Cappellini was originally founded as a family-owned handcrafted furniture atelier in Como in Lombardy, Italy in 1946. The Cappellini brand as it is known today, however, really had its start in 1979, when Giulio Cappellini took over his family’s business as creative director. He broadened its focus to emphasize manufacturing across both the contemporary furniture and product arenas designed by an international roster of hand selected international emerging and established talents, including the likes of Jasper Morrison, Shigeru Ban, Inga Sempé, Marc Newson, and the Bouroullec brothers. Since that time, Cappellini has produced some of the boldest, most iconic designs of the past century, including Shiro Kuramata’s Pyramid Chest (originally designed in 1968 for Ishamaru, produced by Cappellini beginning in 1987), Tom Dixon’s Bird Chaise Longue (1991), Marcel Wanders’ Knotted Chair (1996), and Dror Benshetrit’s Peacock Chair (2009), among others.

Continuing to emphasize experimental processes, an eclectic mix of materials and styles, and extensive design research, today, the Milan-based brand has stores around the globe, and boasts an array of home and office furnishings, as well as a contract division dedicated to the hospitality sector (hotels, bars, restaurants, and so on). In 2005, the Cappellini brand became part of the Poltrona FrauGroup, an international leader in high-end furnishings, which in turn was acquired by Haworth, Inc. in 2014.)

Cappellini’s objects have been exhibited broadly, and are also included in the permanent collections of respected institutions around the globe, including the  and the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Galleria D'Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. New York’s Museum of Modern Artalone has over thirty Cappellini pieces.