Four decades ago, American designer John Mascheroni partnered with Swaim Inc. Mascheroni deserves much of the credit for our decision to transition from traditional to contemporary designs. He worked with us in 1973 to create our first contemporary collection, which was so successful that Bloomingdale’s gave it exclusive space in its New York store.
Mascheroni realized his own interest in contemporary furniture in the 1960s, although his roots in the industry run much deeper. His father was an Italian craftsman who was descended from generations of artisans in the Italian tradition. A New York native who studied industrial design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Mascheroni learned woodworking by making antique European reproductions in his father’s small factory. He is fond of saying that he grew up in a New York furniture factory working beside his father.
After his father’s retirement, Mascheroni began exploring the world of contemporary design using upholstery, wood and metal. Mascheroni attributes mid-20th century luminaries such as George Nelson and Charles Eames as chief influencers for his designs, calling both men “true designers” who understood the manufacturing process.
More than a furniture designer, Mascheroni is renowned and respected within the furniture world as a true visionary. He is the recipient of countless awards for his work, which is often equated with contemporary sculpture.
“Designing upholstery is not just playing with shapes, it's playing with scale and proportion. The three things that are paramount for success are, style, fabric and the experience of sitting in it. If you fail the last of the three, as a designer, you're dead." – John Mascheroni