Enea Ferrari was born in Verona on July 9, 1938. Already during his childhood, which he spent peacefully, he manifested an interest and aptitude for creativity, beginning to build his first small toys.
After high school, he attended a job training course set up by a large textile company called Tiberghien and located on the outskirts of Verona, where he was later hired.
During this work experience, he had the opportunity to learn a lot of information inherent in mechanics, production, and management systems.
A career as a designer and entrepreneur
At this point, however, it was time to take a chance for a better future. Having quit his job, he began making his first creations in a small workshop.
Manual dexterity and a strong craftsmanship aspect have always characterised his creations. So much so that he often spent entire days with artisan friends to learn the tricks of the trade and make them his own. All the products made by Enea were handmade at the prototype stage, and then industrialised for actual production, using materials such as metal, sheet metal and wood.
Overcoming initial difficulties, the success enjoyed by its items made it necessary to hire additional staff and move to larger premises.
In the new facility, he started a new and more complex production of Antique small cars (hence the name OTF -Old Timer Ferrari): some of the most iconic OTF-branded products were Olaf the Viking (dated 1971/1972), Rolls-Royce pen holders, and the Automobilina. The company was progressing very well, especially after coming up with the idea, original and unique for that time, of applying lighting inside the objects produced.
It was the early 1970s and with the diffusion on the market, of the plastic material and the then innovative polypropylene Moplen. His vision turned to the use of this material. Thus, it is that from his pen and imagination was born the Toucan, a lamp with a linear and essential shape, but with intense colors to attract the interest of children.
The Toucan lamp found immediate and considerable success in the market.
As a result of high production requirements, the company moved to the industrial area of Bussolengo, Verona. On this occasion the name was changed from the now anachronistic OTF to Linea Zero.
The production and wide assortment of children’s lamps was constantly being updated and consolidated with new models. In fact, Enea never dwelled too much on the success of his products; as soon as one project was finished, another would immediately start. In the following years he made other popular products, such as the Pink Panther lamp in 1984 (with the Pink Panther hugging the lamppost), the British Red Phone Box in 1990, the first version of Biplano in 1993, and Veliero in 1998. These, along with many other products, also found a place in very famous department stores, such as Harrods in the United Kingdom.
Enea driven by the desire to expand but above all to diversify the product range, began to design and draw new shapes with the aim of entering the market also in the furniture lighting sector. The results obtained have been of great satisfaction and success, particularly with the Helios collections, designed in 2001, and Globe, produced in Polilux™ in 2011 but conceived already in the 1960s in opaque material.
Enea Ferrari’s last years
In 2013 Enea passed the baton to his nephew Alessandro Zavater, current CEO of Linea Zero, continuing to contribute actively for a few years with his experience, ideas and some designs that have characterised the company’s recent past. One example is the Cloud lamp, still the company’s bestselling collection, designed in 2015.
Although work commitments took up a good part of his life, Enea never neglected his interests and curiosity. He travelled extensively for both business and pleasure, appreciating and enjoying the wonders of the world. In particular, he devoted his spare time to reading books on physics and literature. He was also a great fan of classical and opera music, as well as history and archaeology. Another great passion was flying, experienced firsthand with hang gliding, a minimalist craft that gave Enea an indescribable feeling of freedom.
During his last years, Enea spent his days together with his life partner Corinna, deepening his interests and curiosities. All this without ever completely abandoning his innate passion for finding forms in his small workshop at home.
On October 23, 2020, Enea Ferrari passed away at the age of 82.