Italian luxury furniture and kitchen brand Molteni has opened a showroom in the Iranian capital of Tehran, following the lifting of trade embargoes earlier this year.
Molteni Group – which owns the Molteni&C furniture company, as well as the Dada and Armani Dada kitchen brands – teamed up with Iranian company Ravagh Home to launch Molteni Persia.
It takes up two floors of the former Belgian embassy building near the city centre. The upper floors of the renovated building will be used for art exhibitions.
“We are the first [Italian brand] investing that much in this market,” said Marco Piscitelli, Molteni’s general manager.
The Italian company believes the burgeoning Iranian market will generate around $5m in income from its design brands over the next three years.
Molteni previously had a limited presence in Iran through dealers who avoided international embargoes by importing through Dubai.
But the lifting of these sanctions at the beginning of 2016 is opening the country up to European brands.
“Iranians are super hungry about design and Italian brands in general,” said Piscitelli, although he then admitted demand was not as great as in places such as India.
“Our partner is very well connected to a certain niche of clientele which brings them projects, residential mainly, but even hospitality, which is another part that could grow in Tehran because since they opened the market everything is becoming more easy and even more attractive.”