01. About our tradition
Povo is a name associated with the search for beauty, sensitivity and a passion for a job well done. The Povo family has always looked at life through the prism of esthetics and with a view towards harmonizing their surroundings.
Handcrafted iron is the main protagonist. The lighting designs are highly appreciated by a sensitive and knowledgeable public.
The emphasis on paper shades, hand stitched or covered with silk and featuring original illustrations from Mr. Povo in the 1940s, allows for personalization and gives these lights a special quality.
The elegance and simplicity of these designs make them suitable both in a rustic setting and in a modern and avant-garde decoration context.
The Povos’ veins carry a special ability to express their Mediterranean character through art and design. Doing so intuitively and with emotion, the Povos have worked towards the creation of art and objects to embellish everyday life.
We should start the story of the Povos at the end of the 19th century, when Francisco Povo expressed his sensitivity through painting. He married Lola, a woman with graceful, nimble hands and an expert in creating and producing hats for stars of the theater. Cruel fate took Lola too early, leaving the painter a widow and father to three children. That is when the Povos moved to Paris, like all true artists of that time.
Fernando’s brothers, all older and less introspective than he, needed to channel the passion of the Povos through their hands and so they became ironmongers. Fernando Povo, one of the three sons, would later incorporate that trade into his designs, understanding that it was civilizing work, manipulating material to turn it into that which one dreams. Fernando Povo understood that the manipulation of iron forms part of an ancestral desire to control the uncontrollable.
Fernando Povo left to find his fortune in Barcelona. With his inherited sensitivity and deftness for drawing, and his innate elegance in the proposal of new spaces, Fernando made a name for himself in decorating and earned a good reputation among the intellectual and business elite in Barcelona. He soon started to design interiors for a variety of areas – shop windows, commercial premises, movie theaters and homes – even designing all the furniture, since interior design at that time involved the design of each and every one of the space’s elements and details.
Fernando Povo fell in love with a young woman, Carme, who was sixteen years his junior. She possessed a profound spirituality, mixed with a sensible mind for business that would offset and complement Fernando’s esthetic, idealistic and fanciful bent. Carme and Fernando were one of those couples that work in tandem. A brilliant and prosperous pairing that not only gave rise to three children, but also founded a shop in the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona in 1953 on Banys Nous street, a stone’s throw from the old Roman wall.
At the shop they sold antiques and Fernando’s designs, furniture designed for customers at first and, soon after, new products to meet the demand from Barcelona’s bourgeoisie. The Povos then put together a team of artisans: wood workers, ironmongers, glass workers, screen makers, among others. That team brought Fernando Povo’s dreams and drawings to life with the excellence that the Povo brand had already required.
From that time on, the Povos’ business would have one basic objective: to conceive and create designs for everyday life, without skimping on esthetics and quality of execution, because the Povos instinctively knew that art must be at the service of life.
The third generation carried on with their father’s passion for design and visual arts, incorporating their mother’s business sense and entrepreneurial nature. Fernando and Carme’s three daughters each took their own path. The oldest, Gemma, got her degree in Fine Arts and specialized in the design of handcrafted products. She took over her father’s shop in 1979.
While studying Fine Arts at the university of Barcelona, Gemma Povo worked side by side with her father, who instilled in her the Povo spirit of interior decoration, design and production. The first flashes of talent and success were seen in her designs for leaded glass to be used in her father’s interior design projects. Soon, her sensitivity and esthetic vision melded with the overall Povo project, enhancing it with new, fresh ideas.
Over four decades, Gemma Povo created two design lines: one contemporary, to complement Fernando Povo’s traditional perspective, and the other a special collection made up of one-of-a-kind, totally unique pieces comprising the fusion and recycling of decontextualized antiques. Gemma Povo still leads the team of artisans located throughout Catalonia that produces Povo designs.
The youngest generation of Povo designers, headed up by Gala Povo, Gemma’s middle daughter, is looking to go one step further and bring these products – resulting from a passion for art and forged over generations, at the service of day-to-day living – to the entire world so that more people can enjoy this ancestral way of life in their own homes.
After four generations, the store has designs from the 60’s coexisting in perfect harmony with the most current ones, and each one has its own audience. It could be said that what differentiates us is that our designs bear the POVO seal, unmistakable
02. Respectful materials and process.
Transparency is the first step towards a sustainable supply and production chain.
All our designs are made of raw and natural materials, by people who are treated and paid fairly. Thanks to these pure products, we strive to achieve true sustainability.
We carefully select our suppliers and partners to know how they work. We take full responsibility of everything we do, both socially and environmentally.
Exclusive drawing on silkPovo's drawing from th e40s
Wrought ironworking on the wrought iron process for the Povo iron designs
Very authentic old tilesOld tiles from Catalan houses
Natural hem threadWe sew each lamp-shade with natural materials
03. Artisan and timeless products
We believe that the value of the products does not change over time
A good design only gains added value and starts telling a story if you use it for a long time. This is the reason we have always focused on what is essential and timeless. In addition, we have decided to stop offering sales. We believe that the value of the products does not change over time and that the products must always have a fair price for the consumer, retailers and people who work and produce our iron designs, as well as blacksmiths, seamstresses of our shades, glass suppliers for our tables, etc.
Our collection focuses on high quality designs that adapt to everything and that you will love to have for years.
We design our products so that they are as timeless as possible, and we do not make sales or seasonal collections. The products remain in the collection for years, so you will be able to buy again your favorite design.