covers. The company now offers a range of ‘total living’ products geared to wellness, design excellence and Made in Italy quality.
In over forty years of design research and innovation, and collaboration with illustrious names, including the great Vico Magistretti, Flou has been able to create beds that were (and are) true icons of creativity, and by no coincidence, a must-have fixture in every museum or exhibition dedicated to industrial design. At the time of writing, Flou offers comprehensive collections of total living furnishings, not only for the bedroom but for every domestic ambience. Elegance, harmony, emotion but above all comfort: the products presented by Flou are the result of research that is reviewed annually in terms of aesthetics and function, wellness and quality, for rooms to be enjoyed in the spirit of beauty and a revitalised desire for harmony with the surroundings.
A tale of successful achievements.
Flou’s history is marked by continuous and repeated successful achievements, confirmations and commendations, among which two “Compasso d’Oro” awards presented to the company by ADI – Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (The Italian Association for Industrial Design) – in 2004 and 2020 stand out.
In 2004, Flou was presented with the ADI Compasso d’Oro for its career with the following rationale: “A vocation spanning decades of in-depth research focusing on design and comfort, in a specialist area that considers the profound cultural differences between nations, is behind the international consolidation of Flou. The excellence of its production and its communication campaigns throughout its existence has made an important contribution to enhancing the reputation of Italian design and its products around the world.”
In 2020, the bed Natalie, designed by Vico Magistretti in 1978, was awarded the ADI Compasso d’Oro for the career of a Product with the following rationale: “Nathalie is synonymous with typological innovation in the textile bed sector; over time this bed has epitomised a perfect example of function and poetry.”
In 2021 Flou was presented with the “Premio Leonardo Qualità Italia 2019” award in the presence of the President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, with the following rationale: “To Flou, as the international leader in the production of beds and design furniture for the living quarters.”
“The bed is a special place where the future is born, where couples connect, where families are created, where people think about their tomorrows. That is my opinion today as it was when I founded Flou all those years ago”.
With this phrase, Rosario Messina expresses the very essence of the company he founded in 1978 with partners, and some years later he acquired in its entirety. Flou thrived and developed thanks to his enthusiasm, his intuition and his desire to make the ‘culture of sleep’ his life’s mission.
Rosario Messina was born in 1942 in the town of Aci Castello in Sicily. His father died when he was still young and he suddenly found himself as head of the family. He worked in the Catania branch of the Rinascente department store but this did not prevent him attending night school to study for his High School diploma.
He was later employed at the Catania branch of Zanussi-Rex, the most important Italian manufacturer of electrical appliances at that time. He decided to move to the north of the country and was appointed sales manager at B&B and subsequently head of the commercial department at Cinova.
Finally, he arrived at Bassetti, which at the time was the leader in the production of home textiles; an experience that would then lead him to the development of a new concept for the application of upholstery fabrics and in 1978 to a major turning point: the company Flou was founded, and he passionately dedicated the rest of his life to its growth and development. Resourcefulness, foresight, and an acute ability to blend designs and revolutionary marketing ideas were the special qualities that allowed Sicily-born Messina to make his mark in Lombardy, in an area that concentrated the most important companies of Italian furniture design. His success was so great that the City Council of Meda conferred Honorary Citizenship to him.
His career was rich with commendations and awards, including the “Compasso d’Oro ADI alla Carriera” [the Compasso d’Oro ADI for career]; his appointment as “Entrepreneur of the Year” Ernst & Young; the “Made in Italy Awards, New York”; the Medaglia d’Oro (Gold Medal) Confindustria Monza; the “Piazza Mercanti award” presented by the Chamber of Commerce, Milan; his appointment as Consigliere Associazione Industriali [Board Member for the Association of Industrialists] for Monza and Brianza; the Rotary Prize “Paul Harris per l’Imprenditoria” for entrepreneurship.
In the Nineties, he reached the summit of the relative trade associations when he was appointed president of Gruppo Mobili Assarredo, the Association of Furniture Manufacturers; president of Assarredo, the umbrella association of all furnishing companies; president of Salone del Mobile in Milan – that consecrated Milan as the “design capital” under his two terms of office – and president of Federlegno-Arredo that groups 2300 entrepreneurs of the 12 associations of the furniture-furnishing sector.
