The key to everything Magis is and does is Signor Perazza. Eugenio Perazza, the founder and ‘head’ of Magis… that´s what he calls himself: the head (and he would tap his index finger against his forehead while saying this). Did you notice that the cover of previous Magis catalogues always featured a mule´s head. In Wikipedia it says, “It has been claimed that mules are “more patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived than horses, and they are considered less obstinate, faster, and more intelligent than donkeys.”
“Patient, sure-footed, hardy and long-lived… and faster and more intelligent than donkeys”. That´s what Perazza loves to think of Magis, being the mule against the other donkeys :-)
It has to be said that Perazza is not the easiest person. You either do or do not get on with him. He can be a beautifully gentle and loving person, but at the same time he is quite a strong-headed man (head!). It took time for me to build a close relationship with Perazza, but for many years now I have enjoyed being amongst the close circle of designers he loves to work with. And I love working with him! So much so, he is without doubt my favorite, closest and most inspiring ally in the industry. Perazza – the head – is always tinkering with ideas about new projects for Magis. New projects, new adventures – he loves that and he is absolutely fearless about looking for new challenges, always. Magis is his life. He invented it, and he keeps re-inventing it. He thinks about Magis constantly, non-stop. In the office we joke about the fact that Italian summer holidays (they are obligatory, the whole country shuts down during the month of August) must be the saddest days of the year for Perazza. Poor Perazza. In August it must feel like someone is stealing his toy from him. The toy is his company, and with it come the people working there. Magis is Perazza´s family. He really cares for everyone there and feels responsible for them. As designers we are part of that family and that means that he cares for us in the same way. Perazza normally calls me once a day… not always to discuss urgent matters, but rather to connect. At least once a day. I guess it is his way of saying that he is thinking of me, that he cares. And at the same time, of course, he wants to be assured that I am also thinking about him/Magis. As a matter of fact, we are… normally. Magis is a constant in my office. There are probably very few days in the year (not even the Italian summer holidays) during which we are not working for Magis. There is a continuous flow of projects, a permanent exchange of ideas, thoughts, info, data, pictures, drawings, samples. It is such an easy and productive way to work when there is a steady dialogue. We don´t only work with Perazza, of course: there is a small team of engineers at Magis. Young people, very smart, very motivated, very nice. Its a great joy working with them, really. Perazza assigns one of his technical staff to each designer. We work with Matteo Zattarin. We have probably been working with him for more than ten years. It helps a great deal knowing each other so well. As with Perazza, the relationship we have with Matteo is much more than professional… it has become a real friendship. Perazza´s son Alberto runs the business side of Magis, while his wife Barbara Minetto is responsible for marketing. It´s a set-up which works. Perazza enjoys the freedom of working on his projects, thinking ahead (head!), further and further… while there is a very sound foundation backing it all up. Typical Magis. Typical mule. Faster-thinking and more intelligent than the others.