We are proud to introduce you to Annabella Nassetti, a talented Italian designer who has been living in London for many years. Read how she managed to achieve excellence in her business, and how this has taken her to be part of a global project based on women’s empowerment. Thank you, Annabella.
Annabella, you are Italian, but you prefer to write in English – what is your linguistic story? Tell us a bit about yourself…
I was born in Milan. My parents believed I’d better be raised bilingual in such a way that English would become my first language and in view of that they made sure I would get an English-based education since a very young age.
I attended the American School in Milan, where I also learnt Spanish, and The American School in Lugano, Switzerland. Later on I studied international Business at Franklin College in Lugano where I continued my education in English combined with French.
When I joined the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan where I specialised in interior design, I had to switch back to Italian, my mother tongue.
It was challenging , but I soon learnt and improved my writing skills in Italian – especially when describing my projects. I got to love the Italian language because it is very complex, poetic and fascinatingly melodic.
Following my university degree, I moved to London and opted for a British accent because it sounded nicer than the American one that had characterised my pronunciation for so many years.
Now I’ve been living in London for 23 years and English is pretty much my first language. Running a design, project management and construction business, I also got to learn a variety of legal terms that are quite recurrent in my daily work.
Why did you pick London as your destination, and how did you get organised to start a life there? Challenges, difficulties? Things that helped you?
I chose London because it felt like the capital of Europe. A very multi-cultural city, not too far from Milan, my home city.
London gave me some great opportunities right after my graduation when I started working on high-end design projects for international clients who appreciated my Italian flair.
My following studies in architectural interior design allowed me to change the proportions of details when designing either products or Interiors. I gained a new view of design, a different perspective. My interiors started taking a shape that clients and buyers really liked because they found them exciting, practical, and multi-functional. I maximised the value of the properties I designed so that they could get rented or sold at record prices.
Thanks to the efficient way refurbishing projects are regulated in London, I discovered how easy it was to respect programmes and work within given budgets. I professionally evolved in delivering very complex refurbishments for the expected quality, on budget and on time. In 2008 I setup my own in-house construction company and that really allowed me and my team to be fully responsible from conception to delivery by offering an all-in turnkey service which simplifies and optimises both work and outcome. I honestly enjoy the responsibility and I can proudly say that all our projects have met both budgets and deadlines since 2008 when AB Nassetti, ‘A Living Concept’ was founded.
I know you are part of an exciting project that involves women, design, and empowerment. Would you like to tell us about it?
The G100 Mission Million project is particularly close to my heart because it is a non-profit organisation that will raise awareness of female talent in the design and lifestyle world. Architect Zaha Hadid is the inspiration, and the aim is to find more creative talented women of her calibre.
I have been appointed as the Global Chair of the Design and Lifestyle Wing of this incredible project by Dr Harbeen Aurora, the founder of G100. Thanks to her unwavering and selfless leadership, her lofty vision of women’s empowerment through peace, equality, and prosperity for all, she has been recognised and commended for her efforts in India and around the world. The list of honours and appreciation includes India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Queen Elizabeth II, and Oprah Winfrey. I felt an instant connection with Dr Harbeen and took on this project with the intention of providing young talented interior designers and architects with the same opportunities I was given when I moved to London in 1997.
The G100 Design & Lifestyle Chapter under my guidance as its global Chair, will provide opportunities through interactions with like-minded individuals, as well as mentoring to young talents, by establishing a global community that supports and inspires women in the creation of a more sustainable lifestyle through design, architecture, and technological insights. Through projects in Architecture, Product Design, Interior Design, Engineering and Digital Technology we will create a multicultural and multidisciplinary environment in which the common goal supersedes individual goals.
I am in the process of appointing 100 Country Chairs Worldwide living in 100 different countries. Each Country Chair will select 30 young talents who will also be participating in Awards, and global competitions that will allow them to be seen and be given opportunities in the professional world.
This is the space where professionals from all around the world will join forces to transform ideas into products. Like-minded individuals and young talents will be connected and will profit from a worldwide network.
Get in touch if you want to be part of a global movement that will provide the necessary feminine touch for a better world.
Interviewed by Claudiaexpat
All photos ©AnnabellaNassetti