Crowning his extraordinary professional and human achievements was the President of the Republic of Italy awarding him the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro [Order of Merit for Labor] in 2008.
He died prematurely in 2011.
Flou is currently being run by Rosario Messina’s three children: Cristiana, Manuela and Massimiliano who is the company President.
Cristiana, Massimiliano and Manuela Messina were already integral components of the Flou staff when their father died in 2011 and they stepped up to take over the management of the company, each with individual responsibilities that continue today. They have proceeded along the pathway of growth, research and development, promoting Flou as an outstanding example of a family-run company that has been able to achieve international leadership and have a strong presence in numerous top furniture showrooms around the world.
A company thriving thanks to constant evolution
Founded with the explicit objective to create a new sleep culture, Flou has evolved and expanded over the years to develop new proposals for all-round comfort and wellness, in every room in the house.
From the beds and everything related to the science of sleep (mattresses, pillows, duvets and bedlinens), Flou has evolved naturally over the years, increasing the goods on offer with a line of accessories and impactful wardrobes, with textured doors inspired by and confirming the textile soul of the company; there is also an exclusive and elegant collection of sofas, armchairs and furnishings designed for the living room. These clearly illustrate the company’s ability to transport to every room in the house the same comfort and wellness that have guaranteed the immediate and unmistakeable recognition of the Flou beds.
A new beginning: Natevo appeared in 2013
From the bedroom to “total living” and beyond: in 2013 Flou founded Natevo, the first Italian company to design, produce and commercialize pieces of furniture with LED lighting integrated in the structure.
Natevo emerged from Flou’s history and know-how. It is the first Italian company to produce furniture and accessories that presented a new way of conceiving light, not just as a functional and esthetic element, but as a source of harmony, warmth and emotion. The LEDs integrated in the structure can illuminate rooms with no need for additional light fittings or fixtures.
Apart from anything else, Natevo is a project with a high ethical edge, a mission of social commitment that aims to reduce energy and construction costs for new builds and restructuring enterprises.
The products, designed by creatives with different languages, reveal a continuity of research that combines quality, experience and passion for an innovative and ecologically-aware lifestyle.
Flou around the world
Thanks to an invaluable network of highly qualified and reliable partners, the Flou and Natevo collections are distributed through the top designer furniture showrooms in Italy and in fifty countries around the world, in addition to their single brand showrooms in Milan and New York.
The values we believe in
People, consistency, honesty, passion.
Four simple words guide our work. People are at the heart of everything: in the respect for collaborators and employees who, thanks to their labour, contribute to the success of Flou, and in the attention to the needs of our customers, who renew their trust in us year after year. Consistency and honesty, that have always guided our entrepreneurial choices. Finally, passion that always pushes us on our quest for what is beautiful and the development of well-crafted and long-lasting products that can improve the wellness and the quality of life of the people who choose them.
Quality with respect for the planet
Flou has always been committed to safeguarding the planet and each year it draws-up new objectives in terms of sustainability, maintaining the very highest standards of quality and constantly reducing the environmental impact of its manufacturing activities.
Flou was awarded the quality certificate UNI ES ISO 9001-2015: this is issued by a third-party standardization body and certifies the entrepreneurial input of a company’s operational optimization through efficient management, appropriate structures, the necessary skills and know-how, and guaranteed reliability for customers, suppliers, staff and collaborators. Consequently, every year Flou draws-up new objectives for cost-cutting and reducing consumption to improve its financial standing and to reduce the impact its manufacturing activities may have on the environment. Among these we can list the application of consumption evaluation criteriaand the integration of its energy supply with data monitoring; this will consent rapid, targeted intervention in areas of greater dispersion, consumption spikes and any other unusual or anomalous events. Flou has always favored natural and recyclable primary materials, selecting local suppliers, reducing production waste and limiting energy consumption, convinced that safeguarding our planet walks hand-in-hand with the company’s original mission: to offer top quality products that have been studied, designed and manufactured to improve comfort, wellness and quality of life.